You can be authentic and sincere and succeed at office politics. Office politics won’t go away just because you ignore them. Just change the name of the game so you can win – or at least have more fun trying!
Early on in my career, I may not have seen my placement next to an octogenarian as having all that much benefit. Fortunately, I’ve grown; I now quietly accept the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me. In the business world, this is called mentoring. And you can find mentors in unlikely places.
When you aspire, and all your role models are men, seek a female. You can learn something from male and female role models yet the reality is, female role models offer important, valuable and unique perspectives a male role model never could.