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Beyond Office Politics: The Hidden Story of Power, Affiliation & Achievement in the Workplace Paperback – June 14, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

CEO of Sommer Consulting, Linda Sommer has coached executives and officers in the Fortune 500 companies for over twenty years. One of her specialties is the quick development of executives into powerful communicators and leaders in the context of escalating demands on corporate performance. She has been a major player in IPOs, corporate reorganizations and corporate turnarounds, and she applies this business and coaching experience in Beyond Office Politics: The Hidden Story of Power, Affiliation & Achievement in the Workplace.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475299915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475299915
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,887,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CEO of Sommer Consulting, Linda Sommer has coached executives and officers in the Fortune 500 companies for over twenty years. One of her specialties is the quick development of executives into powerful communicators and leaders in the context of escalating demands on corporate performance. She has been a major player in IPOs, corporate reorganizations and corporate turnarounds, and she applies this business and coaching experience in Beyond Office Politics: The Hidden Story of Power, Affiliation & Achievement in the Workplace.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"There is nothing new under the sun." So says the Book of Ecclesiastes. But much of what has always been remains a mystery, whether it be the nature of light or human nature. Once in a while, however, some mysteries become clearer when keen observers find the words needed to describe what we all see but fail to comprehend.

In "Beyond Office Politics," Linda Sommer beholds the workplace with fresh insight and clarity. She then uses simple language to describe the dynamic that causes one person to flourish and another to perish in the battle for position and power in the boardroom or the back room. She's not describing anything new, but reading her book is like seeing it for the first time. And by giving us a vocabulary to describe it, she has equipped us with the tools to understand it and to purposefully navigate it. For those who have lost their business edge or have grown weary, "Beyond Office Politics" will breathe life into your career by showing you how to reclaim the initiative and enter the fray with 20/20 vision and clarity of purpose.

An easy read about some hard truths and a great investment in your own future.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is very easy to understand the dynamics at play in different business environments via the fabulous storytelling of this book.

From a content point of view, the story of Don and his relationships with managers and peers in the company BioWidgets explains the different key concepts of how office politics play and how to get the best out of each potential situation. The author chose a very nice approach to take us through this concepts by using Don's story, as it is a very relatable tale, but most importantly, it is clear, concise, and can provide great insight for the reader's own situation. The book is organized very nicely in chapters that have a concrete learning point, easily browsed via the table of contents.

One of the many great things about this book, since I got the Kindle edition, is the ease of navigation. At the end of each chapter there is a link with coach notes which takes you to a summary / review section of the key concepts from the chapter. I found this section particularly useful to make annotations, usually I make them all over the book, but I found myself annotating everything in the coach notes! I'm sure paperback readers can get the same benefits, they would just need good old-fashioned page swapping!

Overall, I really liked this book and can fully recommend to have in one's library. This is definitely one you want to read more than once!
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Format: Paperback
This book was a very quick read and gave me lots of little pearls of wisdom to apply to my own career. I usually find "self help" books to be dry and difficult to apply to real life. This book is different because, rather than list a series of canned bullet points, it presents the story of an executive working with a coach and advancing in his career as he learns new principles. The story really pulls you in and keeps you engaged, while also teaching you powerful tips that will help you better understand and influence the people you work with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for people who are in the mid-level management and who are getting pulled into office politics even if they do not want to get involved in any politics. This book offers the positive side of the how to go about office politics but not the negative side. Obviously, when someone sees you climb up the ladder (or even if they have a hint of you doing that), they make every effort to pull you down starting with your leg. But the content is more imaginative and lacks real examples of office politics. That's why the 4 stars (I would have given a 3.5 stars if there was one).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was extremely useful. It was simple to understand. Although other books have contradicted some of the statements in here, that is because I believe this was written primarily for high achievers who work so hard at their goals they don't often understand how power and affiliation plays out with their other team members. The story that went through the book made the book pleasant to read and gave an example of the principles at work. If you are a high achiever, I would definitely recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an exceptional book that opened my eyes to several topics I've overlooked, especially the value of positioning. The book is written in a story format which also seemed to continually capture my interest. Just recently completed the first read but several more are to come....
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Format: Paperback
This is a book that I've been waiting for for the last 30 years! As an unabashed admirer of D.C. McClelland who first researched the Power, Affiliation, Achievement motives on which this book is based, I'm delighted that the author Linda Sommer has put together a good description of how to identify and use these three motives in the workplace.

The book is written in a novelette form using Don as our hero as he fights to save his career. This story-telling way of writing makes it very easy for the reader to quickly grasp an understanding of the key concepts and how they might work in practice. However, it does have its downsides which I'll explore shortly.

Don our hero, meets Joe his coach for coffee and starts on a journey to regain the support of his team and his boss in order to gain a promotion over an ambitious new peer. Each chapter takes us through the coaching process Joe uses to help Don discover his strengths by gaining an understanding of the three motivational needs (Power, Affiliation, Achievement) in himself and others. Each chapter concludes by directing the reader to a summary of the concepts in the back of the book. This is a very well structured and easily assimilated approach (as an aside, the coaching process, method and style used by Joe, is a first-rate example of good coaching).

In addition to giving us a sound understanding of the three motivational needs, the book is an excellent guide on how to position oneself better in the organizational hierarchy through a strategy such as personal branding.

The downside of using a novelette to explain a theory is that it immediately makes it contextual. If the context resonates with the reader, then the story works wonderfully well.
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