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Don't Sabotage Your Success! Make Office Politics Work
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2002
Before reading Ms. Woods book I was drifting from job to job not understanding how come I did not get along with my bosses and wondered why? Then I read this book and I learned how I contributed to the relationship being the way it was -LOUSY! This book actually changed my life and I will proove it to you. Post 9/11, my boss began cutting staff and she was giving me a mixed message as to what I would be doing on a daily basis. She said she wanted me to do more in sales but then she would insist on doing her administrative work. Before reading this book I would have done the work I prefer to do. But Ms. Woods book got me in line to to learn how to connect with my boss and why it was important. So when everyone around me was getting fired-(with no health benefits,!) I lasted the longest, and since this book taught me how to deal with the work environment, my boss laid me off! which isnt so great, but I was the only employee to receive unemployment! which really made the difference while I looked for another job. Had I conducted myself the way I thought, I would have surely been fired. This book changed all that and as I interview for positions this book made me realize the power to deal with authority is all within! How many books teach you that? Today the book is here, tomorrow Ms. Wood will be on Oprah no doubt. This book is that important. It changed my life.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2001
Like the author I could not figure out how all my good work could go unappreciated. I begrudged the folks with good relationships with the "BOSSES". I knew what to do but refused to do it. I was going to change the world! This book helped me to understand that it takes more than great work to achieve what I want. I have to take time for people. It does not ask you to be phoney. In fact phoniness will sabotage your efforts. By helping my leadership team and co workers I in turn helped myself. Not only was my work spotlighted, I was asked to be on more visible teams and am being asked to lead division wide projects. What changed? I changed! I am closer to all the things that I have wanted professionally and am not putting in any more effort and have less days that I dread going to work. The principles in this book has also helped me evaluate my relationships out side of the office as well. I have purchased a copy for a woman I manage and hope that she finds it as helpful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2002
For so many years I was under the illusion that working hard and using all that the university had taught me would result in promotions and well deserved increases. Well, I found that this was not true but did not know what to do about it. After reading this book the light bulb went off for me. I sat back and examined my peers that has passed me in business and realized that many of them were naturally doing much of what was in this book. I started working as hard on relationships as I had been on my projects and things started to turn around for me. This type of information needs to be available to all college seniors. Thanks Ms. Woods for theis information!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
Whereas many academia literature provide hypothetical cases and generalization, Karen Ginsburg Wood has taken a well-planned approach to her book by using many real-life career situations from both her own and colleagues. Within each chapter, Karen presents these situations from the workplace, and then perfectly provides analysis and conclusions that allow you to 'take a step back' to look at the bigger picture and reflect on these actions. Throughout the book, I couldn't help but begin to experience 'Deja Vu' as I found myself having 'experienced' some of these situations (Don't act like your Mom...). However, Karen's insightful commentary has helped me understand my actions and the impact on my relationship with my manager. Furthermore, Mrs. Wood supports her content by applying her impressive educational and corporate work experience, while also referencing other well-known authors on the related topics.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2003
Ms. Wood puts many aspects of good office politics on the table. I saw quite a few of my past errors in her experiences and found quite a few of the mistakes I corrected there too.
One reviewer said to "not stop there"... of course not. Ms. Wood gives you a point of departure for building your own alliances at work. This isn't a cookbook, though there are suggestions for specific issues, but there is a general guideline for the "other side of the track" in work.
Being competent in your work skills isn't enough. You also have to be people competent too.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2004
This book is a perfect gift for recent high school or college grads who are just entering into the workforce. Karen's personal experiences (failures and successes) serve as great examples for someone just starting out. I bought the book to address some problems that I've been having at work: I'm very bad at schmoozing. But after being in the workforce for 25 years, I've already made most of the mistakes that Karen made and learned the same lessons discussed in this book. I wish I had read it 20 years ago!
I cannot stress enough the importance of her chapter "Don't show loyalty only to yourself." While I was reading this book, I observed a full-blown case of self-serving, disloyal behavior that has caused recriminations and bad feelings throughout our department. My supervisor has been mentoring an Admin Assistant. She's been meeting with this person for personal coaching sessions, reading and critiquing this man's college papers, and writing letters of reference for scholarships and internships. After all her time and effort, this mentee (sp?) just announced that he's leaving to work for my supervisor's chief rival at another organization. Funny thing is, all the support staff saw through this guy and had him pegged as a user. My supervisor - in her zeal to prove what a progressive, positive, proactive person she is - was totally blindsided. Now, the remaining employees who have always been loyal to this woman (and, I must add, tried to warn her about this guy) are paying the price of her wrath for this one person's dishonesty and disloyalty. A lesson for managers as well as employees!
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2005
"Success" is a fluffy concept. Whatever it is, the author doesn't attempt to define it. Her advice, to be "successful", you must be loyal and you must make the boss look good. There is little more substance than this. It appears to be a book format rehashing of the author's seminars. Worse, the message is contaminated by a disturbingly noticeable undercurrent of sexism throughout. The author clearly plies a "feminist" agenda. It is emblematic that all of the quotations placed at each chapter head are those attributed to women.

I rarely have become so annoyed by a writing to want to be rid of it. Because it is so disagreeable, I could not in good conscience even give it away to anyone. I have had to return it.

I recommend more worthwhile and substantive works such as "Crucial Conversations", "Crucial Confrontations", "What Your Boss Doesn't Tell You Until It's Too Late" and "Winning Office Politics".
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2005
Thank you for taking the time to share your candid thoughts on the book. I took great care in developing the concepts, teaching them to professionals for 3 years and soliciting their feedback, and then writing a book that reflected my personal experiences, research from many points of view, and those experiences of others who had been crushed by office politics. I have been lucky to fail, learn and succeed all in the same career. Success was something that came easily after I understood that it was a frame of mind vs. a thing to acquire. Success is the feeling that you know you are valued and supported by your organization. I'm sure there are short-cuts and tricks to get there but that is not what my message or my experience is about. At the end of the day we all want to feel accepted and connected. Connecting with people in our job is challenging and at times complex on many levels. Understanding the basis for positive, healthy connections is my message. As a business executive for one of the world's largest companies, I continue to be dedicated in my own career to helping men and women achieve that.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2001
Some of you might know that Karen teaches a class at Lifeprint in San Francisco. The class is a good complement to the book - I don't think one can replace the other. I think the book provides an in-depth and more scholarly look at office politics, while the class gave me a group view of the situation and answers to my specific situations.
Karen was very good about providing specific answers to different scenarios that the class members presented.
If you can take the class, I would recommend it. If you can't, buy the book - it is invaluable and I haven't come across anything else that addresses this topic. Or, you can buy the book and take the class, like me!
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