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Political Savvy: Systematic Approaches to Leadership Behind the Scenes Hardcover – June 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0966763607 ISBN-10: 0966763602 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Evergreen Business Group; 2nd edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966763602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966763607
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Political Savvy" captures what real leaders do when nobody's looking."-Kathleen F. Morris, Managing Director, Delta Consulting Group, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Comments on First Edition "DeLuca has created a smooth flowing work that delivers what it promises: a systematic approach to being an effective, ethical, behind-the-scenes leader. Must reading for the unsavvy and savvy, alike." -Stern's HR Management Review

"[FC Recommends Political Savvy: A Systematic Approach to Leadership Behind the Scenes, by Joel DeLuca.] A step by step manual for exercising influence beyond your authority." - Fast Company Magazine, April/May 1998

"The principles from this book have been essential in helping our MBA students understand how to become impact players in their own organizations, no matter what level they are at." - Stewart Friedman, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Leadership Program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

"An essential and practical guide for managing both the practical reality of organizational life and leading change in the face of that reality. I began using Political Savvy as a coaching tool several years ago and find it equally applicable to first time managers and senior executives." - Anita Jensen, Ph.D., Vice President Executive Development, Citibank, Inc.

"I wish I had this book early in my career... It's the first gift I gave my youngest son before he took a job after graduating from college, and I gave copies to my two older sons, as well." - Judge Richard B. Klein, Court of Common Pleas

"Political Savvy is the single best book I've read on the human side of leading change. Many of my clients have benefited from Joel's pragmatic approach to making change happen." - Robert Bruce Shaw, Ph.D., Managing Principle, Princeton MCG Consulting, Author of Trust in the Balance, Jossey-Bass, 1998

"An excellent book for new and experienced managers alike. It takes readers beyond the negative stereotypes of organizational politics and shows them how to get involved in making changes in their organizations." - Stephen Stumpf, Ph.D., Dean of Professional Development Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc.

"The topic of this book, Political Savvy, drew a surprising amount of interest. We had over two hundred requests from a variety of organisations who wanted to attend the seminar. It was unfortunate that we had to limit attendance, especially as the seminar was so very well received." -Dr. Steven Gans,Chairman, London,Institute for Management Studies

"The class sessions based upon the book were such a hit in our Management of Technology Program for engineers that we have now incorporated it permanently into the curriculum. This is a must read for all practicing technologists, engineers and scientists." - Dwight L.Jaggard,Ph.D.,Associate Dean,Graduate Education & Research, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania

Customer Reviews

This book was part of some course work and brought out a lot of concepts that anyone serious about business must read.
Most of us have good intentions that our organizations would applaud, but we are appallingly lacking in the ability to carry through.
This book breaks down the power process, provides examples and worksheets for readers to use to improve their political prowess.
C. L. St Cyr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Marta Mooney ( on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At last, a thoroughly researched, user-friendly, step- by- step guide to becoming a political savvy manager. Political savvy, according to the author, is the art of "ethically building a critical mass of support for an idea you care about." Other books describe and explain the problems created by political behavior at work. This one tells executives what to do, starting tomorrow morning, to overcome these problems and make constructive change happen." It's the book Machavelli might have written if his Prince had been an ethical straight-shooter committed to doing good works. A "must read" for every principled executive with a positive agenda, an open mind, some analytic skills, and enough self-discipline to think first and act later.
According to Dr. Deluca, political savvy is a learnable skill. Learning is a two-step process. The first is to adopt a "savvy" attitude. Consciously decide that you want to become an able, ethical player. Don't be afraid to lead. The second is to learn and practice some time-tested rules for "working the human system" to bring about positive change.
The first part of the book deals with step one--attitude adjustment. Deluca contends that "the savvy attitude is the single most important ingredient in becoming politically savvy." Two "blind spots" block many otherwise highly motivated executives from meeting this test. One is the `moral block; the other is "the rational block"
The moral block is the widely-held belief that there is something inherently wrong with "playing politics" at work. De Luca explains why this belief is unfounded. He points out that political behavior can be bad or good, depending on why and how it's used. Influencing the organization is what most managers are hired to do.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Ayers on December 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Come on, be honest. What really comes to your mind when you hear that someone has a lot of 'political savvy'? Someone sitting in a smoke-filled room making important decisions with a handful of high-rollers? A snake-oil salesman who could sell anything based on his ability to manipulate more gullible people? Someone to avoid because you don't want to become tainted? And anyway you just shouldn't have to mess with that stuff!
Joel DeLuca offers this definition: "Political Savvy: Ethically building a critical mass of support for an idea you care about." Then he notes what he excludes and what he includes in his definition. It excludes striving for power in a general way, but includes seeking influence in a specific situation. It includes caring about an idea - an interesting combination of emotion and intellect. He adds, "It's hard to overstate that the starting point for the Savvy [people] is caring about something bigger than themselves."
The book carries the subtitle, "Systematic Approaches to Leadership Behind-the-Scenes." I suppose that I always knew that effective leaders had some amount of political savvy. They seemed to know who to talk to, and how and when to talk to them. DeLuca believes you can gain in political savvy in a systematic way. He is clear about the role of results when he writes, "Leadership in the near term is making things happen. In the long term, leadership is developing people. The ultimate responsibility of a leader is not just to make things happen today but to increase the organization's capacity to make things happen tomorrow. The best leaders accomplish this by developing others to become leaders.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pat O'Reilly on April 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Mr. DeLuca has written a wonderfully insightful manual for success in the work place. A lightning fast and enjoyable read, this book will soften the battle scarred heart of even the most jaded and cynical Dilbert fans. The topic is the politics of the workplace, which is undoubtedly the leading cause of employee dissatisfaction everywhere. Joel DeLuca provides a wonderful case for recognizing human nature, and making a positive change in one's outlook to cherish the irrationality of the human organization that presently causes so much frustration and angst for the vast majority. I believe this book will be most beneficial to those who are experienced with, and distrustful of, organizational politics. I could tell you that I wish I read this book years ago, but I'm not sure that it would have had the same impact on my life had I not already seen office politics at its worst. This book provides some practical relief from the pressure of organizational politics, as well as a toolkit to help the reader participate in the workings in a proactive and benevolent way. This book is the culmination of a very sincere scientific investigation, presented in a manner that is not overly academic. Enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have just retired after 32 years in a major Fortune 10 company and I have to commend Joel DeLuca on the excellence of his book. I think the tools he provides are of outstanding practical value and highly useable on a day to day basis. But I think his emphasis on the ethical nature of savvy work is critical. His description of Machs or Machiavellis who seek power only for its own sake to advance themselves, is extremely realistic, convincing and a challenge to principle people to take back organization politics from the pecking order obsessives and make organizations own awowed purpose a central guiding light. I loved the story of the Elephant trap dug for a Mack who usually stole the glory for everyone else's hard work....more elephant trap stories please....the Mack only fell in the pit, if she behaved unethically....cheered me up enormously.
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