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Work Would Be Great If It Weren't for the People: Ronna and Her Evil Twin's Guide to Making Office Politics Work for You Hardcover – May 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0788193743 ISBN-10: 0788193740

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788193740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788193743
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,575,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ronna Lichtenberg saw the way office politics worked while she was a senior vice president at Prudential Securities. Now a marketing and strategy consultant, she's written Work Would Be Great if It Weren't for the People, a clever and unambiguous guide to successfully negotiating what she calls "the human element of the workplace." In a case-by-case narrative that's supplemented with wry commentary from her "evil twin"--which consists of brutally honest observations that allow her to play devil's advocate--Lichtenberg unveils a series of suggestions for dealing with common corporate situations that can regularly boost or torpedo a career. She addresses scenarios such as managing a change in jobs or responsibilities, handling unjust demands for commitment or allegiance, and working effectively with friends, enemies, and even lovers. As all of the most salient points are boldfaced for emphasis, this already fast read can be absorbed even more quickly. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Lichtenberg, a former senior v-p at Prudential Securities, together with Stone (Little Girl Fly Away) offers a witty and cynical guide to office politics. According to them, ability, hard work and reliability are often not enough to succeed in the workplace unless these attributes are accompanied by a knowledge of the dynamics of human relations. The authors suggest first trying to work cooperatively by seeking common solutions to problems. But when stymied by roadblocks, such as a bullying boss, a vindictive co-worker or office gossip, they advise calling on the "evil twin" that supposedly lurks within everyone's consciousness as a self-protective mechanism. But, as they point out, revenge can backfire. And there are limitations on whistle-blowing, if that option is taken, since whistle-blowers are often simply transferred to another department. Sometimes, as the authors note, the most effective thing to do is to lie low. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a perfect "how-to" guide to coach you how to protect yourself, how to preserve your integrity, and how to clear the obstacles in the office to perform at your best. This should be required reading for anyone in a tough and competitive office environment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Vargas on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Published in 1998, the book is somewhat dated, but since it was on the bookshelf and unread I decided to give it a go.

Even after more than a decade it is still a cleverly written and practical guide for anyone uncomfortable playing the game of office politics. The author entertains and explains just about every scenario possible in the corporate world, providing examples to guide you through day-to-day office politics: dealing with your rival, working for an obnoxious but career-controlling boss, admins, lunch habits, meeting behavior, etc. In one section, "Put on a Happy Face, the author advises you to get into the habit of responding the same whether the news from a boss/subordinate is good or bad. Better yet, develop a poker face to give yourself time to evaluate/assess. Reacting angrily or too soon could earn you a label as an alarmist or too knee jerk and ultimately affect bonus/advancement opptys. For each section her evil-twin offers her own advice - which are just as clever and useful to know in case you ever need it. Still she promotes the high-road.

This book is a somewhat complimentary read to the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni, in that office politics exist and can affect team dynamics.

An added bonus is that the book comes with a clever reversible book jacket that reads "Another Great Day at the Office" allowing you to hide what you are really reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a tragically flawed 'nice guy' who finished last in the corporate career sweepstakes, I wish that this book had been part of the core curriculum during my college education. Now a 'consultant' who must beg for work from the truly undeserving, I learned the hard way that it is neither talent nor training that matter so much as tactics and technique. In fact, if there is one criticism of this well-written book, it is that Ms. Lichtenberg is too prone to counsel compromise instead of confrontation for the 'take no prisoners' trench warfare that seems to preoccupy the corporate workplace. However, there is much to recommend this volume, particularly the author's wide range of relevant war-stories. Give it to a college graduate that you love.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is much more humor or biography than business reference. I was looking for something, not to teach me how to play the normal game of office politics but to play it in a different way or combat it with dignity, self-respect and a respectable work role in tact. If you have a cold heart and no concern for others, or are just seeking some humor then by all means, take a look at Lichtenburg's book. But tactics described in this book are very sleazy and will be a gamble to put into practice for the caring and professional person. They worked for her, but she's lucky. And I bet she has trouble looking herself in the mirror. Then again, maybe she doesn't, but I would.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
For those of us who thought doing a great job was all there was to success, Lichtenberg and Stone explain what else is going on. What's more, they tell us how to navigate through the environment they describe. The book is written in the most readable, down-to-earth style so you can use the wealth of information it contains. Thank you!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As the author points out, office politics is merely negotiating individual agendas to get the work done. Those who regard it as mean-spirited are missing the point. This is, quite simply, the best business advice I've ever read.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're style is to lie, cheat and steal, this is your guide. If you're subtle (e.g., lie by omission, cheat by being unfair), you'll find a kindred spirit in the authors. This is a book for the unprincipled.
And, as valuable as office politics is (and there I agree with the author...just not her style), this book will offer you no principles for understanding it or playing the Office Game. What you'll get are cleverly written anecdotes of how Ronna one-upped somebody, or stories she relates (or made up; given her principles, I'd suspect the latter) that happened to others.
Finally, the book shows a grinning author seated at the head of the conference table...all alone. How appropriate!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Make sure your worst enemy gets a copy of this book. After a week of putting these "lessons" into practice, you'll no longer have that enemy around. Another book that tries to sell high-schoolish behavior as a way to get ahead in business. After putting down hard work and trying to get along with people, the author tells a bunch of war stories that sound more like episodes of "Melrose Place". Then, her "Evil Twin" gives advice on how to really screw your victim (unwarranted or not). There is a slight tinge of prejudice here when the author declares that no one at the office likes a sick person. I guess being in a wheelchair or having MS makes you a perfectly legitimate target for these kind of office games. A waste of time and paper, this book is a great argument for why the workplace is changing. If America is to compete in the new global information economy, we can't afford to play these wasteful and demoralizing office games.
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