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Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business & Create a Following Hardcover – April 18, 2012
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"The Hidden Agenda makes the invaluable link between understanding your audience's motivation and creating success. It also reveals some of the secret tactics that Kevin has used to help change businesses around the world. It all begins with that simple, timeless practice of connecting with people on a much deeper level. Don't miss the remarkable teachings of this unusual book and author." —Dan Schawbel, personal branding expert, bestselling author and owner of Millennial Branding"Kevin's enjoyable and informative book reminds us all that to communicate well is to connect with people first." —Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of the City of New York
"Kevin Allen is the 'Picasso' of the high art of the new business development and he has finally shared his magical techniques with the rest of us. A must-read! ." —Larry Weber, Chairman and CEO of W2 Group, author of Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era
"Kevin has a special ability to uplift and inspire those around him. His generous spirit is on every page." —Steven Overman, Vice President and Global Head Marketing Creation, Nokia
"Anyone who is trying to create the most persuasive selling presentation, the most inspiring vision or discover the customer sweet spot must read (and re-read)) Kevin Allen's new book. While filled with concepts and insights, this is no academic treatise, but a valuable playbook from someone who has 'been there, done that' with amazing success many times." — Joe Plummer, Professor of Marketing, Columbia Business School
"Kevin Allen knows the art and science of marketing, brand building, and human persuasion. He shares his unique strategy for winning accounts and building businesses in The Hidden Agenda. A must-read tale as only he can tell it." — Jim R. Heekin III, Chairman and CEO, Grey Group
"Kevin Allen has a powerful ability to turn insight into winning results. In The Hidden Agenda, he turns his approach into a discipline we can all use to drive results and win more consistently." — Andy Janowski, COO, Burberry
"Kevin's knowledge, experience and humanity were an Interpublic treasure. He is a brilliantly gifted growth practitioner and a natural teacher. It is in his DNA to share. This proves it and The Hidden Agenda is a must-read for anyone with growth on their agenda." — David Bell,, Chairman Emeritus, The Interpublic Group, Advertising Hall of Fame Inductee 2007
"Kevin Allen is a one-of-a-kind person and unequivocally successful in his approach to business growth. Although I would far prefer to have Kevin around the office at all times, The Hidden Agenda is a perfect substitute and a great way to have access to his style, generosity, and wisdom." --Björn Larsson, CMO, SVP, Swedbank
About the Author
He is the best-selling author of The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Business and Create a Following (Bibliomotion, 2012), and also The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star (Bibliomotion, 2014), which has been featured on BBC Radio’s Four Thought leadership series.
With decades at the top of advertising giants McCann-WorldGroup, the Interpublic Group and Lowe and Partners Worldwide, Kevin worked with such brands as MasterCarddeveloping the globally famous "Priceless" campaignMicrosoft, Marriott, Smith Barney, Nestle, L'Oreal, Lufthansa and Johnson & Johnson, and was an early part of Rudy Giuliani's team that prepared the way for the successful Mayoral election and turnaround strategies for the City of New York.
An academy instructor at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and Eurobest Festival, and a visiting lecturer at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and the European Business School at Regents College London, Kevin is a featured speaker at companies like Google, Microsoft and has appeared on BBC.
Lawrence Flanagan: Lawrence Flanagan is the Executive Dean of College of Business at the University of New Haven. He is regarded as one of the most accomplished global marketing leaders in the country.
Top Customer Reviews
The basic lesson here is how to ferret out the personality of the person or persons to whom you are presenting an idea or pitch to gain their commitment to not only buying into your presentation but also to create the `hidden agenda' of the `audience' into willfully and eagerly following you and your presentation. I like the following summary as it is likely more clear than a first response upon finishing a book: `Pitches are made in business every day -- to win the account, convince a colleague or sell a vision to the Board of Directors, but people ignore the most basic component of making the sale -- decisions are made by people, and people have unspoken needs and agendas. Kevin Allen has recognized that by identifying these needs, and connecting the pitch directly to it, you win. In this compelling book, Kevin Allen demonstrates how- not to persuade- but to compel people to follow you. The Hidden Agenda provides audiences with his winning strategy and concrete steps to identify "who" they are talking to, "what" elements they can connect with, and "how" to meaningfully engage their audience to more consistently and predictably "win". Or phrase in another way, `Kevin Allen is a highly skilled growth professional and is uniquely positioned to teach companies - and individuals - how to "win".
This book, then, is not only a serious guide as to how to improve your sales techniques and how to win over people to your ideas; this book is one of the most entertaining books about business around - one that can almost be considered a novel, it is that easy to read, to digest to get the point, and to enjoy every minute of the time spent with HIDDEN AGENDA.
Grady Harp, July 12
I selected the title of this review from a longer passage in the Introduction: "Get it? Get what? The `what' is the [begin italics] hidden agenda [end italics], the emotional motivator behind all the statistics, the business jargon, and the other things that surround any key business issue. It is in fact how people make decisions, with their hearts."
Allen is a veteran advertising executive and an accomplished "pitch man" but clearly agrees with John Hill, co-founder of Hill & Knowlton, that the best pitch is one that offers "truth well told." He shares everything he has learned about how to prepare and then present such a pitch for the readers whom he characterizes as "you dreamers, strivers, fighters, doers, and itchy-feet people `growth aspirants." Allen is convinced that, for them, their ability to pitch "is the very spearpoint and lifeblood of achieving these ambitions."
The reader is provided with an abundance of information, insights, and counsel to help achieve strategic objectives such as these:
o Locating the "hidden agenda"
o Identifying the "conceptual target"
o Connecting with the hidden agenda
o Defining one's "core"
o Selecting and articulating one's "credo"
o Defining the characteristics of "real" ambition
o Formulating one's "win" strategy
o Mastering the power of storytelling
Allen is a results-driven pragmatist, determined to understand what works, what doesn't, and why so that he can then share with others what he has learned. Whether or not people realize it, they are making pitches every day and usually draw upon most (if not all) of these resources of rhetoric: exposition to explain with information, description to make vivid with compelling details, narration to tell a story or explain a sequence, and finally, argumentation to convince with logic and/or evidence. If you want others to "get it" when you communicate with them, then you need to locate "it" and decide how best to present it. Kevin Allen offers practical advice whose value is incalculable.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out the selections in Kevin Allen's "Further Reading" section. Also, these: Robert B. Cialdini's Influence: Science and Practice (4th Edition), Carmine Gallo's The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, and The Story Factor (2nd Revised Edition) by Annette Simmons and Doug Lipman.
I have long believed in the hidden agenda -- it is rarely expressed in any formal way; you have to dig deep to truly hear it. When you show that you "get it" (and can "get it right") you win the business more often than not. Kevin had done a fabulous job charting this emotional, furtive journey to the heart of a client, essentially decoding the process in a practical way. This is a high-impact book for anyone in business development, but is has equal value for anyone aspiring to build relationships and enduring client engagements on something more than a transactional level.
While this book is rock solid in method, it is a joy to read. Kevin has a bright and personable writing style and peppers his pages with vivid stories and refreshing humility. He invites you into his success and offers genuine encouragement that--if you take the time to do so--you can reach hearts as well as minds.