Customer Reviews: How to Play the Game at the Top: The 9 Rules for Consummate Corporate Effectiveness
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on August 29, 2012
Mr. Pearson does an excellent job painting a true picture of how executives are made in corporate America. Sponsorship IS the critical element, and it is discussed at length...including strategies to identify and secure a sponsor. My favorite aspects of the book were how to identify your X-Factor and form your "Employment Pyramid." I also appreciate the emphasis placed on ethics, morals, and sticking to the high road! This is a message more executives should understand and embrace. Finally, the importance of giving back is discussed as the factor which translates success into significance and this is well stated. If you are a recent graduate [either undergraduate or MBA], a mid-level manager looking to move forward, or an executive in need of some good reminders...this book is for you!
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on October 21, 2010
This is a fascinating insight into the often challenging path it takes to get to the very top - not only in Corporate America - but in big business generally!

I couldn't agree more that it's the lessons you learn, and how you feel about who you are and what you're capabale of (my favourite book on this side of self-leadership is Transformational Leadership: 92 Tips For Using The Different Types Of Leadership To Identify Leadership Traits That Uncover Your Leadership Strengths, which is an excellent companion to this book.

It's a credit to Fenorris Pearson that he had the 'balls' to share what it really takes to climb the corporate ladder.
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VINE VOICEon January 1, 2012
You almost never see books that are this honest about corporate politics and climbing the corporate ladder, especially from those with first-hand experience in reaching high level corporate positions. Just writing about it brands you as a Machivellian.

According to the author, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you need to do a lot of things well. You need to understand the unwritten rules, make your boss "look good", and have strategic allies. All these things, of course, are well-known. But the author delves further and cogently states that getting to the top takes a breakthrough in the form of mentor/sponsorship from those in powerful positions. Having the right mentor/sponsor who is committed to pulling you up the corporate ladder can not only change your career, but it can also change your life. And most people who reach the top tend to have such corporate mentor/sponsors.

The book also spends considerable number of pages specific to MBA graduates. The author walks a fine line between stating that the MBA worthwhile but not quite as worthwhile as MBA graduates think. In other words, the value of MBA is not a golden ticket that many MBA holders want it to be, and yet, MBA is still very valuable and often a prerequisite to higher corporate positions.

This book is very well written in a very engaging style. The author is a gifted writer.

The book contain many great advice on how to behave and think in the corporate environment. I highly recommend this book.
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on July 2, 2011
I bought this book last year after hearing the author during a radio interview. He stated a lot of true facts about the realities of working in today's corporate wold. Some of his descriptions matched my situation so closely that I decided to give his book a read. This book states the plain blunt truth of the American corporate culture. The author tells you what you need to know, and doesn't sugar coat it.

Having Fenorris Pearson explain what it really takes to get promoted, is like when your parents explain that there's no Santa Claus, but you can still get presents. On one hand: It's devastating to learn that you've believed in a fairy tale for so long, and uselessly left milk and cookies out every year. On the other hand: it's exciting to learn the truth, and you learn more about how the world really works. With the truth you can also skip the milk and cookie bribery and figure out what REALLY contributes to getting bigger presents under the tree.

The good:
Very accurate and honest depiction of how to improve your career. Though aimed at executive-types, there's a lot of great information that applies to the Average Joe as well. I especially liked the sections about mentoring. The author is intelligent, well spoken, and does a great job of describing both the "hows" and the "whys".

The bad:
As mentioned, he's speaking as if his audience is mostly executives, and people shooting for upper management. People getting their MBA might get even more out of it than I did.

In conclusion:
I'm glad I bought this book, and I found the information in it both accurate and useful.
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on July 7, 2010
The higher you go, the higher the stakes. "How to Play the Game at the Top: The 9 Rules for Consummate Corporate Effectiveness" is a guide to being a corporate leader at the high level with a lot on the line. Fenorris Pearson uses his own experience as a high level executive and advises readers what they need to know and be prepared for to keep their cool and be a success. "How to Play the Game at the Top" is a choice read for anyone rising in the corporate world and unsure of how to manage it.
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on May 14, 2013
Simple language allows for easy reading. Author makes some good points and gives some ideas for people just starting out in the work force. I guess since I've been through the ringer and have become more jaded than the average Joe/Jane, I didn't get too much new information. I could have tried some of the ideas presented as I was moving through the ranks of employment. The book felt like I was sitting at one of the author's seminars. The fact that I got the book for free helped me peek inside the world of self-help materials (for the up-and-comers).
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on May 15, 2010
The book does a great job of summarizing some great principles/truths about corporate America. There is enough material in this book for several books. Understanding "the popular vote vs the electoral vote" should be a t-shirt. This is a great read for middle managers, mba grads, and anyone seeking insights into the unwritten rules.
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on April 12, 2010
This is a fantastic book for new MBAs, especially those with limited experience in the business world. The section on sponsorship is invaluable in my opinion. The book is a quick read but packed with information to guide the new graduate MBA entering the job market. I enjoyed Mr. Pearson's writing style - geniune, honest, caring and presenting the realities of life such dealing with enemies at work. It was as if your highly experience big brother was telling you "here is how it really is in the business world - be prepared!"
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on April 9, 2010
This book discloses many realities in corporate environments. `Elephants in the room' that are never publicly acknowledged; but really matter if you're to have any practical chance of success. A good read, and helpful for anyone striving for professional achievement, without sacrificing yourself or your family.
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on May 2, 2010
"How to Play the Game at the Top" is an easy read that is full of truth-telling and practical advice for everyone entering or currently in Corporate America. Don't be fooled by the first rule and its focus on MBAs. This book is not just a wake-up call for MBAs or other corporate players with different advanced degrees. It's for everyone who plans to enter or is already engaged in the corporate game. And he's right, it is a game. Corporate America is full of executives who use sports analogies and references (e.g., business units referred to as franchises, let's put some skin in the game, that sale should be a lay-up, so-and-so is blocking and tackling, etc.)that reinforce the view of the corporate career as a sport. The game is not for everyone, and I respect that. But, if you do decide to enter the Corporate arena (another sports reference), this is a great playbook to help you advance your career. Rules #5 and 6 are the real gems of the book, and even the so-called savvy don't seem to understand these two rules or have great difficulty following them. Enjoy!
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