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It's All Politics: Winning in a World Where Hard Work and Talent Aren't Enough Paperback – September 19, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"By inserting advice on virtues and ethics into the discussion of workplace politics, Reardon not only shows people how to get ahead by using the practiced skills of master politicians, but she also demonstrates the proper use of those skills to maintain high professional standards. Her clear descriptions of the issues and answers surrounding politics make her insights understandable and actionable."
"In her new book, It's All Politics: Winning in a World Where Hard Work and Talent Aren't Enough, Reardon provides practical techniques to help break down office politics. Her no-nonsense approach focuses on gaining political intuition and advancing in the workplace."
Advance Praise for It’s All Politics
“This is Reardon’s most important book and a terrific read. She makes a brilliant case for a new and important force in the workplace, political intelligence. Understanding this force is vital for success.”
—Warren Bennis, distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California, and Author of On Becoming a Leader
Acclaim for Kathleen Kelley Reardon’s The Secret Handshake
“The Secret Handshake is like a crash course in Business Psychology 101 . . . Reardon writes crisply and to the point . . . You owe it to yourself to read her book.”
Top Customer Reviews
She correctly identifies all white-collar employees as "politicians" and points out that office politics is inevitable. Some people will win and some will lose. Her case studies are fascinating -- particularly the ones that involve responding to nasty e-mails or coping with putdowns by practitioners of "negative politics." To her great credit, Reardon emphssizes that there are times when merely "getting along" is not the right answer and when courage, integrity, and risk-taking are essential. And she gives appropriate weight to issues of personal style: some people face problems head-on, while others defer them; some are "in your face," while others avoid confrontation.
There are places where Reardon's expository energy seems to slow and the book plods along. But soon, the reader is caught up in another case study or interesting e-mail exchange and the book picks up strength again.
Dr. Reardon gives real life situations for her case studies. She discusses what to do when a person is passively-aggressive in a meeting, or explaining a backstabbing incident.
The boiled down advice all readers should use in all situations is: "Confront the attacker. First with professionalism. If they don't respond, let it be known you will fight and you won't be a pushover. If THAT doesn't work, you'll need to get some senior executives on your side, to confront this person. If none of those work, quit."
Well, the 1st and 2nd pieces of advice are pretty obvious, but don't always work, especially when you're new to a company or department, unsure of yourpolitical capital, and unsure of the consequences of confronting a coworker or boss. Most attackers have support from others, and know how to spin an alternate version of a 'situation' so the victim (this book's reader) is seen as politically paranoid. I've been in companies where nasty people have a lot of clout, and confronting them is not smart.
Dr. Reardon's 3rd piece of advice is hilarious. "Find a senior executive to back you up, so that when the confrontation becomes public, you will have their support." Huh? If i had access to senior executives to back me up, i would drop their name to the politically inept backstabber and win the fight instantly. And most senior executives aren't about to back up junior managers just because they are asked to. They have their own political capital they are building.Read more ›
Talent alone does not insure success; you must have those important relationships with the people who can best reward your creativity and intelligence. You are encouraged to 'pick your battles wisely' to deal with a difficult co-worker.
When we think about politicians, automatically the words 'unethical' and 'devious' (sometimes flat-out 'lies') come to mind. In the workplace, "knowing what to say, to whom, and how and when to say it." Most of all, you will need to be able to convert enemies into your allies to win crucial support for your ideas.
The only way to avoid politics at work is to avoid people. "For every locked entrance, there is a back door, window, even a chimney;" always be sure there is a way out before you crawl into a corner. It is important to remember that there is more than one way to handle any situation: good, bad or indifferent.
Intuition is needed, but just as necessary is the power of persuasion.Power is a critical part of career politics. People remember those they perceive to be powerful. Power, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.
A good read, wonderful instruction in the ways of life at work and at home, and packed full of good advice. It behooves us to try to follow her instructions as close to the letter as possible. She knows what she is talking about; you can, too.
This book is written by an academia with a PhD from one of the better business schools (USC). This alone makes this book unique since most books on corporate politics seems to be written by used car salesmen rather than by a rational intellectual.
The author attempts to tackle the heavy challenge of explaining the nature and ways of power and politics in 232 pages. Overall, the book contains lot of valuable information such as "read between the lines" and "ability to see things as others do is paramount".
I felt several key components of corporate politics and power were missing or were dealt supreficially. For example, leadership (ability to put the team first and persevering through inconsistencies of human emotions and behavior) and emotional intelligence (ability to be calm and collective even when the situation demands anger and impulsive action) was not emphasized at all. I also believe that appearing detached from politics (even one is fully involved in strategizing) and being a "hard to get" person to all suitors of power is important. Finally, nothing gives you more power than knowledge. If you are more of an expert in a specific technical field, you are intrinsically more powerful.
Although I do not believe this book can, and does not, contain all the information related to power and politics in the corporate world, it is nonethless one of the most credible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read for those undergoing dynamic organizational changesPublished 18 months ago by Judy Nance
If you want to know why things happen on the job the way that they do with staff, this book is a must read to all your questions. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Veronica Willis
Very well done, I am using this in my senior elective class.Published 23 months ago by John E. Highbarger
As a newly promoted director, I was looking for information to help me navigate the world of upper management. I found this book very useful. Read morePublished on March 6, 2014 by Laura Arndt
I have struggled with the politics of the corporate world. This books serves as a great checklist of things that one should be mindful of in daily conduct. Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Storm Chaser
This book is a treasure, explaining everything you need to know about people's mind and how to handle them.
You've gone to school or maybe work with That Guy or That Girl. The one who ballet dances through the social minefields, while you make do with a pogo stick. Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by Jeffrey Deutsch