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The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful and Live to Tell About It by [Showalter, Amy]
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The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful and Live to Tell About It Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 300 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Amy Showalter's book is an exercise in identifying the strategies and mindsets that can enable the "underdog" to use this status to his or her advantage and to win." -- Dean Cowan, BookPleasures.com

"Even against all odds, you can make a difference. "The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful ...and Live to Tell About It" is a guide to making a difference when your particular interest isn't the juggernaut of business changing." -- Midwest Book Review

"The Underdog Edge" was a lightning bolt to both my head and my high-achieving clients who need to master the art of influence. This book should be read by all who teach and coach emerging leaders. --Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, MCC, author, "Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction"

As someone who has taught courses in strategy and public policy for decades, I was thrilled to finally read a well-researched book that uniquely provides enterprises and individuals the persuasive, behavioral edges they will need to effectively manage and execute their advocacy. --Dr. Craig Fleisher, Dean of Business and Public Affairs

Book Description

We all have occasions in which we want or need to persuade someone of greater clout, prestige or authority to see things our way. Many influence books address peer influence and downward influence (leadership). This book is unique because it reveals that upward influence success requires different tactics than generic influence tactics, because powerful people aren’t like everyone else. It tells real-world stories of everyday people who have achieved persuasion success in politics and business with someone up the food chain, the peer-reviewed science behind their success, as well as insights from those whose minds they changed.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1078 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (August 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MZN1CC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,066 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an advocacy and political professional working in the field for more than sixteen years, I have tried every tool and tactic to get individuals engaged and involved in advocating for their professions, their livelihoods and what matters most to them. Even with that time and experience, we all hit walls in terms of advancing our issues and motivating our advocates. Amy Showalter’s “The Underdog Edge” is a book everyone attempting any type of influence campaign (local, state, or federal) should read immediately. Business professionals have any number of significant books that help them view the world of business differently and they say set them on their path to achieving their goals, to attain their ‘Tipping Point’ (to reference the much lauded book by Malcolm Gladwell).

Showalter is a leader who has taken her years of experience as an advocacy and political professional and transformed it into a career as a consultant, but she hasn’t forgotten where she came from and what it takes to actually implement a persuasion campaign and move elected officials and other advocacy targets to ‘yes.’ I’ve read other books in this market space that claim they have the answers that will get you to ‘yes’ every time and that’s when I know I’ve just wasted my money. Fortunately, this is not the case with Showalter and “The Underdog Edge.”

As we face more and more hurdles in advancing our respective causes, more groups in the game, issue fatigue amongst your advocates, the increasing partisanship in Washington, DC and sometimes the unintended consequences of our best intended ‘supporters.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains a wealth of research and case studies based on Amy's considerable experience in the political sphere. She lays out a number of skills and behaviours that the successful underdog needs, with stories and examples to illustrate each one. Even though Amy is focussed on politics, it struck me that her ideas could be applied in any situation where one is facing a "top dog". And she includes clear summaries and reminders at the end of each chapter and in the finale to facilitate the creation of an action plan. If you think the material sounds boring, it's not - she talks about sport, real dogs and driving fast cars in addition to all the politics!

I highly recommend the book, and I must say that I was fascinated to note that in this age of hyper-partisanship, Republican and Democrat "top dogs" seem to respond in very similar ways . . .
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Underdog Edge is a great read about important influence tactics used by underdogs. As a campaign, advocacy and public affairs professional in Washington, DC for over 15 years, this book provided some terrific insights about how to think differently in approaching challenging areas of work and provided some really important lessons to be learned from. The book is very well written and easy to follow. It is a wonderful resource for folks new to the field as well as those like me that have more experience.
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Format: Paperback
Are you or have you ever been an "Underdog"? Before I start sounding dangerously like Senator Joe McCarthy I will explain why I ask this question.

If you have ever tried to sell an idea, apply for a bank, loan, argue for a cause or start up a campaign on behalf of yourself or others then at certain points you have acquired that unenviable status. There are always going to be under most circumstances people who are going to be more powerful than you, the Top Dog, so to speak.

Amy Showalter's book is an exercise in identifying the strategies and mindsets that can enable the "underdog" to use this status to his or her advantage and to win.

Showalter proceeds from the premise that everyone loves an Underdog if the person shows grit. commitment and determination to overcome the obstacles to the cause. Whilst using this status to one's advantage it must never be openly exploited by the protagonist as a badge of honour or primary identity, as the illustration of how it backfired against Hilary Clinton shows, below.

Reflecting her professional background, Showalter concentrates on political, social and economic campaigns of the disadvantaged individuals and communities whether through, colour, race, gender or economic background to illustrate how these essential qualities lead to success.

She also demonstrates how these qualities can be consciously and constructively used, and how misused they can end up making a campaigner appear stupid and disingenuous. She gives an example of the campaigns of Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton in seeking the Democrat nomination in their efforts to out underdog each other, with Clinton ruining her cause when it was revealed how much she spent on entertaining and molly-coddling her campaign team.
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Format: Paperback
The Underdog Edge shows you the psychology behind why certain underdogs are successful in championing their cause, whether it be a business person, sports figure or politician. Showalter, who has very impressive credentials in coaching organizations on the principles of persuasion, breaks down the traits and approaches that are necessary in order to get through to the "top dogs" as she calls them - in other words, the people who hold the keys to making the decisions. Many success stories, citing specific examples, are used in each chapter to illustrate how the various techniques worked.

I thought this book was well thought-out, well executed and chock-full of helpful information, with a flourish of humor and very candid quotes from her interview subjects. Though the people Showalter features in her book are typically fighting for larger issues than, say, asking your boss for a raise, I think the same principles can be applied. There are certainly things I could draw upon for use in my work life in how to better deal with management when trying to advocate for an idea.

There are SO many case studies and examples, particularly from the political world, that I have to admit I skipped a few of them. I was much more interested in the psychology of the different principles.

I think this is a book you specifically seek out when you have a cause to champion, but that being said, I took away some food for thought on how to approach certain people. And I'll try to look past the fact that the author is an ardent Ohio State fan.

(Review written by Kathy, a Literary R&R book blog reviewer)
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