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It's All Politics

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It's All Politics

Winning in a World Where Hard Work and Talent Aren`t Enough


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To get ahead in business, you need political intelligence; it might even be more important than skills and competence.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This practical book discusses one of the sad realities of business: Often, competent people do not get promoted, because they lack political intelligence. In their place, less capable people ascend into executive suites simply because they have developed business intelligence, and know how to use the politics that exist inside any organization. That’s why many people rightfully think that “who you know, not what you know” determines career success. Kathleen Kelley Reardon can put you in the right place at the right time and in the right vice president’s office by helping you become more politically savvy. getAbstract highly recommends this very readable book to those who want to advance, especially politically innocent people entering the business world.


Reading Tea Leaves

If you work with human beings, you are in a political situation – like it or not. Even if you are professionally skilled, you should learn to be politically adept also. To avoid becoming a “political underdog,” diagnose your present position by asking yourself: Do people include you in crucial discussions? Do they take your ideas seriously? Do you know who is receptive to your suggestions? Can you change people’s perceptions about you and your ideas? If you can’t reply “yes” to these questions, you want to become more politically savvy. First, understand that politics is a form of human intelligence. This means you need to become conscientiously aware of your environment. Find out how your office’s social systems work and what kinds of behaviors are considered exceptional. Good politicians can detect nonverbal messages, emotional changes and potentially dangerous situations.

Skills for the Politically Astute

Since businesses are human, they also are political. To be politically astute, develop your intuition, or third sense, about how your organization normally conducts business. When substantial changes (such as layoffs) are pending, politically...

About the Author

Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Ph.D., is a professor of management at the Marshall School of Business at USC, a frequent business conference speaker and the author of The Secret Handshake. She has appeared on television and in numerous national publications.

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