Summary of Get Them on Your Side

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Get Them on Your Side book summary


8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Political savvy can shape your career in any organization. Most "politically competent" people developed their talent through extensive experience. Such competence is a difficult skill to transmit through book learning. That sums up the major shortcoming of Samuel B. Bacharach’s book. On the plus side, he provides matrices and enumerates the characteristics you need to build coalitions. He also provides extensive examples, accounting for nearly half the book, to illustrate politically wise tactics. Yet, Bacharach’s tone is occasionally professorial. His ideas about coalition building are certainly applicable, but people who are truly politically savvy will not need this book. recommends it primarily for novices - those who want to be wise corporate politicians, but aren’t yet. If you are higher up the ladder, you should already have developed your political competence - although you may appreciate the refresher course.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What "political competence" means;
  • How to deploy the four types of change;
  • What essential ingredients you need to build a coalition; and
  • How to establish your personal credibility.

About the Author

Samuel B. Bacharach is a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He directs Cornell’s Institute for Workplace Studies and the Smithers Institute. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books and numerous journal articles.



It’s Not the Idea; It’s the Person
Great organizations do not necessarily thrive on great ideas. Often, no one ever hears the best ideas, which may be too controversial to win broad acceptance - in contrast to mediocre ideas that have a political base. Whether people warm to an idea may...

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