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Winning the Influence Game

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Winning the Influence Game

What Every Business Leader Should Know About Government


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Because government has an impact on almost everything your organization does, you must find a way to have an impact on government.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Innovative
  • Applicable


If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a special interest group or a corporate lobbying machine, but didn’t know where to start, experts Michael Watkins, Mickey Edwards and Usha Thakrar have written a handbook for you. The authors write intelligently and provide information in great detail with no fluff. recommends this book to those in business and organizations of all sizes who are - or should be - playing the influence game.


The Influence Game

As a savvy businessperson, you need to be aware that your ability to play the government influence game can perform a critical role in the viability of your business. The very survival of your organization could depend upon your ability to get the attention of, and successfully influence, officials who make and enforce the rules that affect you. In today’s economic and political environment, you must be as proficient in the influence game as you are in all other areas of your business.

You can learn the strategies of the influence game and the steps you must take in order to become a player, from diagnosing government’s impact on your business or industry to ending up with favorable governmental decisions. Government rule-makers - whether legislative or regulatory; local, state or federal; domestic or foreign - shape the playing fields on which businesses compete. These rules are made and enforced through overt competition for influence with government rule makers and referees.

The influence game is just as competitive as selling your products and services, although it is played by a different set of players, including corporations, governments...

About the Authors

Michael Watkins is an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He co-authored Right From the Start and consults on negotiation and coalition building. Mickey Edwards, a Republican Congressman for 16 years, teaches about Congress and public advocacy at the Kennedy School, writes a weekly newspaper column and broadcasts on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Usha Thakrar, a research associate at Harvard Business School, graduated from the Kennedy School, worked in state government and founded her own company.

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