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Work Would Be Great If It Weren't For the People

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Work Would Be Great If It Weren't For the People

Making Office Politics Work for You


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The clue to office politics is understanding that everything matters, you are always making an impression. So watch your behavior, your relationships, your work, your style...and your back.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Let’s face it: We all want to climb the corporate ladder. The trick is to climb without appearing to do so. Everyone has an agenda. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to uncover hidden agendas and use them to your advantage. Ronna Lichtenberg knowingly decodes office politics as usual. Her book addresses time management, starting a new job and ending an old one, gossip, and business travel. The book is easy to read and inexpensive. If there were such a thing as a "beach business book," this would certainly classify. However, clever though it is, it doesn’t cover any new territory. If you’re already a top-ranking executive, you probably know everything here. getAbstract recommends this book for those who are still on their way up the ladder or those who may have forgotten some of the rules for making it to the top.


Starting Out

Don’t trust the first person who’s friendly. Ask questions. For example, tell a co-worker that you work for Elizabeth and need a new computer. Gauge the person’s reaction. Is the answer, "I’ll get that over to you right away" or "We’re backed up right now. I’ll get to it next week"? The answer indicates your supervisor’s power.

Don’t attach to a mentor too quickly. Because of dramatic shifts in the workforce, mentors are not as valuable as they once were. Employees today do not think twice about changing jobs. Your mentor may leave before you have the chance to establish a relationship.

During times of change, pay attention. Everything can change during a merger, acquisition, or other major change. Use these times of flux advantageously. One caveat: Don’t sleep with the enemy. Giving competitors or the media the inside scoop will damage your reputation.

Handling the Day-to-Day Routine

Show up. Mismanaging time is a big mistake. Repeatedly not showing up for meetings on time, forgetting to call in when you’re sick, or failing to inform others of your travel plans will cost you. Colleagues will begin to define you by your tardiness and...

About the Authors

Ronna Lichtenberg  is currently the chief executive officer of Clear Peak Communications, a marketing and consulting firm. She was previously the senior vice president of external affairs at Prudential Securities Inc. Gene Stone  is the author of Little Girl Fly Away and has written for numerous national magazines.

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