Reardon, an academic and business consultant, describes her book as a journey to help the reader become better informed, better armed, more confident, and considerably more adept at mastering the interpersonal politics of work. In her view, political savvy is a prerequisite for the inner circle, even more so than job competence. Through information gleaned from hundreds of interviews of CEOs, senior managers, and high achievers during her 20 years of consulting, she explains the role of politics in organizations and provides ideas for gaining admission to the inner circle. Topics covered by the author include knowing your political style and when to change it, forming relationships the politically savvy way, the art of conversational politics, creating positional power, and managing conflict and cultivating influence. Although many will not agree with all of the author's theories and advice, she is probably correct when she states that politics is the way things work in most organizations. This book is thought provoking and offers valuable insight. Mary WhaleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"The Secret Handshake
, Kathleen Reardon's new and most important book, takes "organizational politics" out of the closet and illuminates the darkness surrounding that topic. It is an extremely original, brave, and useful book about the social etiquette of modern bureaucracies-i.e. how to get things done through people. And it's a topic that, if discussed at all, is usually spoken about in dark and uninformed ways. Reardon not only clarifies the topic but shows convincingly that unless one has an enlightened view of what organizational politics is all about, one is doomed to failure."
--Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at USC and author of Managing the Dream
"The Secret Handshake
delivers powerful insights into the real calculus of corporate decision-making. It not only sheds light on the poorly understood pinnacles of power, but provides a primer for those who would play the game."
--Bill Davidson, Chairman, MESA Research, author of The Art of Market Leadership
"While there are a myriad of books on the technical skills needed to succeed in business, little attention has been paid to the equally important prerequisite of the secret handshake--political savvy. This is the hard stuff of business, the interpersonal skill that can never be totally or permanently mastered. The inner circles of business shift, as do the skills that get and keep people in them. Making it into one inner circle doesn't guarantee making it into another or into the most important one. The engineer who is promoted to senior vice president may never make executive vice president. He or she may be the best engineer in the company, but lack that extra something, the poise and professionalism, reliability and visibility that constitute a significant advantage on the road to the top.
There are just too many smart, capable people out there. The hard truth is that the ones who get ahead are usually those who know how to make highly placed people feel good about having them around. The good news is that you can be one of them."
--from THE SECRET HANDSHAKE