Advice from the Presidents: The Student's Guide to Reaching the Top in Business and Politics

Overview

The same skills and strategies can propel an aspiring executive to the top of any organization, be it the Podunk High School Student Council, the Acme Xylophone Corporation, or the government of the United States of America. The student council president may be an unpaid volunteer, and the Acme CEO may bark out orders in an office that is rectangular, not oval. But the paths that lead to those positions are remarkably similar to the trail that ends so gloriously at the front door of the White House. Author G. ...

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Advice from the Presidents: The Student's Guide to Reaching the Top in Business and Politics

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Overview

The same skills and strategies can propel an aspiring executive to the top of any organization, be it the Podunk High School Student Council, the Acme Xylophone Corporation, or the government of the United States of America. The student council president may be an unpaid volunteer, and the Acme CEO may bark out orders in an office that is rectangular, not oval. But the paths that lead to those positions are remarkably similar to the trail that ends so gloriously at the front door of the White House. Author G. Scott Thomas spent two years examining the lives of nearly two hundred presidential candidates—winners and losers, the famous and the obscure—with an eye for the tactics and qualities that served their careers well or damaged them beyond repair. He has distilled their experiences into a comprehensive guide to success, Advice from the Presidents.

Thomas's book offers a wealth of advice, quotations, and anecdotes that are pertinent to any up-and-coming young man or woman. Which strategies for advancement are effective and which are doomed to fail? Which personal traits should be emulated and which are detrimental? Presidential candidates have learned the answers the hard way, earning the education of a lifetime in the gritty, cutthroat arena of national politics, a field as competitive as any to be found in corporate America. And now, for the first time, their valuable knowledge will be made available to ambitious executives and eager students across the country. Readers will learn the seven time-tested steps that can transform a would-be chief executive or U.S. President into the real thing: Decide upon your long-term goal. Develop your skills and interests. Polish your image and your people skills. Organize a network of mentors and helpers. Control your inner demons and your opponents. Maneuver to improve your position. Succeed with grace and serenity.

In this book, readers will follow the career paths of famous American politicians. There have been smart presidents and unintelligent ones, honest and dishonest ones, diligent and lazy ones. But all of these master politicians have remarkably different skills and personalities but had one thing in common. They all followed the same seven-step career plan detailed in Advice from the Presidents. And so can any ambitious person in any walk of life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"While the volume focuses on lives of presidential candidates, its examination of strategies and personal traits make it applicable to students looking at any executive path, presidential or otherwise. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries."

-

Doug's Student Reference Room

"Using career paths of a number of successful American politicians to illustrate a seven-step career plan for anyone aspiring for success in business or in government, Advice From The Presidents is practical, informative, insightful, and inspiring, making it a welcome addition to personal reading lists and library reference collections."

-

The Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313356629
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

G. SCOTT THOMAS has been a journalist for over thirty years, specializing in stories about business and demographics.The author of over one hundred articles for national magazines like American Demographics, Savvy, and the Wall Street Journal, he has also written seven books, including The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities, Leveling the Field, and The Pursuit of the White House (Greenwood).

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Table of Contents

Preface

Cast of Candidates

1 Deciding 1

Ambition, when under control, is a good impulse 4

There's nothing wrong with wanting recognition 7

A healthy ego is fine, but egomania is dangerous 10

Don't shape your career to please someone else 11

Excessive caution can destroy your chances 14

Your competitors are only human, so don't be awed 16

Women must work harder and be tougher 17

Minorities must work harder and be tougher 20

Health problems don't have to be impediments 22

It doesn't really matter where you grew up 24

If you want the top job, make the top effort 26

2 Developing 31

A college education (Ivy League or not) is essential 35

Emotional intelligence is as important as IQ 37

Get out and experience all that life has to offer 40

Develop and demonstrate leadership qualities 43

Don't become a dull and dreary workaholic 45

Learn the blessings of patience 48

If your family gives you a leg up, say thanks 49

Personal wealth can certainly come in handy 52

Assume jobs of greater and greater responsibility 53

Always keep your bandwagon on the move 57

3 Polishing 61

Break out of your shell, but don't go too far 64

A good (or bad) speech makes a lasting impression 67

Invigorate your career with a touch of stagecraft 70

Reach people through their funny bones 72

Don't be shy about blowing your own horn 75

Write for publication, or have someone do it for you 77

Looks do matter, so spiff up your appearance 79

Establish a positive reputation, and keep it 83

If you want to be a leader, you must exude strength 85

4 Organizing 89

Find somebody who can teach you the ropes 93

Hire the best staff you can, and get out of its way95

Expect your loved ones to work alongside you 98

Count on friends for help and a fresh perspective 101

Keep expanding your professional network 104

Collect chits from anyone you can 106

Make alliances with anybody who can help you 108

5 Controlling 111

If you don't have to speak, keep your mouth shut 115

Stay upbeat, humble, and as cool as possible 118

Avoid controversy and extreme statements 120

Maintain your flexibility to keep up with the times 123

Don't obsess about popularity or margin of victory 126

Don't give a potential rival an inadvertent boost 128

If you have an addiction, battle it fiercely 130

Don't let your temper get the best of you 132

Mollify (or ignore) potential enemies when possible 134

If an enemy attacks, defend yourself vigorously 137

Certain enemies can actually help you advance 139

6 Maneuvering 143

Subtlety and charm are the keys to manipulation 146

If danger lurks, shift the onus to someone else 149

Spin your negatives into positives 152

Tell the truth whenever you can, but lie if you must 154

Labels can only weigh you down, so avoid them 157

Cut ties with any ally who becomes a liability 159

If success hinges on making a deal, make it 162

If the rules are slanted against you, change them 166

7 Succeeding 169

Realistic analysis is always better than blind faith 173

A resilient spirit can overcome any setback 176

You can still reach your goal at an advanced age 179

Intelligence and skill do not guarantee success 181

Timing will often be beyond your control 184

Acknowledge the importance of pure, blind luck 186

Don't fall victim to jealousy and envy 190

Conduct yourself with grace, especially in defeat 192

Exult in your success, and do the best job you can 195

Recognize when it's time for you to leave the stage 198

Don't lose track of what's really important in life 200

Notes 205

Bibliography 217

Index 227

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