Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It

Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It

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Overview

Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It by David F. D'Alessandro

David D'Alessandro, Chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, is famous for his frankness and his ability to spot the weaknesses in conventional wisdom. In Career Warfare (McGraw-Hill, 12/26/03), this insider spells out the unwritten rules of organizational life, the real truths even the best boss won't tell you.

Author of the best-selling Brand Warfare (2001), D'Alessandro offers a keenly observant guide to the subtle reasons why ambitious people perish, stagnate, or flourish in any organization, large or small. Consider this classic nugget from Career Warfare: "It may shock you to learn that the people in a position to actually do something about your career do not think about you all the time. I guarantee that they think about you only one-tenth of one percent of the time you spend thinking about yourself."

D'Alessandro argues that if you want to get ahead, you have to make it easy for powerful people to trust you with new opportunities. You have to make a name for yourself and establish the kind of "personal brand" that commands respect. Of course, you also have to work hard and accomplish things; that goes without saying. But are you seen as honest? Focused? Fearless? Do you have a gift for making work fun for the people you manage? It is these qualities that will set you apart from your equally hard-working and accomplished peers.

Yes, there are a few dramatic moments of victory or stupidity in every career, but D'Alessandro says it is your day-to-day patterns of behavior that really determine whether you win or lose the career war. Seemingly insignificant decisions, such as whether to greet a security guard, drone on in a meeting, or keep a piece of information to yourself, can say everything about who you are. "It is the character you've demonstrated over the course of a thousand transactions that will shape your brand and prompt someone to take a chance on you -- or not."

Writing in a refreshing style peppered with vivid personal anecdotes and lessons big and small, D'Alessandro offers ten major rules for making the right kind of personal impression:

  • Rule 1: Try to Look Beyond Your Own Navel
  • Rule 2: Like It Or Not, Your Boss Is The Co-Author Of Your Brand
  • Rule 3: Put Your Own Boss On The Couch
  • Rule 4: Learn Which One Is The Pickle Fork
  • Rule 5: Kenny Rogers Is Right
  • Rule 6: It's Always Show Time
  • Rule 7: Make The Right Enemies
  • Rule 8: Try Not to be Swallowed by the Bubble
  • Rule 9: The Higher You Fly, The More You will Be Shot At
  • Rule 10: Everybody Coulda Been a Contender; Make Sure You Stay One

In Career Warfare, no organizational piety survives unscathed. A few of D'Alessandro's insights:

How organizations work: "The elders of the tribe eat first. And if you cannot accept that, there is only one thing to do: Start your own organization, so you'll be at the top of the food chain."

On bosses: "The fact of the matter is, all bosses will use you. In their eyes, you are primarily an instrument to help them further their own careers. The real question is whether or not you are smart enough to use them."

On working for a partnership: "Partnerships are a lot like college fraternities, in that they are able to convince the freshmen to do all kind of humiliating and self-destructive things because they want so badly to be a member of the club."

On understanding when it's time to leave a job: "Where ambitious people get a case of the stupids is by staying in a comfortable place long after they have already gained whatever knowledge and power they were going to gain."

On handling the press: "If you resent having journalists prying into your business, my advice is, get over it. In general, most journalists are ethical. If they are asking you questions you don't like, it is generally because they have a job to do."

On building a reservoir of goodwill: "Be generous with your time, money, power, insight, and efforts because you should be generous. But also be aware that one of the side effects of this generosity is that both you and your organization will have some insulation from the mistakes you will make down the road."

D'Alessandro's unique voice gives Career Warfare a refreshing bite that readers will remember from the day they first read it until they day they retire. That's a good thing, because as the author points out, even the best personal brand does not entitle you to let your guard down. At every phase of your career, you will need to defend your good name from the sniping of your enemies, the indifference or incompetence of your bosses, and your own worst impulses.

"You never reach a point where you are done justifying yourself," D'Alessandro writes.

Career Warfare shows you how to command respect at every stage of the game.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071417587
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date: 01/02/2004
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

David F. D'Alessandro is Chair- man and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services. D’Alessandro spearheaded John Hancock’s appearance on The New York Times list of the top 100 brands of the 20th century.




David F. D'Alessandro is Chair- man and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services. D’Alessandro spearheaded John Hancock’s appearance on The New York Times list of the top 100 brands of the 20th century.

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Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book delivers one of the most powerful insights you will ever collect in your life, and with incredible humor, too! I found this book extremely helpful in explaining what truly sets one individual apart from the next equally capable individual. Hard work is merely half of the game and this book shows you how to win the other half. This amazing book absolutely will give you an advantage over your competitors. The book was not penned specifically with the female audience in mind, but the lessons are so solid that they should be the framework of your overall career strategy. You can forge ahead with all the female specific tips and tactics you fancy, but trust that the branding war will always be the most important one to wage and win.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every business person needs a cranky mentor who speaks from vast experience and offers lessons and examples about the skills necessary to realize their ambitions in various business cultures. Author David F. D¿Alessandro is a marketing guru, and a skilled phrase maker and spin doctor. To his own surprise, he was offered a chair at the management table where the bottom line decisions get made on his way to becoming CEO of John Hancock Financial Services. In the framework of rules for personal branding and in the interest helping you play office politics successfully, D¿Alessandro spins dozens of yarns that bring context and reality to a subject that is often speculated about by authors who have never really achieved the success their books describe. His advice is ruthlessly honest, pointed, witty, precise and ripe with polished anecdotes. For this reason We recommend this book to business persons anywhere on the corporate ladder who suspect their battle plan may be ready for a few new moves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿m not much for career advice books, but I bought this book because I loved D¿Alessandro¿s first book, Brand Warfare. I¿m glad I did, because this is a real gem. It¿s a book that I¿d wish someone had given to me the day I entered the working world. And if you don¿t have patience for boring books, don¿t worry, this is a very fun read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Full of smart advice for the real world, not just another complilation of ego driven tales by an out-of-touch CEO. This book is full of advice that anyone can use. And it is a great read, instructive and entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone, especially those just entering the working world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'This is both a smart book and a very entertaining book. In addition to the often hilarious but useful stories, I loved the comparison the author makes between companies and towns. Anyone who has ever worked in a corporate setting knows that organizations are not rational. I loved the concept of workplaces as 'vertical villages' that D'Alessandro refers to, complete with a mayor, a planning board and a town drunk. This is a great book for recent and soon-to-be college graduates.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up figuring I might find a couple of tips to help me navigate office politics. What a surprise! I was totally blown away by the quality of the writing, the humor, and volume of valuable insights. I highly recommend this to anyone that has to work for a living.