The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle

The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle

by Kathleen Kelly Reardon
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The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
In 1513, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince, the classic work on how to acquire and maintain power through the ruthless use of insidious politics. Machiavelli argued that when it comes to politics, morality is passé, and hypocrisy and deceit can be eminently useful. Nearly 500 years later, management expert Kathleen Kelley Reardon introduces her own book on the subject of politics and how to use political techniques to get ahead. She details the indispensable political skills that ambitious individuals need to move up inside any modern organization, and explains how to use them effectively and ethically. getAbstract appreciates Reardon's comprehensive understanding, savvy and wisdom concerning the business world's most nuanced and little understood subject: personal politics. Many dislike politics and find its practice unseemly. However, as Reardon writes, without it, nothing gets done and no one gets ahead. Once you accept this fact, learning how to use politics morally and advantageously makes perfect sense.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book helped me discover quite a bit about myself. I will not claim that it propelled me to the top of my organization, but I do credit it for helping me reflect on how I was being seen by my peers and my organizations decision makers during an evaluation period. By reflecting on my style and by recognizing the style of my supervisors I was able to change my situation and succesfully compete for a position that I desired.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To my knowledge, this book is the first thorough look at the subject of office politics. As such it will surely stand as the foundation of all work in this field for many years to come. The book obliquely alludes to the secret fraternity handshakes that men use to identify each other as 'brothers' and often help to accelerate the formation of relationships. Instead, Professor Reardon refers to 'The Secret Handshake' as 'the acknowledgment one in-group insider gives another . . . .' which is the broader form of this phenomenon. Those who like to work the political side of any situation hardly need any more tips. The downside of this book is that the moderately adept influencers will become more skillful in their apple polishing. The upside of the book is that those who are getting creamed by office politics will have a better idea of how to defend themselves by finding environments where they can prosper. This appropriateness of this book will be as controversial as Machiavelli's Prince has been. In my view, this book has both great potential for harm and for good. It all depends on who uses it . . . and for what purpose. Unfortunately, the author has framed the book in terms of personal career advancement. That will increase the likelihood of misuse. She is aware of the issue and addresses it in the book, but I think her good intentions exceeded her effectiveness in implementing those intentions. Basically, this book is all about ways to overcome the communications stall. There is much fine work in here on that subject, which is why I graded the book at five stars. If I were grading the book for its likely impact on the effectiveness of organizations, I would rate it vastly lower. So if you see this book starting to show up in your office, beware! The best parts of the book come in two quizzes you can take to determine your own leadership and negotiating styles. These quizzes are very well designed, and I found the results very valuable for me. In particular, it helped me to understand how my own style differs from those of others I see by articulating the alternative styles in good depth. Then, Professor Reardon provided good information on what types of organizations would make best use of your or my style. She also points out ways that we can shift our styles slightly to make them better fit the circumstances we are in. At that point in reading this book, you would be well advised to read NLP Business Masterclass for specific ideas for shifting your effectiveness. Your understanding of the psychological bases for the points she makes would be greatly expanded by reading Robert Cialdini's classic book on this area, Influence. When you read that book, you will be much impressed by how he handles the ethical dimensions of helping people to be more persuasive. A great strength of this book is also to be found in the examples. Professor Reardon conducted hundreds of interviews and discussions as background for this book. Unlike most books about working, this one has as many examples from women leaders as from men. As a result, female readers will find much of relevance for their specific situations of how to exercise influence in