C’mon you and I both know those guys who have the huge titles, huge offices and those huge paychecks – and yet they’re really not that special – I mean we’re as smart as them, right? So why then, do their careers blast off and the rest of us are still on hold saying, “Houston we’ve got a problem”?
I’ll tell you why – they know how to work it – really work it. They have the art of sucking up, down. They know how to go beyond meeting expectations at the meetings. And they know that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
David D’Alessandro – the former Chair and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services has just written, “EXECUTIVE WARFARE: 10 Rules of Engagement For Winning Your War For Success”and I gotta tell you – I loved it! D’Alessandro is quite the 4-star general when it comes to writing about career wars. EXECUTIVE WARFARE follows "BRAND WARFARE"and "CAREER WARFARE"all published by McGraw-Hill.
He has a great way of writing: engaging, entertaining, and energizing. You feel like he’s right there with you sharing a drink and pouring out all the secrets of the suite life. He’s handing you the golden keys and all you have to do is turn and voila, MY BRILLIANT CAREER: “Honey, let’s get the Veyron AND the Phantom”!
The book is chocked full of great examples of his rise to the top – full of hysterical mistakes and brutal coups. This book is for those senior executives on the cusp of greatness. For those of you who know or who think it’s too late to make it to the corner office – here’s the mirror: the true reflection of you – of what you did wrong, how you should have played it and how there may still be time to get in there and play to win.
Read an excerpt from EXECUTIVE WARFARE: 10 Rules of Engagement For Winning Your War For Success.
Three questions for author David D’Alessandro:
There’s a fine line between being politically savvy and just sucking up – what’s the difference?
DD: Sucking up is easy and takes little work except to memorize phrases for use with people of influence at the right time. Plus it often backfires. Ultimately nobody likes a suck-up. It is more dangerous not to be politically savvy. That is, to know how you are thought of, who your allies are your rivals, your enemies the true and perhaps hidden decision makers --It is endless but not to know is hopeless.
You write, “I don’t believe you have to be devious to succeed” - but you really have to be an “operator” willing to take your adversaries down - many people may think that’s being devious - isn’t it?
DD: You only have to take your adversaries down if they are acting in a manner to damage you. What is fair is fair. If they are trying to compete unfairly through deceit, lies or and other unethical behavior, you have every right to "take them down." And you can do it in a businesslike and professional manner. That’s not devious, that's survival.
"Executive Warfare" involves the spouses – what’s your best advice to spouses of those hoping to make it to the top?
DD: Be supportive to your spouse, conduct your life in a scrupulous manner, don't gossip, don't socialize with company spouses, don't ever talk to anyone about your spouse's career to anyone in the company, keep your political and social commentary to your self except for family and non-company friends. Have your own life, stay out of the way and tell him/her to do the same about your career.
For more check out: executivewarfare.com