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Publisher's Summary

This ground-breaking work offers access to the boardroom and advice on getting noticed, networking, persuasion, and mastering the art of quid pro quo.

A professor of management and highly sought-after consultant, Kathleen Kelley Reardon has worked with many of the nation's leading corporations. Drawing on interviews with executives from Fortune 500 companies, she has compiled essential advice on how to break into the inner circle of power at the top of the corporate ladder. Many books cover practical business knowledge, but few address the issue of interpersonal skills. The ever-changing circle of power within a corporation may not necessarily follow the same guidelines it publicly professes. The most talented employee isn't always the one promoted; there is an intangible quality the upper echelon look for. It may not come naturally, but it can be learned.

Kathleen Kelley Reardon's guide to organizational politics gives you the navigational skills needed to reach the top. Narrator Ruth Ann Phimister will leave you feeling as if you've had an enlightning conversation with a caring mentor.

©2000 Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Ph.D. (P)2001 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Secret Handshake

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Thought is good - Story examples bad

The author has the right idea with chapters like "reading between the lines" however she seems to strongly insist you should change who you are to succeed. For example in chapter 8 she insist the best way a CEO should correct his COO is to write a 'fake speech' about how a proper COO should preform and then email it to that person? If the CEO has a clear vision why would that leader not attempt to lead, coach, guide this person toward success? Other examples include embarrassing employees at parties or not including said employee in a yearly taken group photo? While I think these approaches may work in the short term, it has proven in companies like Bank of America (per Charles Schwab founder) it only leads to disaster.

A book I have received direction from that has benefitted me regarding vision, goal setting, enterprise building as well as achieving 'executive success' as the ' secret handshake' lays out is "HBR's 10 Must reads on Strategy".

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Fitting like a glove

This is by far the most impactful book I’ve listened to. I absolutely loved the content and examples.