Most people climbing the corporate ladder have their eyes set on entering the upper echelons of management, the inner circle, the select group of men and women who make the decisions, determine the direction of a company, and are well compensated for their efforts. But advice on how to break in is not outlined in employee handbooks, nor are the guidelines publicly stated. In fact, the implicit rules and agendas often run counter to a company's professed guidelines and values. In THE SECRET HANDSHAKE, top corporate consultant and USC management professor Kathleen Reardon explores and explains what the hidden rules are, and how to become one of the "ins" in corporate life rather than one of the also-rans. Based on hundreds of candid interviews with executives at Fortune 500 companies who have made the grade and become part of the inner circle, THE SECRET HANDSHAKE lays bare the unstated conventions that govern and shape corporate hierarchies.
Taking readers inside boardrooms to learn firsthand how the top decision-makers view and assess the employees under them, it offers invaluable advice on such career-building tactics and skills as getting noticed, networking, persuading others, knowing which battles to fight, and mastering the art of the quid pro quo. For all those who aspire to be part of the decision-making body of their organization, THE SECRET HANDSHAKE is the ultimate intelligence report on whom to trust and whom to watch out for, how to manage the inevitable conflicts that will arise, and how to read between the corporate lines.
KATHLEEN KELLEY REARDON, Ph.D., is a professor of management at the Marshall School of Business at USC, the author of several acclaimed business books, and a highly regarded consultant who has worked with Toyota, Xerox, AT&T, and other leading corporations. She lives in Palos Verdes, California.