Survival of the Savvy

High-Integrity political tactics for career and company success

by Rick Brandon , Marty Seldman

Number of pages: 301

Publisher: Free Press

BBB Library: Communication, Personal Success

ISBN: 9780743262545

About the Authors

Rick Brandon : Rick Brandon Is the CEO of Brandon Partners, offering training courses


Marty Seldman : Marty Seldman is an Executive Coach, with a 35-year career in


Editorial Review

For most people, the words integrity and politics don’t mix. When we hear politics, we think of undesirable behavior such as manipulation, backroom deals, self-serving hidden agendas, bad-mouthing, or compromising values to get things done. Such behavior definitely exists, and has crushed many well-intentioned and capable professionals and leaders. But we invite you to consider this negative cluster of behaviors as only one type of politics. There are other positive and even productive types. Top executives have told us they want to ethically gain power, help their teams achieve greater influence and impact, and even take bold steps to rescue the political cultures of their companies. Becoming a steward for your organization’s overall political atmosphere is a provocative call to action. This vision of making organizational politics a personal virtue, a career management tool, a team development vehicle, and a cultural asset on the company balance sheet is at the heart of what you will learn here.

Book Reviews

"The book helps you determine your style and the style of people you work with. Then, the authors give many strategies to help you be effective in your organization."Society of Actuaries

"How did Amy get cheated out of credit for her good idea? Who stabbed Larry in the back at work? Power plays, turf battles, deceptions, and sabotages -- leave it to a couple of PhDs to bring the soap opera to the business book. Survival of the Savvy kicks off with a series of vignettes about average folks screwed at work. What follows is a methodical and sound study of politics in the workplace." Fast Company

"Survival of the Savvy, by Rick Brandon & Marty Seldman, describes politics as a continuum. On one end of the continuum (the non-political end) is the power of ideas. On the other side of the continuum (the extremely political side) is the power of people. Neither end is good; neither end is bad. They represent different approaches to getting work done. Any of us will drift along the continuum depending on the issue. We may not move much but depending on the context, we may shift our approach." Kathleen Barret

"The Power of Savvy style, however, balances the best of these two styles. Those who possess Power of Savvy style blend Power of Ideas assets of task competence, integrity, and respect for protocol with Power of Person strengths of image, influence, and power, which results in impact with integrity. Guided by ethics, these leaders not only get things done and gain influence, they also understand the range of political behaviors that occur within any organization. Through knowledge of political styles, leaders can manage their own style limitations, influence others by predicting their attitudes and behavior, and protect themselves by assessing political styles before taking action." SmartPros

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

People view power as residing in their performance. They devote more energy, and time to the power derived from work. This substance-power focus can be quantitative, or qualitative.

People should be are more willing to admit their mistakes and that they don’t know everything, so that they can learn.

People should show a can-do attitude that translates into steadfastly looking for ways to achieve their ends

Unlike left-siders, people who value honesty and integrity so highly that they may prematurely, blurt out everything on their minds. The right-side Power of Person style know that naively revealing everything on your mind can hurt someone’s feelings or can give the upper hand to someone you should not trust.

Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are Power of Person team leaders who used their influence to forge positive social change, proving that power and integrity are not mutually exclusive.