Survival of the Savvy


"Politics are a reality in any organization but as this terrific book shows, you don't have to throw your ethics and integrity out the window to master the game. Brandon and Seldman's fresh approach to a taboo topic is as entertaining as it is inspiring. Survival of the Savvy will teach you how to avoid the ego trips and journey with others to greatness." Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and Customer Mania!

"Brandon and Seldman, two clever writers, give a lifeline to anyone treading water or trying synchronized swimming in the corporate shark tank... They fill their book with practical, tactical tips to help protect their readers' assets." Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

“Survival of the Savvy is a critically important book for the new era of business! Leaders need to learn how to win in a world that is both ultra-competitive on the business side and ultra-sensitive to issues involving ethics.” Marshall Goldsmith, coauthor of The Leader of the Future

Survival of the Savvy can be purchased at bookstores everywhere, as well as through, and through

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Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Two of the nation's most successful corporate leadership consultants now reveal their proven, systematic program for using the power of "high-integrity" politics to achieve career success, maximize your team's impact, and protect your company's reputation and bottom line.Each day in business, a corporate version of "survival of the fittest" is played out. Power plays, turf battles, deception, and sabotage block individuals' career progress and threaten companies' resources and results. After reading this book, you will never have to say, "I didn't see it coming."

In Survival of the Savvy, Rick Brandon and Marty Seldman provide ethical but street-smart strategies for navigating corporate politics to gain "impact with integrity". Organizational savvy is a mission-critical competency for leaders wanting to protect their companies.

The right balance of company politics is a vital health signal of corporate culture and image. This timely and timeless book provides cutting edge strategies and skills. As a steward for your company's welfare, you can increase your individual success while enhancing organizational outcomes.

Despite excellent intentions, many corporate employees, managers, and executives are too narrowly focused on their own facts, logic, and analysis. Assuming our "results will speak for themselves," we may become the victims of other "behind-the-scenes" forces operating in our organizations. We may not build enough support for our ideas, or be blind to hidden agendas, power relationships, and the politics with which decisions are sometimes made. We could be short-changing ourselves out of career opportunities or diminishing our influence and impact. We may not receive proper credit or recognition, and may even be vulnerable to sabotage by other more power-driven colleagues or bosses. The antidote -- the first half of Survival of the Savvy provides an individual level wake-up call.

The second half of the book sounds the alarm for managers through a leadership level wake-up call. As leaders, we are all stewards for our companies' resources, results, and reputations. We all know how these assets can be scorched by Overly Political individuals. So, Survival of the Savvy picks up where all other books on organizational politics stop -- by providing step-by-step recommendations for leaders to take the temperature of their organization's political health, building more savvy but ethical teams, and forging a high-integrity politics culture in their companies.

Survival of the Savvy will help you to adjust your attitudes about power and politics, confront your own naiveté about organizational dynamics that are often swept under the carpet, and recognize "tip-offs" that you may be vulnerable. The book's fast-paced design uses case studies, dynamic skill-based prescriptions, self-assessment tools, and a workshop-style "edu-taining" writing style to prevent you from being passed over, under-estimated, rendered expendable, or even purposely blocked from implementing your ideas or being promoted. Finally, you'll learn to extend your individual "impact with integrity" to gain greater influence for your entire team and, ultimately, to reshape the political terrain of the enterprise.

Birth of the Book

Marty Seldman & Rick BrandonRick Brandon and Marty Seldman met in the early 1980's while working at a national performance-improvement consulting firm that focuses on interpersonal business communication skills. In the 1990's, they parted to pursue separate niches, but continued to admire each other's respective expertise — Rick's in high-impact, strategic behavior-change seminars and Marty's in executive coaching for top managers. As Rick cultivated a reputation for fast-paced corporate skill-building workshops and energetic keynote presentations, Marty became the "turn-around guru" for derailed or blocked careers and gathered empirical data on executive success and derailment factors.

In 2000 a client asked Rick for a development program to help middle managers become more savvy as they made a career turn into executive ranks. Rick reasoned that leaders need such insight and ethical politics skills before getting into career trouble that might require executive coaching. The two former colleagues hooked up again, adapted Marty's consulting findings about corporate political savvy, and added concrete, street-smart "Savvy Skill Sets." The result was a high-impact, "edu-taining" workshop called Organizational Savvy: Avoiding Political Blind Spots, now a cornerstone of many corporations' leadership development programs.

Many clients have hailed Seldman's and Brandon's work on organizational savvy as a vital competency for today's complex leadership and organizational challenges. Therefore, the two decided to spread the visibility of organizational savvy by applying their successful "best of both worlds" coaching and training collaboration to the writing of Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success (Free Press, 2004).