The Politics of Promotion Book Summary - The Politics of Promotion Book explained in key points
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The Politics of Promotion summary

Bonnie Marcus

How High-Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead

4.1 (30 ratings)
14 mins

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"The Politics of Promotion" by Bonnie Marcus explores why women struggle to climb the corporate ladder and provides actionable advice to overcome barriers and achieve success in the workplace.

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    The Politics of Promotion
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    Job advancement is highly political – even more so if you’re a woman.

    You perform well at work. Your projects all receive high praise from your boss. Yet, when your next promotion opportunity comes along, you’re left empty handed. Why?

    Workplaces are highly political environments, not meritocracies. Advancement in the business world requires not only skill and competence, but also political savvy.

    Politically savvy people know how to subtly work the system. They are conscious of their surroundings, and can easily identify which stakeholders and relationships are important for their success, using this knowledge strategically in order to get ahead.

    It all starts with building good relationships with those in power, that is, the ones who have influence over the decisions that will affect your career trajectory.

    Without this political savvy, you can deliver great results time and time again and still be passed over for promotion. It could be that your colleague, who, despite being less competent, still got the promotion you think you deserved, simply bonded with the people who had influence over the decision of who to promote.

    The need to bond with important stakeholders is clear enough. But that’s easier said than done for women in the workplace, as company culture and politics today are still biased against them.

    Even if a company has made it clear in its guidelines that all employees are to be treated equally, women still face challenges when it comes to building workplace relationships.

    For example, a woman in a team mostly comprising men probably won’t get invited to weekend fishing trips or Monday night ball games. It won’t necessarily be out of malice, but simply because she is a woman, and her colleagues assume that she wouldn’t be interested in these activities or wouldn’t fit in.

    But if she’s excluded from theses outings, she’s also excluded from the important conversations and bonding opportunities that come with them. As a woman, you have to be creative in forging bonds with the men in these networks, even though they might not make an effort to do the same.

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    What is The Politics of Promotion about?

    The Politics of Promotion (2015) offers insights into the ways women can prime themselves for promotion in any line of work. Filled with actionable tips and strategic career advice, it provides the political savvy you need to maneuver within the workplace and secure your next promotion.

    Who should read The Politics of Promotion?

    • Women who want to move up the career ladder
    • Anyone interested in the politics and dynamics of high-pressure workplaces

    About the Author

    Bonnie Marcus has more than 20 years of management experience in executive positions in start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She is the founder and president of Women’s Success Coaching, which is dedicated to assisting women in advancing their professional careers.


    Bonnie Marcus: The Politics of Promotion copyright 2015, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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