David D'Alessandro, Chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, is famous for his frankness and his ability to spot the weaknesses in conventional wisdom. In Career Warfare (McGraw-Hill, 12/26/03), this insider spells out the unwritten rules of organizational life, the real truths even the best boss won't tell you.
Author of the ...show more best-selling Brand Warfare (2001), D'Alessandro offers a keenly observant guide to the subtle reasons why ambitious people perish, stagnate, or flourish in any organization, large or small. Consider this classic nugget from Career Warfare: ''It may shock you to learn that the people in a position to actually do something about your career do not think about you all the time. I guarantee that they think about you only one-tenth of one percent of the time you spend thinking about yourself.''
D'Alessandro argues that if you want to get ahead, you have to make it easy for powerful people to trust you with new opportunities. You have to make a name for yourself and establish the kind of ''personal brand'' that commands respect. Of course, you also have to work hard and accomplish things; that goes without saying. But are you seen as honest? Focused? Fearless? Do you have a gift for making work fun for the people you manage? It is these qualities that will set you apart from your equally hard-working and accomplished peers.
Yes, there are a few dramatic moments of victory or stupidity in every career, but D'Alessandro says it is your day-to-day patterns of behavior that really determine whether you win or lose the career war. Seemingly insignificant decisions, such as whether to greet a security guard, drone on in a meeting, or keep a piece of information to yourself, can say everything about who you are. ''It is the character you've demonstrated over the course of a thousand transactions that will shape your brand and prompt someone to take a chance on you -- or not.''
Writing in a refreshing style peppered with vivid personal anecdotes and lessons big and small, D'Alessandro offers ten major rules for making the right kind of personal impression: