I wrote THE SECRET HANDSHAKE and IT’S ALL POLITICS because there is no such thing as an effective business, nonprofit, or government manager or leader who doesn’t know the ins and outs of politics. Politics, especially the interpersonal dynamics behind-the-scenes, is a part of how things get done in every organization.
My first book was about persuasion, as was much of my early research. But aptly choosing persuasion strategies depends on understanding the political culture in which those strategies may be applied.
Power is not as important as a significant knowledge of politics. The former does not last without the latter. No one is above politics. We are immersed in it. Those who overestimate their political acumen pay a price. Sometimes it takes a while. But it’s inevitable.
It’s important to encourage people of high moral character to learn about politics so that those at the other end of the continuum don’t come out ahead. Aristotle believed people could only defend themselves from sophistry if they understood the ways in which they might be duped. Nothing has changed in that regard.