Organizational Politics Ethical Leadership for Corporate Performance Teamwork and Career Success

Political Savvy: Book Reviews and Testimonials

Systematic Approaches to Leadership Behind-the-Scenes

Reviews and Testimonials on the book - Political Savvy

"DeLuca has created a smooth flowing work that delivers what it promises: a systematic approach to being an effective, ethical, behind-the-scenes leader. Must reading for the savvy and unsavvy, alike"

Stern's HR Management Review

"The principles from this book have been essential in helping our MBA students understand how to become impact players in their own organizations, no matter what level they are at."

Stewart Friedman, Ph.D., Founding Director of the
Leadership Program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

A great book ... It captures the essence of what leaders do when nobody's looking."

Kathleen Morris
Managing Director, Delta Consulting

I wish I had this book early in my career... It's the first gift I gave my youngest son before he took a job after graduating from college, and I gave copies to my two older sons, as well.

Judge Richard Klein
Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia

An excellent book for new and experienced managers alike. It takes readers beyond the negative stereotypes of organizational politics and shows them how to get involved in making changes in their organizations.

Stephen Stumpf, Ph.D.
Dean of Professional Development, Booze-Allen & Hamilton, Inc.

“At last, a thoroughly researched, user-friendly, step- by- step guide to becoming a political savvy manager. Political savvy, according to the author, is the art of "ethically building a critical mass of support for an idea you care about." Other books describe and explain the problems created by political behavior at work. This one tells executives what to do, starting tomorrow morning, to overcome these problems and make constructive change happen." It's the book Machavelli might have written if his Prince had been an ethical straight-shooter committed to doing good works. A "must read" for every principled executive with a positive agenda, an open mind, some analytic skills, and enough self-discipline to think first and act later.

According to Dr. Deluca, political savvy is a learnable skill. Learning is a two-step process. The first is to adopt a "savvy" attitude. Consciously decide that you want to become an able, ethical player. Don't be afraid to lead. The second is to learn and practice some time-tested rules for "working the human system" to bring about positive change.

The first part of the book deals with step one--attitude adjustment. Deluca contends that "the savvy attitude is the single most important ingredient in becoming politically savvy." Two "blind spots" block many otherwise highly motivated executives from meeting this test. One is the `moral block; the other is "the rational block"

The moral block is the widely-held belief that there is something inherently wrong with "playing politics" at work. De Luca explains why this belief is unfounded. He points out that political behavior can be bad or good, depending on why and how it's used. Influencing the organization is what most managers are hired to do. Executives with savvy attitudes explicitly recognize this responsibility. They put the organization's interest first, operate above-board, and make every effort to avoid anything that smacks of manipulation.

The rational block is the widely held belief that a sound technical argument supported by facts and logic should carry the day. Clinging to this belief in the face of mountains of contrary evidence is unproductive. It is established science that different people perceive the world differently. One well-intended manager's perfectly rational proposal may appear to another as a politically motivated fairy tale." Equally, important, different people have different personal and professional agendas. Recognizing differences and molding individual agendas to better align them with company priorities is an essential management task.

The remainder of the book describes and explains how savvy managers "work the human system" to gain support for the ideas they care about. It begins with a easy-to-follow case study that clears up any residual ambiguity about what it means to become politically savvy and showcases the basic tools and skills used by master players. The following chapters build on this material. They describe how to systematically map and analyze the political landscape, develop supporting coalitions, formulate strategy, sidestep hazards, link agendas, and use group settings to build momentum for the desired change. Every topic is presented as though the author really wants readers to understand and act on insights and expertise that he has gained from nearly twenty years of studying and teaching about organization politics. When you read it, you'll quickly understand why Political Savvy is used by leading business schools and major corporations to teach managers how become more effective leaders.

At Fordham, for some years we have wanted to teach our MBA students how to become influential managers who are recognized for their ability to work within the system to help their organizations make good things happen. We held off because no textbook was available. Joel Deluca's book fills this need. Our students swear by it. So will you.”

Marta Mooney
Fordham University Professor
Graduate School of Business

Political Savvy is the single best book I've read on the human side of leading change. Many of my clients have benefited from Joel's pragmatic approach to making change happen.

Robert Bruce Shaw, Ph.D., Managing Principle,
Princeton MCG Consulting Author of Trust in the Balance, 1998

Named as one of the ten best career books of the decade.

New York Post 2000

“This book really impressed me, and I am in business 35 years in New York City. Politics is a necessary fact in business although many business people will deny this. Joel Deluca emphasizes this and takes the position that within the politics of organizations the ethical principles that drive individual behavior in large measure also drives the outcome. He very astutely identifies a range of personality types and then proceeds to illustrate how effective genuinely ethical business tactics are to advancing individual goals as well as those of the business.

This book should be required study for business school students. I have seen business to business relations go from a handshake is a deal to contracts, in many cases, are not good enough to insure compliance with agreements. Relations among co-workers within organizations, the focus of the book, has not faired better as people spend far more time protecting their job or complicating other's job, than advancing the collective interests of the enterprise. Ethics, in the current business climate are, for the most part, not much more than the expedient adjustments among conflicting interests and justice then becomes substantially in the interests of the strong. Political Savvy powerfully illustrates, with real world examples, that such an understanding of ethics in business is ultimately ineffectual and that unyielding ethical behavior is really the winning strategy.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in sustained advancement in a business career. I felt his message was so important to the business world that I did the audio version of the Political Savvy book for him at cost instead of charging normal price.”

Eric Wood
President - Voice Factory International

"Political Savvy helped me because I have a tendency to be very direct ... and it doesn't always work. I'm in the financial unit and responsible for making a profit. It solidified the fact that you do need to work through other people. It brought it home to me - you need to have others help others all for the benefit of the company."

Phyllis H. Geans, Manager,
Business & Operations Support, Entergy Texas

“If you are already savvy, this book will help you fine tune your style and if you are not the approach, strategy and tactics discussed will give you the means to improve your odds in the political jungle. I give Political Savvy 5 Stars.

Audra Poole
Charleston Regional Business Journal

"I began using Political Savvy as a coaching tool several years ago and find it equally applicable to first time managers and senior executives."

Anita Jensen. Ph.D.,
Vice President Executive Development, Citibank

"Political Savvy has been very helpful because my team carries out a lot of change (IT Support Services). It helps identify who we should talk to and ways to communicate that change within our organization."

Sheila W. Green, Director of IT Support Services
Cardinal Health

"Understanding the perceptions and reluctance many have to being Politically Savvy has been tremendously beneficial to myself and my team. Dr. DeLuca's insight regarding how facts that support a new idea are 'Necessary but not sufficient' speaks volumes to the work that my team does at NASA. There are a wealth of great ideas at NASA with supporting facts to justify them, but they are not sufficient to take them beyond the idea stage. It takes Political Savvy to understand how the idea supports the NASA mission."

Stephen A. Gonzalez, Project Manager

“[FC Recommends Political Savvy: A Systematic Approach to Leadership Behind the Scenes, by Joel DeLuca.] A step by step manual for exercising influence beyond your authority. “

Fast Company Magazine, April/May 1998

Joel DeLuca provides a wonderful case for recognizing human nature, and making a positive change in one’s outlook…

"The book is loaded with insight and strategy that can be applied immediately. The structure of the book includes stories for the right-brained reader and strong conceptual details with charts, graphs, and maps for the left-brained reader.”

Deanna Bryce, LeaderStrength Systems, Inc.

“ presents an excellent set of actions/behaviors that would collectively further anyone’s leadership or organizational agenda, and I really appreciate the straightforward writing…”

Barbara Beizer
Learning & Leadership Development
Freddie Mac

“I have just retired after 32 years in a major Fortune 10 company and I have to commend Joel DeLuca on the excellence of his book. I think the tools he provides are of outstanding practical value and highly useable on a day to day basis. But I think his emphasis on the ethical nature of savvy work is critical. His description of Machs or Machiavellis who seek power only for its own sake to advance themselves, is extremely realistic, convincing and a challenge to principle people to take back organization politics from the pecking order obsessives and make organizations avowed purposed a central guiding light.”

Reader from

The class sessions based upon the book were such a hit in our Management of Technology program for engineers that we have now incorporated it permanently into the curriculum. This is a must read for all practicing technologists, engineers and scientists.

Dwight L. Jaggard, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Graduate Education & Research,
School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania

“During the course of my career, I have worked in every size organization from the federal government to major corporations to small businesses - some of these with seemingly little politics and others as political as they come. No matter what size organization you are in, I would recommend that you put Political Savvy on your "must read" list. How often do workers, whether they are managers or worker bees, find themselves unable to move ahead because they are blocked by organization politics?” … ”This book can make leaders and winners of almost everyone. Political Savvy has many practical ideas and tools to let all of us move through those politically sensitive situations without making our colleagues feel we've stepped on their toes. You don't have to be a "shark" to get ahead and there are ways of even using "shark repellent." The book is a great tool for making the impact you want and gaining career success. It's a quick read though you may want to read it again and again. Don't skip the beginning chapters because they explore some of the basic terms you will find invaluable once you get to the proven techniques used by the politically savvy.”

Reader on Amazon

"I consider you [Joel DeLuca] a seminal thinker in leadership and organizational development - I can't tell you how often and how much I refer to your 'organizational mapping' concept."

John Baldoni, Author
How Great Leaders Get Great Results

…”I’ve given these books to the Head of the Investment Banking division and the Head of HR.” {company name withheld} …”is a politically intense, at times ruthless, environment, the book has been very helpful for coaching clients on how to navigate the politics in an authentic, ethical way.” 

Carlos R., VP

 “Anyone involved in the leadership aspect of the business world would do well to read Political Savvy. It provides a fruitful strategy for survival in a macrocosmic world of never ending change and chaos. These winds of change have created a frontier of challenges and work environments that, before this time, never existed. The practice of Political Savvy can really make a difference in the effectiveness of an organization. It's excellent reading for anyone serious about surviving in the corporate world. A ten star book!”

Amazon Reader, Kate - Las Vegas

“Political Savvy will help you ride the corporate rapids” … “Deluca helps us see the political landscape of organizational life very clearly and positively. The key for all of us to understand, which Deluca points out expertly in this book, is that "political" is not a four-letter word - and is not necessarily synonymous with "devious", "selfish" or "deceitful"! It's O.K to want to have influence - most of us do! The key is what is your motivation and how you go about it. Most of us have good intentions that our organizations would applaud, but we are appallingly lacking in the ability to carry through. Political Savvy is a wonderful lesson in understanding that organizations are inhabited by people - and with a little strategizing and planning, we have the ability to influence them - and, therefore, become "impact players" in our organizations!"

Reader from Amazon

 “A profound and informative look into the corporate mindset of today. An ethical approach to the spirit that dominates a workplace. For anyone interested in surviving in the corporate world this book is "A Must." It is a handbook for success in the often frustrating and chaotic world of the corporation. I am grateful for the valuable insight it has given me. I found it, not only enjoyable reading, but most valuable as well. My gratitude to Dr. Deluca for a very worthwhile and informative creation!”

William Furman - Henderson, NC

“Political Savvy is a "must read" for anyone who has ever thought or been told that office "politics" are bad and to be avoided at all costs! Dr. Deluca provides wonderful insight into managing the "machs" and the bosses, that most of us in large organizations have encountered, who must win at all costs. By providing the rationality of the actors in organizational dramas, the book provides practical, easy-to-use methods that enable the reader to increase the probability of creating "win/win" situations that are ethical and satisfying. The book is a permanent tool on my office bookshelf and I have given a copy to one of my friends and another to one of my co-workers!”

Mike Morris – Havertown, PA

“A must for corporate managers at all levels” … “This book touches the wellspring of success in relationships in corporate entities. The blend of understanding dynamics and learning practical skills makes this book one I will return to many times for personal grounding and for teaching others in my work.”

Reader from Amazon - Philadelphia

“Mr. DeLuca has written a wonderfully insightful manual for success in the work place. A lightning fast and enjoyable read, this book will soften the battle scarred heart of even the most jaded and cynical Dilbert fans. The topic is the politics of the workplace, which is undoubtedly the leading cause of employee dissatisfaction everywhere.

Joel DeLuca provides a wonderful case for recognizing human nature, and making a positive change in one's outlook to cherish the irrationality of the human organization that presently causes so much frustration and angst for the vast majority." ... "This book provides some practical relief from the pressure of organizational politics, as well as a toolkit to help the reader participate in the workings in a proactive and benevolent way.

This book is the culmination of a very sincere scientific investigation, presented in a manner that is not overly academic."

Pat O'Reilly – New York City

“Political Savvy was among a handful of the most insightful, and eye opening business books I've read. It answers the age old question of how do I get results while doing the right thing. The counter-intuitive approach is brilliant; more so, after reading the book, I've tried the concepts and they are right on target!”

Robert Reiss
President, Reissource - New York City

“…this has been by far one of the most popular books with my MBA students. DeLuca presents useful and practical approaches to becoming and ethical political player in organizations. Too long the subject has been viewed as dirty, taboo. DeLuca brings politics out of the closet and gives readers practical tools for understanding their own political styles and how to work ethically and effectively with others.”

Professor Chris Poulson
CSU Pomona – Claremont, CA

“The blend of understanding dynamics and learning practical skills makes this book one I will return to many times for personal grounding and for teaching others in my work.”

Reader on Amazon

"I’m a student at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Graduate School attending their 2005/2006 Executive Leadership course. Part of my growth and development is to read three books on leadership based on what my identified weaknesses. Needless to say I was very weak on Office Politics or Political Savvy strengths.

I selected your book out of hundreds I could have read to help me with my political savvy and I must say I have learned a lot in last several weeks just from reading your book. In fact I’m not sure why Office Politics or Political Savvy courses are not required in college, this is the kind of stuff that is really needed if one is to advance in the work place and or get things accomplished. For too long, I believed that key decisions were made by intelligent rational individuals. I see now that may not be the case.

I’m proud to say now after reading your book, I’ve gone from an “F” to at least “C”, it is my hope that in the next 12 months I can apply some of the concepts and strategies and apply them to my situation and become a more political savvy employee. Great book and thanks for educating me."

Clyde Reid

"[The Political Savvy book] me a practical way to map my environment. I was really becoming a cynic of beating my head against the system. I work in the government and there tends to be more bureaucracy to break through but I need to learn to survive in this environment because I’ve been here too long to branch out into non-government environment. I see your book as showing the big picture on getting your change ideas implemented. I have never been really good with people and felt reassured that only have strong interpersonal skills don’t help you in this process. I know I need to become better with people skills but this book gives me the focus I need to know who to try to influence."

Louis Reid, Project Lead, Quality Production & Logistics, US Navy



Order this book today to learn how to speed innovation success and discover the secret tools from the trenches of those who become respected leaders.

See Seminar Testimonials 

Web Special!

Order Political Savvy Product Packages and save!


Save from 15% to 35% over retail prices and purchase additional products only available on this website!



Don't Forget these Corporate Services:
Seminars (1 hr to 1wk)
Custom Training Courses



Gain the proven benefits from the Savvy Advantage using various forms of Political Savvy research, books and seminars.

Mastering organizational politics through Political Savvy is a proven ethical leadership approach that any organization and any individual can use to both influence positive change in an organization and achieve career success at the same time; even when negative organizational politics are severe.


Evergreen Business Group. All rights reserved. | Privacy | Return Policy | Contact Us | Savvy IQ