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Workplace Poker: Are You Playing the Game, or Just Getting Played?

March 29, 2016


Career advisor Dan Rust reaches readers to get out of their own way at work and master workplace politics.

“Rust makes the ‘game under the game’ transparent, giving practical, executable insight… Weaving real-life stories in a smart, informal, no-nonsense style, from individuals who have applied these strategies within their own career trajectories, Rust highlights their application and increases the reader’s understanding.”
—Library Journal

“I recommend reading it once for fun, because the humor and compelling stories are entertaining. Then read it a second time for your professional development. Because the strategies and insights can definitely accelerate your career.”
—Connie Edelman, Finance Director

Many people start their careers assuming that hard work, talent, and ambition are all they’ll need to succeed—and sometimes that is all it takes. But we all know many talented, hardworking people who find themselves struggling to attain significant career progress, only to become frustrated when they see others achieving exceptional success, especially when those people are less talented, hardworking, or ethical.

In Workplace Poker: Are You Playing the Game, or Just Getting Played? (Harper Business; March 15, 2016), Dan Rust demonstrates how to master the game of office politics to take your career to the next level. By thinking more deeply and strategically about your situation, he demonstrates, you can learn to get out of your own way and survive any obstacle that comes along.

Rust goes into detail exploring the areas where people tend to have the most trouble in their professional lives, such as understanding a workplace’s specific culture and the office politics that go along with that, taking responsibility for career setbacks—and how to move beyond them, the tricky balance of effective self-promotion, and lots more. Each chapter concludes with exercises that everybody can use to evaluate and accelerate their professional progress: Think Now, with questions to ask yourself about where your career stands; Act Soon, with steps you can implement immediately; and Long-Term Thoughts and Action Points, with ideas for strategies and good habits to develop to better master the “game under the game.”

Full of anecdotes about people who have successfully implemented Rust’s strategies (as well as what-not-to-do examples of those who have made mistakes), Workplace Poker is a sharp and funny read as well as exceptionally useful. Putting forth valuable insights, strategies, and perspective on reading people and navigating office politics, Rust offers an indispensable guide for talented and ambitious individuals to find the success they deserve.


Dan Rust is the founder of Frontline Learning, an international publisher of corporate training resources. His award-winning keynote speeches and workshops focus on employee engagement, productivity, and career management. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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