Stealing the Corner Office Book Summary

stealing the corner office

Are you someone who is looking to climb the corporate ladder, but struggling? Why does it seem like others magically can get promotions, and you aren’t having the same luck?

You put in long hours, you get things done on time, you show passion in your work, and you are emotionally invested in the company. Why haven’t you been promoted yet?

Why does your co-worker who seemingly does less work get the promotion? What skills and strategies are they using which are helping progress their careers?

In Stealing the Corner Office: The Winning Career Strategies They’ll Never Teach You in Business School, by Brendan Reid, explores the dynamics of career advancement in Corporate America.

Stealing the Corner Office is a fantastic guide for advancing through the ranks in Corporate America. Reid, a seasoned executive, offers a collection of controversial yet effective tactics and strategies for people who want to learn the real secrets for moving up the corporate ladder.

The rest of the post includes a summary of Stealing the Corner Office, takeaways from Stealing the Corner Office, and a reading recommendation for you.

Why does it seem your manager is so incompetent? What did they do to get them to where they are? What strategies are they using that we can replicate and employ to take control of our career?

Book Summary of Stealing the Corner Office

Stealing the Corner Office is a playbook and how-to guide for advancing through the ranks in Corporate America.

Reid spent 15 years of his working career in middle management. During his time, he became frustrated with his lack of progression. Why was it that people who seemingly were less smart, less “hard-working”, and less reliable moving up the corporate ladder and not him?

He was practicing all of the conventional career tactics:

  • Being passionate about his work and ideas
  • Working to the point of exhaustion
  • Vocal and anxious to debate topics vigorously
  • Driven to deliver quarterly results
  • Emotionally invested int he company
  • Demanding of his employees and co-workers

He started to wonder, why wasn’t he the one being promoted and advancing in his career?

It turns out, conventional wisdom is not what will get you to the top of the corporate ladder – we must be tactical and smarter about your career goals and the strategy to achieve those goals.

In Corporate America, there are three players:

  • Incompetent Executives
  • Smart-but-Stationary Managers
  • Poor Souls

The Incompetent Executives are the people we loathe, but seemingly can’t crack the code of how they got to where they got.

Stealing the Corner Office uncovers the strategies of the Incompetent Executives, and how we as Smart-but-Stationary Managers or Poor Souls can change our daily actions at work to set ourselves up for advancement.

The 7 Tactics of Stealing the Corner Office

The majority of Stealing the Corner Office are the 7 tactics which can help you advance in your corporate career.

The 7 tactics of stealing the corner office are:

  • Never be passionate about your ideas
    • Your managers have other plans than to entertain your ideas.
  • Embrace the change everyone else hates
    • Your managers have a plan, and to be promoted, you’ll need to implement their plans successfully.
  • Learn to promote your products
    • Sales and marketing techniques can be used to sell yourself!
  • Avoid the farce of results orientation
    • Quality is usually more important than quantity.
  • Don’t be part of the herd
    • Be unique! Standing out will allow you to get noticed by upper management.
  • Find big problems to solve
    • If you can solve a $1,000 inefficiency, or $50,000 inefficiency, which help more to convince your manager you are able to take on more responsibility?
  • Don’t hold people accountable
    • Your work is your work. If others aren’t helping enough, this is their problem

These tactics are unconventional, and this is exactly the point. The traditional methods aren’t working today, and so it’s important to try alternative methods.

Reid walks you through different scenarios and stories which touch on all of the tactics listed above. While going through these scenarios and stories, you can relate and put yourself into the shoes of the managers and employees he describes.

Stealing the Corner Office is a great learning tool and guide to understanding the principles of advancing your career.

Takeaways from Stealing the Corner Office

With every book you read, it is a must to have takeaways and actionable items to implement in life.

The main takeaway from Stealing the Corner Office is how advancing in today’s corporate world is possible by working smarter, and not necessarily harder.

Trying to solve big problems, and falling in line will result in bigger and better responsibilities and promotions.

A secondary takeaway is how important it is to have a positive attitude, and look to be unique in your interactions and work. If you don’t try to stick out, someone else will pass you up for the next level role.

Our Recommendation for Stealing the Corner Office

Corporate and career success will not happen over night, but over time you can improve your situation and reach your goals. By staying consistent with your learning and reading, you will be able to achieve success.

You are in control of your destiny. You can cultivate a winning mindset which will lead to achievement and getting what you want.

If you are struggling to advance your career in Corporate America, I’d recommend you pick up a copy of Stealing the Corner Office.

Stealing the Corner Office will help correct your actions which are holding you back and get you on the path to management. I truly believe the strategies in Stealing the Corner Office will help you get to the next level.

Readers: are you looking to advance your career at work? Are you a natural leader or follower? Do you get frustrated by incompetent managers?