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Dan Rust
Your Pitch

For more than 20 years I have been helping people develop the skills, habits and mindset needed to drive high-trajectory careers.

HarperCollins is publishing my new book, "Workplace Poker" on March 15. The book is a compilation of the best ideas and juiciest stories related to career success.

Your listeners will be amused, horrified and educated by the stories, and take away practical “real world” insights they can apply to their career plans immediately.

The essential premise of my work is: Talent, ambition and hard work are usually not enough to drive a high-trajectory career. A careful study of those who have driven their own fast track career growth reveals an additional set of subtle competencies. This "game under the game" includes mastery of corporate anthropology, positive office politics, self-assessing one's own "blind spots," and a broad range of other skills, habits and mindset.

Some great questions to ask in an interview would be:

  1. What do you mean by the “game under the game” which you refer to in your book?
  2. What are some of the unique challenges faced by younger workers today and they enter the workforce, and what can they do to accelerate their career prospects?
  3. What about older workers, what can they do to keep the momentum in the last 5 or 10 years of their career?
  4. What about people who hate the idea of office politics? How can they get good at something they disdain?
  5. What are some of the most significant trends today in terms of career growth and management?

Workplace Poker was written for talented, hard-working people who have been pushing themselves, doing everything “right” to advance their careers, but things just aren’t working out for them. Either their career isn’t advancing as rapidly as they think it should, or as fast as they want it to. Or maybe their career is even backsliding in spite of all their hard work. This book opens their eyes to a whole new set of career advancement skills and strategies, because for most people hard work and talent isn’t enough.

In the book I describe my own personal epiphany, being a hard working employee and watching as others who were clearly less “talented” advanced faster. And as a corporate trainer, I’ve spent decades helping people learn all of the standard workplace productivity skills. But I have seen over and over again that high-trajectory careers are often not correlated with hard work and talent. But that’s not to say they are accidental or random.

When you carefully “unpack” career fast-trackers, and sort out the ones who have benefited from family money, connections, education, etc. – you’re left with a small group of people who have clearly DRIVEN their exceptional career success, and those people have a number of things in common. Originally I set out to develop a training program focused those commonalities, the skills that ARE correlated with fast track career success, and that program eventually morphed into this book.

Reader comments Video:

Career Adviser / Corporate Training Leader

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 and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Book Review from the Library Journal:

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

Learning to play the “game under the game” is how Rust, Frontline Learning founder and a 30-plus-year corporate training consultant, views the compilation of strategies and skills necessary to make decisions and achieve goals. The tools and techniques described here do not replace hard work, talent, or ambition, nor do they involve unethical manipulation. Instead, Rust makes the “game under the game” transparent, giving practical, executable insight into reading people, navigating workplace politics, identifying blind spots, improving interpersonal communication, executing self-promotion, developing emotional resilience, and managing energy to go the distance. 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. VERDICT Written particularly for students of business and workplace culture, the author’s observations and strategies will undoubtedly speak to those reviewing a career misstep or contemplating a career change as well.

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