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Administrator pens a guide to surviving office politics


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Jack Godwin, chief international officer and director of global education at Sacramento State, is the author of the just-published The Office Politics Handbook: Winning the Game of Power and Politics at Work ($15.99 paperback, Career Press.)

“In today’s hypercompetitive job market, you have to be hardworking, smart and educated, but you also have to be politically astute. Fortunately, politics is a skill you can learn,” he says. “Nobody likes office politics, but everybody has to contend with them. This is a self-help book. The point isn’t to play dirty tricks on your co-workers but to understand and cope with office politics.”

Godwin, a political scientist, offers insider tips on how anyone can cultivate political skills, exercise power beyond his or her place on the organizational chart, defend against political attacks – and learn when to fight, when not to fight and when to lead.

The idea, he says, is to help people understand how they can influence important decisions and exert leadership that transcends an office, job title or power structure.

“This book is about a lot more than office politics. It’s about having more power in your life – on a human scale – with your boss, co-workers, friends or family members,” he says. “At some point, we’ve all been party to some sort of dispute or conflict that escalated and ended badly. We’ve replayed the scene in our head, thinking what we could have said and done differently.”

Godwin began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, West Africa. He holds a doctorate from the University of Hawaii and degrees from San Francisco State and UC Berkeley. He is a five-time Fulbright scholar and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He also is the author of Clintonomics: How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution, and The Arrow and the Olive Branch: Practical Idealism in U.S. Foreign Policy.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Dixie Reid