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Quiz: Could You Be CEO?

How do you reach the top of a company? Sure, luck, timing and talent play a role, but so does "political savvy, agility in the use of power, and the ability to influence others," notes Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Ph.D., in her book "The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle" (Currency/Doubleday, $14.95). Do you have the political savvy to scale the executive ranks? The following quiz, based on the ideas in Reardon's book, should give you a clue.

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1. You've just taken a new job in an unfamiliar organization and are anxious to make a good impression and rise quickly. The best way to do this is to:
  • a) Work hard to develop your technical skills while also becoming a player by plunging into power struggles going on around you, taking care to side with the most influential person or group.
  • b) Build your technical skills, but also take time to analyze what the people above you want to accomplish and devise innovative ways to help them.
  • c) Keep your head down, work extraordinarily hard, and ignore office intrigue and infighting as a waste of your time and energy.

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