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Who You Know Not What You Know Is Key To Career Success


Having a key ally can be more important to a manager than being good at their job.

That’s the view of an expert in the psychology of leadership, who says that people who succeed at 'impression management' can cultivate more success.

Dr Patrick Tissington is a leading academic in work and organisational psychology, based at Aston Business School in Birmingham.

He claims that creating a strong relationship with the chairman can have a great influence on success.

His comments follow the recent revelations at Liverpool and Newcastle Football Clubs, where good managers have faced tough times and the sack respectively.

They also follow the appointment of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle, which appears to have been an emotional decision based on the new man’s ‘impression management’ during a previously successful stint at the club.

According to Dr Tissington there is a whole repertoire of skills behind impression management "but it basically boils down to flattery."

He added: "I imagine a manager’s main motivation for the job has to be success, given the immense pressure they are under. So any advantage they can gain to help their progress is important, no matter how small."

Dr Tissington used to teach that charisma can make good managers, but this ‘trend’ has faded in modern times.
He said: "There is something of charisma which can have a short term effect and if you have charisma, sometimes you can really make the organisation fly – look at Richard Branson’s Virgin and Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s Easyjet.

"At other times it is a disaster – look at media tycoons Robert Maxwell and Conrad Black."


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