The key to success lies in getting to the top. Right? Wrong. Not everyone can be in charge but, more importantly, not everyone should want to be.
Richard Hytner, deputy chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, thinks it's time to celebrate the second-in-command, the consiglieri: Merlin to King Arthur, Al Gore to Bill Clinton, Rasputin to the Russian Royal Family.
These are the deputies, Vice-Presidents, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Department Heads, First Lieutenants and First Violins whose influence determines the fate of countries, companies and individual ventures all over the world. After all, supremacy comes with drawbacks (one of which is that everyone wants your job) and influence, authority and power can be found in much more interesting places than behind the CEO's desk.
Consiglieri brings together historical examples from Thomas Cromwell to Cardinal Richelieu, conversations with the second-in-commands of Tony Blair and Sir Alex Ferguson, insights into Stalin, JFK, Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore, interviews with leaders in sport, business, politics and music and cutting-edge research from psychologists and academics to produce a fresh (and refreshing) approach to leadership in the mould of Obliquity or Thinking, Fast and Slow. If you fancy yourself as a contemporary Machiavelli or Bismarck, make this stylish, clever and entertaining guide to finding your ideal role in a company your first choice.
This is the first (not second) funny business book for a long time.