Let's assume for a moment that corporations are like pyramids and, eventually, you need to move up or out.

At the bottom of the pyramid, where there is a large amount of people, those with greater talent will move up in rank.

Over time, however, the most talented people, in theory, remain and you are competing against those who are more naturally talented than you are.

At a certain point, it's not ONLY about your talent, but how you navigate the politics of the organization. How you understand the roles and motivations of those with whom you are dealing.

I Didn't See It Coming is a book about just that. It's a cold hard dose of reality that, you know, sometimes there are people who are out to eat your lunch and you need to protect yourself.  It's a rough side of business that we'd rather not think about, but the authors say, "ignore these at your own risk" and, by the way, "make sure you know what you're going to do if the day comes when your boss says, 'thanks for your service, now clean your desk."

I'm not arguing for paranoia, but I think the authors (including one former president of CBS radio) are on to something when they guide you through potential political/corporate minefields.

It'd be great if we "all just got along," but better to "hope for the best and prepare for the worst." 

I Didn't See It Coming is your "prepare for the worst" manual.

Thanks to Reed for the suggestion.