Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know – and What to Do About Them

Here are some highlights from this 2005 classic:

* Many employees mistakenly believe the law will provide them with protection from retaliatory or unfounded job loss. In many of today’s workplaces, this is nothing but a false sense of security.

* Whether formalized or unwritten, there is always a “layoff list” of employees the company wouldn’t mind getting rid of without the potential for legal complication — which is precisely what layoffs provide. That’s why human – resource departments secretly refer to layoffs as “cleaning house.” Conversely, and more importantly, every company has a hidden indispensable list of protected employees who are virtually guaranteed job security no matter what. These are the favorites.

* In today’s litigious society, companies are more afraid of being sued than of lying to or replacing an employee.

* All companies have layers of unspoken hidden agendas. They’re lurking just beneath the surface of a glossy corporate spin. If you allow yourself to navigate via corporate spin instead of learning hat’s actually going on behind the scenes, you could find yourself getting caught in the void between what the company says and what it actually values, or between its true agendas and its public statements.

* Beware that you always stay on the correct side of these true agendas:
MOTIVATION 1 : Protection
If a company feels you are opening them up to any severe liability or inconvenience (even if it is justified), many will remove you as quickly as possible. When you put your own needs ahead of a company’s protection, you are red flagging yourself as someone who is not a team player and cannot be trusted. In today’s litigious society, many companies value protection above all else. Threatening a company’s sense of protection is the number one cause of job loss today. (More about this in the next chapter.)
Their money, not yours. If they feel you value your money more than theirs, you will be gone. The best defense is to always treat your company’s money as if it were your own.
MOTIVATION 3 : Open support
If your company feels, for whatever reason, that you do not openly support their policies, positions, or direction you will be out. Naysayers beware!
MOTIVATION 4 : Maintaining an “edge” in the marketplace
Companies are highly fearful of those who appear to be stagnating, have fallen behind, or have become distracted by something in their personal lives. They feel their only chance at keeping their edge is to constantly stay ahead of the curve. This motivation/fear is one of the main reasons companies continue to replace older workers with younger workers.
MOTIVATION 5 : The image of success
Companies are compelled to surround themselves with people who act and appear successful. If you are expressing negativity, pessimism, or a downtrodden persona, you will be replaced by someone the company feels can help generate a more positive atmosphere. Companies fear pessimism and negativity more than any other behavior in an employee because it erodes the environment of success they are constantly working to create.
Finding your company’s hidden agendas
Those listed above are the core agendas for most companies, but each company you work for will have its own set of guidelines and unwritten rules. To truly protect yourself and your job, you need both.
To find the hidden agendas in your company, look at what its key decision makers consistently reward and value (even if it’s never talked about, even if it’s openly denied or politically incorrect).
Don’t look at the good intentions and well – meant speeches.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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