What is your background, and what led you to form Garfinkle Executive Coaching?
I lived and worked in Hong Kong, first in the hotel industry and then for Ernst and Young in performance improvement. As my career progressed into change management, I realised that I wanted to coach others, so I took the leap and set up my own company.
Why did you decide to write Getting Ahead?
I found the people who gravitated most to what I was teaching were women, minority groups and introverts. Without wishing to generalise, there are certain cultures that aren’t naturally comfortable with the concept of self-promotion and making yourself visible. Many Asian cultures values quiet reservation, as does the UK – at least more so than the US. I came across many talented and capable people who simply weren’t making themselves heard where it mattered, and I wanted to change that.
Tell us more about the book…
There are three points of the success model – Perception, Visibility and Influence. Individuals must realise how to positively manage others’ perceptions of them; to get noticed and remain visible within the organisation; and to influence others around them. Rather than simply advising people to talk about how important they are, the book includes sections on how to harness each element of the model and make it work for the individual.
How does it differ from your other works?
Even though the concepts have been at the heart of my work and what I’ve aimed to do since the early days, it was only in the last three years that the PVI model really came to form in my mind, and that’s what led to this book. I wanted to communicate the model to everyone, as it is vital to us all.
What is the core message?
We spend more than 100,000 hours at work during over the course of our careers. Whether or not we are really passionate about our job, we should be ensuring that we are getting as much as possible out of the time we put. I hope to be able to show people just how to do that.
What do you hope people will learn from it?
PVI is necessary. You can work as hard as you like but at some point you will find yourself at a standstill. Everyone should make sure they are seen the way they want to be seen by the most influential people around them. I hope to lead people to the realisation that no matter what authority level you hold within a company, anyone can have influence, and this is what will ensure job security.
Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level by Joel A Garfinkle – one of the top 50 executive coaches in the USA – is published by Wiley at £16.99.