Interview with Joel Garfinkle

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Joel Garfinkle (@workcoach4you), Founder of Garfinkle Executive Coaching, and the author of Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.  Joel is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in America and he’s worked with organizations and individuals in many of the top corporations in the world.

Mike: Joel, tell me a bit about your coaching practice.  What is it you do?

Joel:  My main focus is to work with individuals who are moving to the next level of an organization or who have moved to the next level but they don’t understand exactly “what’s needed” at this new position.  Many times it’s a matter of them coming to me after they been promoted or they come to me because they thought they should be promoted and haven’t been.

Mike: You’ve been in business since 1997, but before that you worked with larger consulting firms.  How did you make the transition to individual coaching?

Joel: For me, even when I was doing the large organization change management initiatives, I’ve always found that I enjoyed, even thrived on one-on-one work.  I can really get down to the essence of what’s happening for a client very quickly and my clients like that.  I’m able to help them make change very quickly.  My talents and inner strengths completely align to a one-on-one format.  I can size up an individual within the first few minutes and then get to the root of the issues holding them back.   I can quickly understand what’s stopping or limiting them.

Mike: Why the book Getting Ahead and why now?

Joel: I notice too many people in the workforce who put a tremendous amount of effort into their work and they don’t know how to get ahead, stand out and get noticed.  As a result, they lose a competitive advantage that’s needed.  I notice this is as a theme across most demographics, but especially with women and people from cultures where “putting yourself ‘out there’” is not taught.

I wondered what would happen if I could help people

  1. Promote themselves in an organic, authentic way,
  2. Change the perception that others have of them, and
  3. Become more visible so they can have influential impact in the company.

That’s when I created the PVI Model.  The PVI Model stands for Perception, Visibility and Influence. We are in such a global competitive environment, that if people want to keep up and continue to be successful in their career and advance than they need to apply this model.  Otherwise, people will get to a certain point in their career and get stuck.

Just working hard isn’t enough to enable you to advance any more.   You can’t just do your work and hope that things will work out.  Hope is dangerous thing that I notice too many people rely on.  You can’t rely on hope, luck or chance.  You can’t assume that decision makers are aware of your accomplishments or they understand the value of your contribution to the organization.  You have to be the one who increases your visibility.   You have to be the one to do more than let your work speak for itself.  Otherwise, you’ll find others getting promotions you believed you were qualified for.

Mike: So would you say this is a narrowly focused book.  Don’t just do a good job, but do these things too?

Joel: Yes, I talk about in the beginning that doing a good a good job is assumed.  You must perform well.  The book focuses on what to do beyond that.

Many people rely simply on their performance because early in our careers, our performance is what moves us along.  But at some point, they will be limited by simply relying on their performance.  I would love to have had this foundation earlier in my career.  What do you do to get ahead when you’re no longer the stand out performer?

This entire book is about more than just doing your work.  More than a third of our life is spent at work. And I don’t think people are gaining as much from the endeavor as they are giving.  It’s difficult to add a focus on Perception, Visibility and Influence on-top of all the work you have to get done. Many people think, “I have to do that over and above my job?”  But at some point in their career they’ll question why someone else got promoted.  What did they do?  You have to manage your perception, visibility and influence to move up.

Be sure and pick up a copy of the book, of Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level and take the steps to get ahead in your career.  You can also find out more and download a free chapter of getting ahead. View his books and FREE articles at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Executive Coaching Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!

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