Dr. Relly Nadler: The title of our show today is “What You Don’t Know IS Hurting You.” It’s also the title of a book by Marion Brooks. He is an internationally certified coach, he’s a business leader. We are going to walk through some of the aspects of his book. He has had more than 20 years of experience as a corporate executive in the pharmaceutical industry leading a team to generate more than $900 million in annual sales.
He has a BA in marketing and also an MBA in management. Marion has been consistently recognized for his outstanding business achievements, winning numerous industry awards and he is an expert in emotional intelligence, corporate culture, and career development. I’m going to save a little bit more of his information, so he can talk about where he’s come from and how that has informed him in his book.
Why emotional intelligence? When you look at how smart someone is, when you look at their IQ, and then emotional intelligence — the further you move up the more you need emotional intelligence. The research shows anywhere from 60-70 to up as high as 85% it is more around the EI skills.
Marion, welcome to the call.
Well, thank you. Good morning!
Dr. Relly Nadler: It’s great to have you here. Marion and I know each other, and Cathy also, from the College of Executive Coaching which is really the only, as far as I know, coaching school that you have to have a Masters or Ph.D. to get in.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Marion, I would like to start off the conversation about you and who has most influenced you in your career?
Marion Brooks: For me, that would be my grandmother. She actually, her and my grandfather, stepped in to raise my brother, my sister, and I when our parents were unable to do so. She really taught me a lot of great things. The foundation of it was the power of helping others and investing in other people.
She didn’t have a lot; we didn’t have a lot growing up. There wasn’t always enough to eat but there was always an opportunity in her eyes to help someone else. Anyone who needed something, the door was always open in our home.
Her grandmother was Native American. So her birth name is Sunshine. She represented everything that sunshine gives you. Nurturing, opportunity, hope, growth – all of those things for me and many others.
Based on that, she passed away in 2007. She didn’t have a million dollars when she passed away, but my objective through the book and now we have a great foundation for foster children in honor of her investment of other people is to touch at least a million people in the memory and legacy of investing that she started.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg:
That’s amazing. That is such an amazing story. I’m all choked up.
Marion Brooks: She was an amazing woman. I have to tell you. She really stretched what I thought was possible for me, early on based on who my parents were, I was told that I wouldn’t be anything and that I didn’t have a chance. She told me, one time I was crying because I’d heard some adults talking about that their son, he doesn’t have a chance – she told me, I went to college, I was born in 1915 as a black woman in Texas, and I went to college. There are no limits on what you will and can do as long as you continue to work hard and believe in yourself. That’s the kind of foundation I started with, based on Sunshine.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: A Phenomenal beginning.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Marion, in hearing about your story and hearing about some of the experiences you had with Sunshine and others, it kind of led you to part of where you are at today. Tell us a little bit about where you are at today, your professional background, and then we will get into more about your book.
Marion Brooks: Ok. I actually have over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry as an executive. Extensive experience in marketing and sales, training and development. Now, as you said earlier, I’m internationally certified as an executive coach. What I try to do with the coaching is blend what I learned as a high potential, and we’ll get into that a little later, as well as my experience and now my experience as a coach, to really invest in people as my grandmother did.
The reason I named the book “What You Don’t Know IS Hurting You” is I have identified four key things that will accelerate or derail your career at some point. As I coach people and mentor people, I realized that so many people were becoming a victim of what someone else was doing or not doing, and not understanding how to own their own power.
That’s what I’m trying to do, is to really be a guide to help people identify the opportunity to own their power and to determine the destiny that they will have personally as well as professionally.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: When you think about the distinction between a high potential and a high performer or somebody who is not quite at that high potential level, can you talk a little bit about what the distinctions might be?
Marion Brooks: The primary thing that I see is the access. Access to the information that you guys are sharing on a weekly basis on this show, as well as what I have in the book. So access to additional training, insights, mentors, all of those things that you need to really go to the next level, the high potentials get access to that.
According to the Harvard Business Review, only 5% of employees are considered high potentials and they get the access and the other 95% of people don’t receive that same access. So for the high potentials, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? They get invested in and they grow at a higher or more rapid rate than the rest.
That’s really, I think the distinction between the two is the amount of investment that the organizations are putting into the individuals to help them grow and succeed and be successful.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Marion, it sounds like then, in your career, were you identified as a high potential? Sometimes they call them HIPO’s.
Marion Brooks: Yes, I was identified as a HIPO early on in my career. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening or what they were doing, but as time went on I started to see, wow, I’m getting access to a lot of information that the others are not getting, within the organization. So, it started to change my lanes a little bit.
As I continued to grow as a leader, I started investing in other people and sharing the insights and the tools and the mindset that I was given and was developing with others. I actually started leading one of our employee resource groups and created a program called Owning Your Career Workshop where I traveled the country with a couple of our HR leaders and taught people who to take ownership of their careers.
It has always been something that has been very important to me, and I think it comes from my background.
Dr. Relly Nadler: So let me ask you this because we are going to get into some of your four areas. Given that we have a lot of interest in emotional intelligence, what do you think you did that separated you, again you said the 5% which is an interesting status of HIPO’s, what characteristics did you demonstrate that allowed you to be selected as a HIPO?
Marion Brooks: I think there were three key things. Number one, I always deliver. So performance and being able to deliver at the job that you are already doing is the gateway. That’s the foundation. If you not doing that you are never going to be considered a high potential.
The second thing is that I always remain persistent. I always look for opportunities in my obstacles. If something came up, Marion was going to find a solution, so that gave people confidence that this person could lead, or this guy could lead.
Then always looking to continue to grow and develop. I invest in myself all of the time. I call it the Excellence Mindset. If I’m at 100%, how do I get to 110%? If I’m at 110% how do I get to 120%? Being able to demonstrate those characteristics is what I think got me tapped as a high potential.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: When you started to organize your thoughts around helping others, were you already asking in the capacity of an executive coach or was that a purposeful career of becoming an executive coach?
Marion Brooks: That’s a great question. No, actually, I was not an executive coach at the time. When I started to really invest in people, I was moving up the corporate ladder, I was an executive, and I enjoyed the Employee Resource Group. I’ve always been very active in mentoring and developing young people as well as other people within the organization.
When I took over the Employee Resource Group and I saw the big gap – when I took over I asked the constituents, I said, what do you guys need? They kept saying, consistently, Marion everyone tells we need to own our careers, but we don’t know what that looks like. I really started to develop mentoring programs that created Owning Your Career Workshop and helping people to create developmental plans and all of those things.
That was one of the things that I was like, this isn’t just something that I enjoy doing, it’s something I’m good at. So I wanted to continue to develop, as I was saying before, I’m always looking to grow, and I was like, what can I do to enhance what I already have naturally and make myself an expert in the area. That’s when I started out seeking executive coaching training.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Marion, that’s where we had met, as we mentioned, through the College of Executive Coaching. Tell me a little bit about when you look through the literature, and I like how well researched your book is, and then all of us try to make sense of the world. A lot of things we know from the neuroscientists that we are kind of prediction machines. We are constantly trying to predict and put things in order, and so, as you did that around a lot of the literature and your own experience, you came up with four keys, and it’s got a nice alliteration because they all begin with the same letter. Say a little bit about how you came with that.
Marion Brooks: What I was trying to do is that I wanted to make something that was applicable and easy for people to understand, but really focusing on the four areas that will accelerate or derail your career at some point.
The first one is around performance and looking at the impact of emotional intelligence versus IQ. We all know that it is 70-80% is around EQ and only about 20-30% is around IQ. What I tell people is think of it this way: there are a lot of smart people out there, but there are not a lot of emotionally intelligent out there because most people don’t even really understand the definition of emotional intelligence.
I really wanted to talk to people about that. I feel like that is the foundation to success in your career as well as personally.
The second one is around perception: Driving the right perception.
The third one is around positioning: How to make sure that you are surrounded by the right types of people and you have the right plans in place.
The fourth one is around persistence. No matter how good you are, obstacles will come. What separates average from exceptional careers is the ability to find opportunities in your obstacles.
I show the what, why, and how in all four categories.
Listen to the entire interview above.