Marion Brooks (Photo by : Blake Bodden)

By Martel Sharpe

Pharmaceuticals executive and certified executive coach Marion Brooks touched down in Atlanta to discuss his latest book “What You Don’t Know is Hurting You: 4 Keys to a Phenomenal Career” and share his expertise in emotional intelligence, career development, and corporate leadership.

Presented by the University of Georgia’s Black Business Student Association, and moderated by Good Morning America Producer Eric Jones, was witnessed an audience of professionals from Atlanta and Los Angeles at Negril Village Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta on March 15.

Brooks’ visit to Atlanta doubled as a celebration for the launch of his’ new online course, recognized financial CEO and motivational success teacher Malcolm “MJ” Harris, which serves as an extension of the book.

“The book came from the people who invested in me, so this is an investment or my way of paying forward to you,” said Brooks. “I have access to information that 95 percent of people, no matter their color or gender, don’t have access to.”

“What You Don’t Know is Hurting You: 4 Keys to a Phenomenal Career” focuses on helping individuals master performance, perception, positioning, and persistence as the keys to becoming successful and high-potential leader.

Over 20 years in the medical industry, spent building and leading award-winning teams in sales and marketing that generate $1 billion in annual sales went into the Brooks’, which he wrote with the help of author and filmmaker Nathan Williams.

The vice president and U.S. country head for diversity and inclusion at Novartis, one of the top pharmaceuticals companies, Brooks is considered an expert on emotional intelligence.

Brooks is also the founder of an executive coaching firm based in Los Angeles, which trains corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and sales professionals in how to accelerate their careers.

The Harvard Business Review considers these high-potential leaders “consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances,” showcasing their ability to grow and succeed in most circumstances.

“They have access to information, training, and support that the other 95 percent of people do not receive,” said Brooks. “If you are a woman or person of color, it’s about half of that if not less.”

After studying high-potential leaders and their roles in organizations for at least 20 years, through surveying dozens of companies and interviewing countless human resources executives, the Harvard Business Review has found that most executives would agree that high-potential employees get promotions faster than any with else.

Additionally, these executives and their organizations spend less than 10 percent of their time and resources developing these individuals.

Brooks points out that the Harvard Business Review also says that “only five percent of people in business are considered high potentials.” However, his mastery of emotional intelligence is what propelled him to success.

“(Emotional intelligence) is your ability to manage yourself and your environment effective to get a better outcome,” said Brooks. “70-80 percent of your success is going to based on emotional intelligence, but nobody teaches you that in school.”

“It’s not just the African American but in all different walks of life. Nobody’s really teaching about emotional intelligence but its the absolute foundation to success.”

While it’s great to be really smart, Brooks contends that having emotional intelligence is equally, if not more important.

“There a lot of smart people out there but not a lot of emotionally intelligent people so our IQ will get you a job but EQ, emotional intelligence, will get you promoted,” said Brooks. “If you are working with someone that’s very smart but very difficult to work with, and you’re the manager hiring for another position to lead a team, are you going to hire that person?”

According to Brooks, approaching any situation strategically make the difference between simply reacting and responding appropriately.

Concluding the discussion, Brooks conveyed the importance of sponsorship, having a positive representation and leaving an impression that supersedes physical presence.

“You have to have someone in the room that is speaking for you,” Brooks said. “90 percent of the decisions that are made about you and your career, whether you’re an actor, you’re in corporate America, you’re a firefighter, no matter what your line of work is, are made when you’re not in the room.”

This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice.

Executive coach Marion Brooks gives secrets of the top 5% in corporate America

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