Rolling Out

Career coach Marion E. Brooks shares how to excel in the workplace in new book

Career coach Marion E. Brooks shares how to excel in the workplace in new book
Marion E. Brooks (Photo courtesy of Giselle Phelps)
Marion E. Brooks is a certified executive career coach, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author. As a career coach, he provides information, resources and mentorship to his clients to help them succeed.
Prior to career coaching, he spent more than 20 years as a corporate executive in the pharmaceutical industry. He is skilled at identifying “high potentials,” a term used to describe the 5 percent of employees who are singled out in their workplaces to receive the kind of information, tools and support to help them boost their careers.
Brooks, who was considered a high potential during his career, shares what he learned with those who may feel stuck, frustrated, discounted or overlooked in their workplaces and are ready to take their careers to the next level in his new book What You Don’t Know IS Hurting You: 4 Keys to a Phenomenal Career. We spoke with him about writing the book and more.

What inspired you to write your first book?

One of my coaching clients inspired me to write my book. When I started working with her, she always performed well, but she worked for a company that never considered her for a promotion. She reached out to me for coaching and within six months was promoted twice. She told me that the things I had taught her were invaluable and that she wasn’t the only one who needed to know this information. This was my motivation to write the book and where the title originated.

How would you describe your writing style?

When I write, I like to use humor and leverage real stories. Using this tool helps drive the message home. I think real life examples help people see themselves and also what is possible for them.

What books have most impacted your writing?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Change Your Questions Change Your Life by Marilee Adams

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest work?

The one thing I would do differently with this work is to engage a trusted mentor who has previously authored a book. In my effort to find someone to help me write the book, I wasted a lot of money engaging with people who were not trustworthy. Eventually, I partnered with Nathan Hale Williams, who has been incredible to work with.

Describe the process of getting published.

The process of publishing a book can be very confusing for a new author. That is why it is very important to engage a trusted mentor who can help you navigate the process.  I had an opportunity for a couple of publishing deals, but I decided to self-publish based on feedback from my mentors. As a new author, the publishing houses will not offer you a lot of money or promotional support, but if the book takes off, they will own the majority of the rights and make the majority of the money. I expected big things from this project, so I decided that I wanted to own the rights to my work.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with your voice in this book?

My mission with this book is to grant access to the insights, tools and resources usually reserved for the elite 5 percent in business. Everyone should be empowered to take ownership of their careers and lives.

What advice would you give other writers?

I would advise other writers to get clear on who their target reader is. Determine what they want their target reader to take away from the book, and then write to that reader. I would also recommend writing down their vision for the project and keep it in a place where they can see it every day.

What books are you currently reading? 

I’m currently reading The Power of Decision by Raymond Charles Barker. The book was recommended to me by a friend.

What new authors have piqued your interest?

Eric Ries is on my radar right now. He’s an entrepreneur with a book called The Lean Startup.

Where would you travel if you could to write your next book?

I would travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to write my next book. It is one of my favorite cities in the world and provides an environment that inspires and motivates me.

How would you describe the gift of reading?

The gift of reading is expanded knowledge and insights. Reading has helped me grow by leaps and bounds. It has helped stretch what I thought was possible for me and others.

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