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Proven Model to Advance Women, Minorities, and Introverts to Higher Levels of Leadership

Proven Model to Advance Women, Minorities, and Introverts to Higher Levels of Leadership
Author Name: Joel Garfinkle
Date: Jul 22 2020
Category: Leadership

As someone who has worked hard to help people succeed, I have always loved this quote by Peter Drucker: “The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” I think it speaks volumes about what managers are meant to do for the people who report to them, to elevate them in their careers.


What do you do when you have employees who work hard and are good at what they do, but they aren’t getting ahead? Why does one person become successful over another person of equal talent? In my corporate training, “Career Advancement: Release Untapped Potential of Your Underutilized Leaders,” I explain why someone can be successful, while an equal team member is overlooked for promotion again and again. If you want to learn how to remove roadblocks for your unrecognized talents, follow my PVI model to put them on the path to success. I’ve used this specific model, with hundreds of leaders, in my executive coaching practice. The focus has always been to grow leaders to the next level.


Many people put in long hours and deliver excellent work, but never move ahead. This disproportionately affects women, minorities and introverts in organizations, for a variety of complex reasons. Through tradition or upbringing, or sometimes personal inclination, they are missing one or more of the key components to success. Companies and employees alike can get ahead by seizing the opportunity to recognize traditionally overlooked groups. As an executive coach and corporate trainer, my job is to help organizations develop their underutilized leaders and unlock that hidden potential.


P – Perception: How are the capabilities of your potential leader perceived? Are they seen as strong and competent with a lot to bring to the table? Often, underutilized employees suffer from perception problems. They are not the first to speak. Not the ones to brainstorm in a group. Not ones to accept praise for a job well done. Their culture or upbringing might have discouraged the very behaviors that get people noticed. It might just be their introverted personality. When tendencies are so deeply ingrained, it may seem tough to help. But you can set them on the path to changing their general perception:


  • speak up about their accomplishments
  • mention their skills and areas of knowledge
  • encourage them to accept credit / praise
  • suggest others consult them for their great opinions


V – Visibility: To get ahead, employees must have visibility. Decision makers need to have seen potential leaders in action. Your potentials need opportunities to shine on high profile initiatives. To prove themselves solving critical issues. To display their excellent people skills. Women, minorities and introverts are less likely to be given those opportunities. Sometimes, they aren’t even offered opportunities based on assumptions (e.g. “She wouldn’t be interested – she has young kids.”) You can help change that, and help raise visibility:


  • offer opportunities outside your potential leader’s comfort zone
  • encourage them to try new things
  • demonstrate your confidence and belief in their abilities
  • never make assumptions – allow them to accept or decline new challenges based on personal preference, life balance or career goals


I – Influence: When we think of influence, we usually think of the ability to sway big decisions on company direction at the executive table. More and more, however, organizations are recognizing the value of collaborative influence. Some of your best leaders may be the ones who are always pulling the team together. The ones working to improve situations for others. The ones clearing roadblocks. The ones making things better for everyone, regardless of their level of authority. If you have “low key” team members quietly helping to get the job done, you can help draw attention to their influence:


  • highlight the good work they do in enacting change, and improving efficiency
  • point out the way their peers are drawn to their collaborative approach
  • help them take their good ideas further – to larger groups and higher up
  • introduce them to others who can appreciate their skill and leverage their abilities


Don’t miss out on leveraging valuable members of your organization just because they don’t fit the traditional vision of a loud and out-front leader. Help your hidden leaders by leveraging my PVI model and put them on the path to success. You can help good leaders become great by advocating, encouraging and positioning. With your assistance, your valuable hidden talent can be recognized and valued for their contributions, and the organization can benefit from retention and promoting from within. Everybody wins when you foster perception, visibility and influence in all your leaders. To learn more about The PVI-Model, read the 17 page pdf summary of his book “Getting Ahead.”


Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 leadership coaches in the U.S. As an executive coach, he has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Deloitte, Cisco Systems, and The Ritz-Carlton. He also provides online leadership training via webinars, corporate training, and keynotes. Last year, he did a 1-day training on his PVI-Model for a company looking to improve diversity and gender representation in their leadership ranks. They learned key strategies to help identify and advance women, minorities and introverted leaders from within. Subscribe to his weekly Fulfillment at Work Newsletter to receive his FREE ebook “Get Promoted Now”. You’ll also find 75 of Joel’s 2-minute motivational videos on his YouTube channel.


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