Joel Garfinkle

Joel Garfinkle is a sought-after keynote speaker and corporate trainer who is regularly called upon to address conferences across the country and around the world. He has delivered more than 1000 workshops, speeches and keynote addresses to groups such as the Commonwealth Club of California, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management, Wells Fargo Bank, Haas School of Business, Financial Women’s Association, the University of California Berkeley, Marriott Hotels, Gap Inc., Cisco Systems, Charles Schwab, Bank of America,  Accenture, Sapient Corporation, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Kohl’s and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

Executive Coach

Joel has two decades of first-hand experience as an executive coach working closely with thousands of executives, senior managers, directors and employees. He is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., having worked with many of the world’s leading companies.


Joel has written over 8 books and authored over 300 articles that are read in more than 25 countries. He also has contributed to the book The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching (John Wiley and Sons) and Leader to Leader – the award-winning quarterly journal launched by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation. Here are his 8 books:

  • Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level
  • How to be a Great Boss: Learn the Seven Traits of Great Bosses
  • Executive Presence: Sixteen Characteristics to Help You Advance Up the Corporate Ladder Quickly and Effectively Through Increased Exposure, Visibility, and Self-Promotion
  • Time Management Mastery: Stress-Free Productivity in the 7 Key Areas of Life (time, projects, people, schedules, information, work/life balance, and abundance)
  • Get Paid What You’re Worth: How to Negotiate a Raise or Higher Starting Salary
  • Love Your Work: Make the Job You Have the One You’ve Always Wanted
  • Land Your Dream Job: The Last Career Search Book You’ll Ever Need
  • Find a Job in 14 Days: A Practical Guide and Process for Finding the Job You Need Fast!

Joel has also written numerous articles for local and national publications. More than 200 are available free on this website.

He also publishes a popular bimonthly newsletter “Fullfilment@Work,” which is delivered to more than 10,000 subscribers around the world.

Joel has been featured in the following National Media:

  • ABC News
  • New York Times
  • Forbes
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
  • National Public Radio
  • Newsweek
  • USA Today
  • Fast Company
  • Wall Street Journal
  • BusinessWeek
  • Microsoft CIO Network

International Change Management Consultant

Joel has worked as a consultant for two of the top consulting firms in the world: Ernst & Young in Hong Kong and Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) in San Francisco. The executive coaching insight he gained from this prior experience in performance improvement and change management provide him with a well-rounded approach to coaching and speaking.


Joel holds a degree in psychology from San Diego State University and has completed a three-year coaching certificate program with Coach University.

Speaking Testimonials

Your presentation on Executive Presence helped me build my confidence and enhance my visibility and impact with senior management. Your practical approach made it easy for me to apply what I learned to build my confidence, and enhance my visibility and impact in communicating with Sr. Management.

Sr. Director, Support Sales Acquisitions
Oracle USA

I thought Joel’s presentation was very good, but what really did it for me was the fact that he was able to communicate such heart. He truly cares about what he’s doing; you can tell he’s passionate about it.

Pam Price Hawley, Marketing Manager
Cisco Systems, Inc.

You stole the show! Registrants told us that they thoroughly enjoyed the program. In fact, one woman personally pulled me aside and said, ‘Where did you find him? I learned more in the first 15 minutes of Joel’s presentation than I do at many other conferences.’

Susan E. Smith, Director of Customer Learning
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Our members loved your presentation on “Executive Presence.” It was fresh, informative and, best of all packed with practical tips and techniques we can instantly use to make us more effective leaders. I went back to the office more confident and inspired than ever before.

Lynn DuBois
Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco

Over 96% of my employees said they would enjoy hearing him speak again!

Karen Habegger, Human Resources Manager

I thought your ‘Unlock Gifts at Work’ presentation and facilitation were right on target for what we needed. I recommend that any organization that needs to work with getting the most out of its people resources should use Joel Garfinkle to accomplish that…

Jim Keene, Regional Manager
Wells Fargo Private Bank


Joel did a masterful job explaining both the theoretical “whys” of bringing balance to our lives along with the pragmatic “hows.” His presentation style is engaging and motivating.

Brad Whitworth, Senior Communications Manager, Strategic Alliances
Cisco Systems, Inc.


I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your participation at the Kentucky SHRM Conference. I know that the success of our program is due, in no small part, to your involvement.

Shannon Byrne, Marketing Manager of Seminars
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Joel, your presentation and handouts focused on practical tips that we could all begin to put into practice immediately. It was not just theory or games but about truly changing the way we work to balance our lives and our work. This definitely distinguishes you from other speakers that have spoken to us in the past. The team is already implementing your suggestions and we are going to discuss progress weekly.

Your enthusiasm, style and heart enabled the team to open up and really listen to the message.  We hope to be able to bring you back every year to help us keep on track.

Kathy Weiner, Enterprise Marketing, Sr. Manager, Strategic Alliances
Cisco Systems, Inc.

You have a keen ability to read your audience, build on the issues they raise and guide them through overcoming perceived versus real obstacles.

John Morel, Alumni MBA Career Advisor
Haas School of Business

Joel taught “How to Get Ahead: 3 Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level” at UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program on September 21-26, 2014 and I had the privilege to attend the course during the week.  Joel is a phenomenal speaker and instructor who is able to capture the audience’s attention while engaging each person on an individual basis.  He brought thoughtful insights to each case brought up by different students from varied companies such as the entertainment, aerospace, and IT industries.    I highly recommend him as a coach and as an instructor to succeed in this ever changing work environment.

Jeanna Trammell, Technical Management Program Manager
UCLA Extension

Thank you Joel for your keynote at our ICF Founding Chapter Prism event. You have an engaging and authoritative speaking style. Your practical advice has made a big impact on my business visibility, literally within days of your speech!

Debjani Biswas, PRISM Chair
ICF North Texas

Your workshop was by far the best one I have attended, and I have attended a lot!  At our Friday morning meeting I plan on debriefing my team on my experience and recommend that everyone attend when they have an opportunity.  I am going to talk to our Executive Leadership Team about having you come on-site.

Alexander Paragios, Account Manager, Customer Operations, US Genetics, Rare Diseases
Genzyme, a Sanofi Company

Your seminar was informative and extremely thought provoking. I will be using the skills I learned today. Thank you so much for presenting a very important topic in today’s work place.

John Pruyn
VA Boston Health Care System

Wow – what an amazing presentation you delivered on becoming a high-impact leader! You added great value to all our members and provided motivation in everyone’s career.

IFMA San Francisco Board of Directors

Joel was fantastic! He did a training session for my team of 12 young professionals. The session was interactive, relatable and actionable. We sent out an anonymous survey afterwards, and everyone uniformly raved about the session and said it was highly educational and well worth their time. I’d highly recommend Joel’s training to other managers!

Ahyoung An, Manager, Marketing and Community Development

I got more out of his three-hour seminar than any multiple-day class I’ve attended at the American Management Association.

Grady C. Wood, Supervisor
Global Management Consulting Firm

Joel is a highly effective speaker because he interacts with the audience in a way that is inspirational, motivational and encouraging. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of his subject matter and conveys it with energy, enthusiasm and passion.

Melanie Summers, Director, Alumni Career Services
California Alumni Association

Joel Garfinkle’s presentation is a must for anyone who wants to become a leader in their industry. He was clear and concise, providing insight, knowledge and practical ideas to improve your leadership skills and quality of life, both at work and away from the job. I benefited immensely from his presentation.

Vicki Young, Chairman/President
CINA – Chinese Information and Networking Association

You delivered a powerfully motivating and purposeful program benefiting a large number of our members. Your three step process is a simple yet effective tool on how to become a leader with executive presence, track accomplishments, and create influence inside a company. I was absolutely captivated by your program and am inspired to utilize these newfound techniques. The members are all enriched because of you.

Angela Tirion, Chair of The Volunteer Training and Development Program
The Junior League of San Francisco

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