Joe Novak - Immersion

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Joseph Novak

Vice President – Taxes
Abbott Laboratories


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Abbott Laboratories engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a broad and diversified line of health care products. It operates through the following segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Nutritional Products, Diagnostic Products, Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation Products, and other related products.

Abbott° is the registered trademark of the Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois.

Advancement Transition from a Subject Matter Expert to Leading a Critical Global Corporate Staff Function


“I really liked the process and the person.  I realized three tangible benefits.

1.)           Gary did a nice job of helping me assess an overall “health checkup” on my skillsets relative to my work environment and responsibilities.  The assessment definitely confirmed certain performance assumptions but also provided insight into how others perceived my actions- which, at a minimum, gave me awareness and, in the best cases, provided feedback for change.

2.)           Gary functioned as a sounding board for key decisions early in my work transition process. It was very helpful to have a neutral party give his impressions of my challenges.  Gary was obviously starting out with little context for some of my business challenges, and sometimes the exercise of explaining the issue to an outsider forced me to think through all the key points and weigh what was really important.  Gary has a ton of experience and he was easily able to empathize with my issues and provide suggested paths of approach.

3.)           Gary is kind of like an Obi-Wan for executives- he never really goes away.  As I have moved forward in making key decisions for my organization, I often pictured myself in a coaching session with Gary talking through my issue and proposed solution.  I know I am probably on the right track if I can imagine Gary nodding proudly even as I am still explaining my proposed solution.  Alternatively, I know I should reconsider if I can imagine Gary looking over his glasses with a polite fatherly look.  I have no doubt that Gary would entertain a call anytime if my ‘virtual Gary’ does not suffice.”

July 2019


Wiznami Inc. is an a senior executive coaching service based in the greater Chicago area.