Integrity Matters Broadcasts

April 4, 2007

HIRING - Asking the right questions

"Select overseas workers carefully"

Dear Friends:

Functioning effectively in the 21st Century means recognizing that the world has already propelled us, personally and professionally, to "go global" or perish. Small and large enterprises are connected, 24/7. Electronic transactions mean that we are involved, directly or indirectly, with a world community. Like Pandora's Box, there is no turning back. Individuals and organizations must find ways to do more than cope; there is a need to succeed in an increasingly pervasive (and transparent) "wired" world. What is written and communicated - in word and sound - is forever. And, that means thinking before we speak and write was never more important, because it is being recorded. The expression "my word is my bond" takes on special meaning when all that we communicate is now potential "evidence" about our integrity.

Even though the worldwide web "plugs us in" to billions of people and millions of enterprises, there will continue to be a need to have "people to people" relationships; clarifying concerns, resolving differences and sustaining trust and communication. Hiring the right people will continue to be a key to success.

First, for those organizations requiring the deployment of the "right people" for international assignments, please review my April 4, 2007, Integrity Matters column: "Select overseas workers carefully" -

"Select overseas workers carefully"
Published in Jim Bracher's Integrity Matters newspaper column on April 4, 2007.

Dear Jim:

We are feeling pressure to compete overseas; and essentially have no experience. What should we do?

Make sure that those assigned overseas are properly qualified. Successful expatriates must be grounded in their own values and beliefs; requiring hiring managers to assess the fitness of candidates, including competency and flexibility. Clear self-awareness enables those working internationally to leverage their talents, character and abilities; generating productivity in multicultural settings. In addition to integrating their behavior with local customs in a manner that overcomes routine barriers to outsiders; they must be at ease bringing in local talent.
Consulting expertise, such as that provided by the Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership, expedites getting high-speed and accurate information regarding those being considered for international assignments. Successful organizations reduce the risks of costly global disappointments by securing answers to these 11 questions.

  1. Are they motivated to work in another culture and is their family willing?
  2. Do they share the belief in multi-cultural leverage?
  3. Can they be trusted?
  4. Have the expectations for this assignment been communicated?
  5. Will they and their family adapt with ease to other cultures?
  6. Will colleagues from unfamiliar cultures tend to react favorably to their style?
  7. What support will they need to be successful?
  8. Will their leadership style enhance or inhibit performance?
  9. Will they grow as international citizens and leaders?
  10. What is the strategy to capitalize upon the wisdom gained by the returning expatriate?
  11. Are they likely to return to "home base" better - or bitter?

With positive answers to the first 11 questions, these next "9" are designed to make sure those working internationally will do the right things, the right way, repeatedly. Decision makers must have accurate information regarding the ability of the candidates to:

  1. Understand, appreciate and accommodate cultural differences?
  2. Utilize a proven "bridging" mechanism to integrate cultures?
  3. Demonstrate culturally-inclusive listening skills?
  4. Define, communicate and model constructive leadership behaviors?
  5. Create a process to recognize, encourage and reward cultural congruence?
  6. Encourage other members of the organization to exhibit appropriate behaviors, all the time?
  7. Sustain high morale with constant pressures to resist cultural integration?
  8. Mitigate demoralizing and destructive (local) "third party" critique?
  9. Monitor progress, systematically, frequently and energetically?

Profitable results are created by good working teams. Wise leaders make sure that their expatriates will exude integrity and operate with a sincere desire to listen; respecting the uniqueness of their host country's social and business cultures. To maximize dollars invested on international assignments, invite the Bracher Center to provide quality information on candidates regarding their integrity, capacity, motivation and sensitivity.

newspaper clipping image

Second, hiring the right people is always a challenge, at home or abroad. See my March 28 Integrity Matters response to an inquiry about identifying talent.

Hiring? Look at I-C-A-R-E

Dear Jim:

I am hiring a new key manager, soon. Other than integrity, what should I look for?

John Hammergren, the successful and well-respected CEO of San Francisco-headquartered McKesson Corp., guides an organization that generates nearly $90 billion in revenue, the 16th largest company in the United States.

As the nation's leading health-care services company, McKesson provides pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and technologies.

Hammergren has helped renew the vitality of McKesson by leveraging his five operating priorities, built on what he calls his I-C-A-R-E platform: Integrity, Customers, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. McKesson's gigantic size and overwhelming complexity might seem unrelated to smaller enterprises, but their requirements for long-term viability are similar.

Billionaire, Warren Buffett says "In evaluating people, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you."

To learn about Hammergren's five operating behaviors that help differentiate "wannabes" from high-performing managers, click here.

In closing, one more question, are you a potential Bracher Center client?

  1. Is your enterprise anticipating growth and organizational transition?
  2. Does your culture value people and superior leadership?
  3. Will you participate, directly, in improving team dynamics?
  4. If you answered "yes" to these questions, then let's talk.
Please let us know your response to our two sets of "hiring" recommendations.



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