Human Resources/HR Excellence


Human Resources may work well in theory but now in practice. Why? please discuss

Hello Abelin,
I always enjoyed my time in Singapore when traveling there for work. I look forward to my next opportunity.
Here is my experience with your question.  I assume that your question can be stated as “H.R. may work well in theory, but HOW and WHY does it work in practice.  So I’ll proceed based on that assumption.

All professions have the advantage of and the disadvantage of being included in the “bell shaped curve”.  For example, any group of professionals (lawyers, doctors, information Technology professionals, engineers), where the group is of significant size/mass/number, is in all probability, subject to the bell shape curve.   That is, some 10 to 15 percent are EXCELLENT leaders/managers/professionals, 10 to 15 percent are GOOD, 50 percent are AVERAGE, another 15% or so need SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT, and the remainder, well, should probably SEEK OUT ANOTHER OCCUPATION. The percentages can very but I’m sure you get the idea.  The bell shape curve applies to any large group.  How does that relate to your question?

Human Resources (HR) EXCELLENCE is the HOW AND WHY HR works in practice -- Excellence, as being in the EXCELLENT group on the bell shaped curve.  And that means for HR to “work” and to be in the excellent group on the curve, the head HR person in a site, plant, or organization comprised of many locations, has to be a GREAT LEADER.  How that happens is a combination of the HR professional “collecting” and developing technical and leadership skills in areas like Employment Practice, Compensation, Communications, Health and Safety, Talent Management, Diversity Management (country dependent), and so on.  The HR leader and HR organization that makes a difference is one that is recognized as a LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER, PARTNER, COACH, MENTOR, and that pinnacle is reached by FIRST, developing the technical skills previously mentioned as well as, SECONDLY,  having a well refined tool kit of Behavioral Competencies.

Behavioral Competencies (BC’s) are critical LEADERSHIP DRIVERS.  They are career makers (or breakers) as they, for example:
•   Are OBSERVABLE by any level of co-worker,
•   Open doors for you,
•   Impact co-workers careers and daily work environment,
•   Are a factor in your ability to learn as well as have others learn from you,
•   Display your personal energy, enthusiasm and professionalism as well as how well you represent your company.

In a few words, BC’s make or break more careers than a lack of technical knowledge.  They are factors in forecasting a professional’s FUTURE capability in higher-level positions.  Key Behavioral competencies that are in my experience significant: Managerial Courage, Adaptability, Flexibility, Professional Presence, Analytical Ability, Humor, Humility, Team Player, Communicator, Listener, Hard Worker, Leader… .  There are others.

So the difference, Abelin, in HR sounding good in theory and it being a working, driving, successful function in business is LEADERSHIP.

That is a summary of my experience and advice.  I hope you find it of value.  From a personal standpoint I am always interested in feedback for purposes of continuous improvement. So it would be helpful and appreciated if you could take a minute and rate this answer by completing the 4 multiple-choice evaluation questions on the “” website. It only takes a minute.

Thanks again for your question.  Good luck going forward with your work and career.


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Mark Eichinger


Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. My H.R. passions include Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Performance Management, Talent Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development, Compensation, Creating Space, etc.), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Questions I cannot answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.


I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. Previously, I successfully held corporate executive and management leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources International and Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region, my responsibilities included, leading the regions H.R. team and processes, managing the H.R. relationship with the corporation, creating and leading the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managing the Asia Pacific key leader’s process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University. MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport. University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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