Dedicated to “future Global Managers,” The Global You by Susan Bloch and Philip Whiteley sets out ten strategies for achieving success as a working expat.
The book is aimed at the expat who works for a company that sends him on an overseas assignment, but there are lessons which expats by choice can learn to become more effective entrepeneurs overseas as well.
The authors point out in the introduction that:
“Even if you want to work for a “national” company, that option is rapidly disappearing. You are part of the global economy, and most probably a multi-cultural working experience, whether that was your career plan or not.”
The authors provide a ten-step plan for becoming more globally aware and better able to work with people of other beliefs, customs and languages. These steps include:
- Think global
- Learn to work multiculturally
- Learn a language
- Learn how to learn when you’re outside the classroom
- Go virtual but stay “real”
- Treat multicultural teamwork as a core skill
- Build your network
- Raise your global profile
- Manage your time when dealing with friends, family and colleagues in different time zones
Each chapter contains real-life examples from global workers’ lives, suggestions and exercises.
In the chapter about learning, the authors point out that in the global workplace, it’s not so much what you know as how you can apply it in varying mileu:
“Conceptual and theoretical learning. . . will becomes less and less relevant. New concepts and new ways of thinking will be needed — but what you learn will need to be applicable to a variety of different job situations. Remember, you are . . . likely to work in a variety of locations, with many different people from a variety of different backgrounds.”
One of the discussions I found most interesting cropped up in the chapter on multicultural teamwork. “What happens when we disagree?” the authors asked.
While disagreement can be a healthy and productive way to weigh the pros and cons of a particular action or strategy, some cultures perceive disagreement as downright disagreeable. How does a Japanese worker tell his boss his idea is lousy, when it’s considered inappropriate to disagree with a boss at all?
Global team leaders must become adept at helping team members work through these and similar shark-infested waters.
On the whole, The Global You presents a strong case for becoming a global worker, and shows you how to transform yourself into one.
If you’re considering an expat assignment for your employer, or if you plan to start a business overseas, I recommend reading it.
I’m Giving Away a Copy of the Book
I was given a copy of the book for review, and as you know, I’ve been getting rid of books in preparation for my own move abroad. Therefore, I’ll give this copy to one of my readers!
Just leave a comment on this post before March 15 telling me how you think the book can help you achieve your expat goals. I’ll choose the person I think most deserving of the freebie, based on the answers submitted. This will be a totally subjective decision on my part.
Just make sure, when you leave your comment, that you provide an email address where I can contact you to get your mailing address!
(If you’re not fortunate enough to get the free copy, you can buy one here.)
So, once again, to win a copy of the book, leave your comment (if you’re reading this in an email, you’ll have to click the link to go to the website to do so). Persuade me that The Global You will help you achieve your expat goals, and you’ll be in contention.
Joshua Haarbrink says
Great Blog Susanna! Like you, I have used the urge to travel as my motivation to create a career that supports that desire, and so far so good! As a “consultant” I can bring my services and experience to a wide variety of industries and project scopes. Best of luck with your ventures and most importantly, keep following the dream!!
Thanks, Joshua. Appreciate the comment, and I’m off to look at your website now. 🙂