Lea Baltzinger: Zealous Advocate of The Targus Team
Dash into Lea’s universe and grasp how she passionately became the Vice President of Global Human Resources.
From growing up in a small town in France to travelling abroad in the pursuit for higher education, grasp how Lea developed her passion for HR, copes with a dynamic environment, and successfully manages her ever-changing role at Targus.
You’re passionate about your role in Human Resources, probably one of the most enthusiastic HR professionals I’ve ever met; when did you decide that this was the best career fit for you?
I had the privilege of living, going to school and working in amazing parts of the world in my early years, this opportunity broadened my view tremendously regarding people and cultures. When an HR opportunity came along it seemed like a good fit for what I enjoyed doing and until this day I have great satisfaction being in my line of work. HR offers a non-routine and unique work structure that I find challenging and fulfilling. I've been told previously that the most important parts of any company are the customers and especially the employees, because of this I feel HR is crucial to the success of any business in having motivated and quality personnel in place. Recruiting new talents is very fulfilling because I am passionate about how people make decisions that affect them and the company. Working with hiring managers gives me a glimpse of their daily challenges and successes. This cohesive partnership enhances my value to a company. I am multi-lingual and have multi-cultural experience that working in human resources is perfect for me, I use my skills and knowledge to work just about anywhere in the world.
I know that you come from an extensive background of international HR. What countries have you worked in?
Yes, I have worked in many parts of the world, Australia, Japan, France and the United States. My first experience working overseas was when I was a student in Australia. While in my master’s program I benefited immensely from an exchange program between the University of Strasbourg in France and the University of Melbourne in Australia. When I graduated with my first master’s degree, I was offered an opportunity to work for the Foreign Affairs in Australia. I stayed in Australia for 3 years then my husband received a job opportunity that took us to Japan. We worked, travelled, built a house, then after years we decided to move back to my hometown in France. My global human resources career began after moving back to France, the CEO of the biomedical company that I was working for presented me with the opportunity to take a global role within the company. This opportunity relocated my family and I to California to work out of the global headquarters. I worked with employees who were based out of Singapore, China, Germany, France, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and in the United States. Here at Targus, I work with a lot of people based in the same countries and often travel to meet with my colleagues.
How does HR differ from one continent to another?
Each country has a different system of values that shapes the HR philosophy behind communication, organisational structure, conflict resolutions and work/ life balance. For example, the work culture in some countries feels that very long daily working hours are not beneficial, while other countries put a premium on it. However, this can also vary with different companies within the same country.
What are some of the challenges within Global HR and how do you handle adversity?
I have learned from experience and others that challenges and adversity are necessary and unavoidable parts of life. When these are handled with maturity and patience it helps strengthen the person and makes them even more valuable in their work. My manager in Japan taught me resilience and for many years I have had a mentor who operates like a medication to my soul.
You are one of the strong pillars of the executive team here at Targus. You’re also a wife and mother, how do you balance work/life?
It can be overwhelming at times to manage multiple teams in so many time zones, two toddlers who play sports, a husband who loves my cooking skills, my friends, birthday parties, my hobbies etc. It requires teamwork and prayers. My faith gives me guidance. No situation is too big or small for a prayer. I tend to handle challenges as efficiently as possible, with a sense of humour, along with understanding and respect, that is what helps me get through that obstacle and grow.
Now that you work for Targus, a global enterprise in mobile accessories and electronics, what are your most favourite products?
I love the combination of my Newport Convertible Tote/ Backpack, inside of that I carry my laptop in the EVA sleeve, my little SENA Crossbody Leader Handbag, and my iPhone with my personalized SENA case. That’s all I need to make it a Seamless Life.