How Extraordinary Leader Create Leadership Episode #3

Touch The Ground, Ask The Advice from Team

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The rapid growth of mobile internet in China make the things happen too fast to catch up. The common sense of “ sustainable core competitiveness ” seems like old fashion in current era.

Nokia never predicted that Apple would be its biggest threat actually. Almost every industry is facing challenge: How can we survive and then thrive in such quick changing market circumstance? Like “ The Innovator’s Dilemma ” mentioned, business organizations are competing with different competitors from disruptive innovators of multiple industries.

In such rapidly changing market, the new leader received numerous information from outside. You could be easily buried by the tremendous WeChat subscriptions. I received around 200 pushing WeChat messages on which I was frustrated to check the details without any value creation. The new leaders or managers might face the same situation.

How excellent leader find out valuable information from ocean of noice?

1 Touch the ground, you need first-hand data!

For example, the new marketing manager always have headache on the gap between marketing strategy and customer demand. Customer do not have any intention to finish marketing manager’s job. What they want just is to be fed by “ solution ”. Moreover, the sales team would be your key obstacle to gather the customer demanding. What would you chose? Count on sales team or just wait to be fired?

Here is my suggestion. You need to trust real data!

The real data never comes from the sales team. It comes from market where your customers talk, where your customers argue, where your customers feel good and relaxed. Think outside the process of working would be key success factor for new managers. So what are you waiting for? The sales man’s report? You shall cross your finger to pray the report is really the true voice of customer demand.

2 What was the past events or business history of your team?

People in China do not want to share every true ideas and points of views with the leader. Sometimes China team only wants to tell you the information which they want you to hear. The Chinese culture is to keep the harmonious relationship inside of group. They do not want leader to hear their “ wrong ” ideas which could be very valuable for you. That’s why the foreign leader always feel struggling on communication with China team.

How can a Chinese leader handle such dilemma? Chinese wisdom can help you. We were instructed to mainly focus on the behavior of stuff but the voice. The intellectual Chinese leader investigated the past events & business history of the team. They want to know the details of team members’ decisions. Inside of business history, the team member could disclose their intention clearly together with the personal value and characteristic.

Of course, you maybe think it is too complicated and consume so much time. And you only want to talk with your team. But you need to guarantee that they tell you the true ideas and real intentions. Sharpening your knife help you to fight. It is really smart to spend some time with the history.

3 Ask advices from team

Beside of knowing the history, new leader need to have deep conversation with team member. What kind of conversation would be the best? I prefer the “ trouble shooting ”. Do not just leave the problem to leader’s hand. You need to bring your questions to the stuffs. They may never think of the solution for strategic questions. It is mainly because that they do not know what the value of strategic thinking is? When new leader praise for strategic thinking, the team members will surprise you especially from some stuff with more than three years working experience in your team.

Praise your team to do good things. They will appreciate growth mindset from the leader. Giving the team chance to grow is the great opportunity for the new leader as well. Since you are not ruling them, you need their help.

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