“Have The Courage To Take Responsibility. Usually, a person’s importance to a firm is proportional to how much responsibility he or she is willing to shoulder. However, when things go wrong, there can be serious consequences. My advice is to never blame your subordinates. You must be willing to be fully responsible for your employees; their work and their actions. If your do not have this attitude, your team will lose their passion.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Sabrina Chen. Sabrina holds the positions of Administrative Director and the Board of Directors Secretary at the MATRIX AI Network — an intelligent blockchain that aims to solve problems currently plaguing the adoption of blockchain technologies by leveraging the power of AI. She is experienced helping new companies grow and is passionate about helping people learn new knowledge and skills.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
My pleasure! The Blockchain industry presents a 2nd inflection point in my career. When I first graduated from the Beijing Forestry University in2013, I was fortunate to join a company called Asianinfo. At the time, Asianinfo had just listed on NASDAQ. It was a very exciting time. Our slogan was: “Bringing the Internet Home.” Looking back, I was certainly young and enthusiastic. But I don’t think I really understood the impact the Internet would have. I often think about all the ways my life has changed since then; just about every aspect of my life has been shaped by the Internet in some way.
In 2012, cloud computing was the hot topic of conversation. I joined an up-and-coming cloud computing start-up. This change allowed me to shift focus from HR to Business & Marketing. This career change forced me to gain a deeper technical understanding of technology and of our firm’s core business practices — including both front-end and back-end operations. I was also quickly charged with managing our company’s biggest strategic partners.
By the beginning of 2015, I was coordinating the company’s Series B Financing and handling our company’s application to the National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ). Around this time, I also officially became the company’s Board of Directors Secretary.
My experience as Board of Directors Secretary was wholly new and exciting — it was my first such position. My daily tasks now consisted of inquiring about policies and regulations on behalf of the company, disclosing announcements, preparing shareholders’ meetings and attracting new investors. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to absorb lots of new information. I was even more fortunately to have to do so quickly. I feel as though my experience demonstrates that every person’s potential is unlimited — people just need to be properly stimulated.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I really enjoy my work with MATRIX AI Network in part because of my passion for innovative AI technology, and in part because of our interesting partners. For example, one of the collaborations I helped coordinate relates to the digitization of assets. The first project on this digital asset platform deals with the forestry and timber industry in Laos. Through AI remote diagnosis, we’ll be able to manage and preserve these assets. I believe this is very important work.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I believe that family plays a vital role in the growth of a person. My parents’ hard work throughout my childhood imprinted me with a similar work ethic. My first boss also had an undeniable impact on me. Whenever my friends ask me for professional advice, I always tell them that their first boss at their first job after graduation should be their primary consideration. In my experience, choosing a strict boss allows you to develop a strong and rigorous work ethic from the very beginning. This will benefit you for the rest of your life.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
In China, we often consider Mobile Internet to be the first Internet revolution. I believe that blockchain represents the Internet’s second revolution. Due to blockchain’s decentralized nature, we have another chance to redistribute wealth and ownership. Blockchain represents an upheaval of traditional ownership structures.
The current Internet allows people to freely express and broadcast their opinions through a variety of channels and apps. People apply for accounts on these applications, but they are not owned; people merely have the right of use. Without ownership, accounts and messages on WeChat, QQ, Alipay and the like do not belong to people. Blockchain applications have the potential to fundamentally change this paradigm. Blockchain has the potential to make what is yours, yours. No company or individual will encroach on your power due to fundamental changes to the structures that currently ensure the status quo. This potential is very exciting to me!
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Current blockchain consensus mechanisms waste of lot of energy and computing power. Other issues relate to processing efficiency, emerging centralization problems, security issues and ease of use barriers. While these things worry me, I am encouraged by the fact that several companies out there are actively trying to solve them. MATRIX’s Green Mining and AI-based innovations — particularly the auto-coding smart contracts — are major reasons why I decided to join the firm.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I have often worked with smaller companies, akin to start-ups. Part of the reality of working in such companies is that positions that might be filled by many people in a larger company belong to a single person. Additionally, you often must help with tasks that might not strictly belong to you. In this instance, I was helping a colleague of mine who held the responsibilities of Security Affairs Representative. Arguably the most important responsibility of this position is to prepare the company’s semi-annual and annual reports. In larger companies, an entire team might be dedicated to these tasks.
Since these documents are incredible important, my colleague felt immense pressure. I comforted her and took this as an opportunity to help her hone her skills. I guided her through the process and helped her navigate the procedures. Another colleague from our company’s financial department was also unclear about some of the steps. I decided to take the time to walk her through the process, ensuring that both of my colleagues fully understood the ins-and-outs of these reports.
I believe that this is the way I can best bring goodness to the world — by helping people, be they colleagues or otherwise, learn. I believe that helping someone truly understand something is far more valuable then simply trying to help people earn more money or secure promotions. Focusing on understanding holds far more permanent benefits.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
I would like to share 4:
Never Refuse. If someone asks you for help, always say yes. No matter how big or small the issue or project, there is always an opportunity to learn.
Never Stop Actively Learning. I remember when starting my first job, my boss was the Vice President of the company. He needed me to prepare a PPT suitable for presentation to our Board of Directors. I studied and practiced how to make professional PowerPoints — I must have remade it 3–4 times in less than a week. However, and most importantly, I managed to finish on time and met his expectations. Urgency and high-pressure situations often help develop personal abilities.
Embrace Differences And Contradictions. To be a qualified manager, you need a high tolerance for differences and contradictions — so you might as well embrace them. Understanding differences between a company’s overall perspective and the perspective of individual employees is vital to ensure that individual work arrangements do not disrupt the company’s goals.
Have The Courage To Take Responsibility. Usually, a person’s importance to a firm is proportional to how much responsibility he or she is willing to shoulder. However, when things go wrong, there can be serious consequences. My advice is to never blame your subordinates. You must be willing to be fully responsible for your employees; their work and their actions. If your do not have this attitude, your team will lose their passion.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
To be perfectly honest, no single individual comes to mind. I would, however, love to reconnect with some old colleagues and friends, to see how they are doing.
Originally published at medium.com