China Briefing has a good article up on the issue of entering the food and beverage market in China. It is well worth a read if you are in that market. See it here
Guillermo García tells the story of what he is doing and how he is succeeding. You can sense his leadership ability in some of what he says.
To some extent I had to reinvent myself. There were several difficulties to overcome: finding the right location and keeping the balance between adapting the product to please local palates without losing the foreign flair of the concept were probably the toughest to manage. However, the business started off well and the market has given me a positive response.” He goes on to say, “Now the most important thing is to focus and fulfill the potential of this project. To achieve this, it will be crucial to keep in touch with the costumers and properly manage their feedback.”
Chinese people like employees do not give useful feedback unless you really are open to hear what they have to say. Guillermo appears to have great ability to listen, a mark of a great leader.
Just being filled with yourself will not work. Trying to be Chinese will not work either. You must listen to all the voices and work through changes intimately with Chinese workers on your team. You need to work hard to get the right people on your team or all the leadership in the world will not help you. It is clear that he is hearing many valuable voices and finding the right path. His people clearly are able to talk deeply and freely with him or he would not be able to do what he does. Seek to do the same, and you will have some of the very same successes you see he has had.
Chinese people can tell you everything you need to know if you have the listening ability to draw it out of them. It is worth learning.