Technology As You Move Up

Technology As You Move UpWhen you start at lower levels, your technological ability is often the key to moving up. At higher levels, you should not be a doer as much as a leader. By the time you get to senior leadership, technology should only be 20% of your value. Leadership ability needs grow as you move up. And any flaws in your character become more harmful as you move up.

This would be true even if you were still in Bloomington. If you are a Westerner entering China as an investor or as an on-site leader, your leadership requirements go way up. Seriously, cross cultural leadership takes very high character and very high leadership ability. Not being in Bloomington means you need a good senior Chinese hire with character to start. You also need to become a learner to improve your leadership. I see some China authorities saying that you need to be the best at technology or your workers will not respect you. Technical expertise is a base of influence.  It is useful if you lack other ability. However, the best leaders I have seen in China are not putting all their weight on technology but rather improving their leadership. They can hire technology or get a consultant, but you cannot have a consultant be your leadership over the long hall. You can have a junior leader become expert in some technology, but you must be the leader. You cannot pass that ball on to someone else.

Also, your senior Chinese leaders should be on the same path. Companies here do not fail for lack of technology people, but rather for lack of character and leadership in the top leaders both Western and Chinese.

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Posted in: Being the Right Person, China, China Recruitment - Getting Good People, Leadership

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