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New Definition of Leadership: In-depth Research, Looking Forward

Press ReleaseNew Definition of Leadership: In-depth Research, Looking Forward

(Edited by: MEI Dao)

Facing the increasingly dynamic global business environment and the rapidly developing social needs in China, Ms. GUO Lan, with her distinguished leadership style, quickly and deeply understands and responds to changes. She also injects new vitality into the steady development of the company with her unique perspective and management style. Under her leadership, the company not only stands out in the fiercely competitive market environment, but also provides employees with a good career development platform, realizing the common growth of the company and employees. Today, we are honored to invite this extraordinary leader who embodies modern women’s power and is devoted to promoting the development of human resource management to share her experiences.

Q1. With your profound background in international accounting and your passion for the field of human resources, you have successfully made a brilliant career transition and gained remarkable achievements in this industry. Could you share how you transitioned from international accounting to human resources and the challenges and opportunities you encountered in this process?

GUO Lan: There’s no doubt that my accounting background provided a unique cornerstone for me to step into the field of human resources. The training in the financial field made me proficient in data analysis, understanding its underlying significance, and able to make wise decisions based on these data. This skill is equally important in human resource management. However, the road to transition was not smooth. My biggest challenge was to overcome the inertia of thinking, to accept and learn knowledge and concepts that were completely different from my past experiences. As for opportunities, I think the biggest one lies in the time and environment I am in. Nowadays, human resources management is increasingly valued in enterprises and regarded as the key to shaping their competitiveness. This enables me to participate in the company’s decision-making process more deeply, use my knowledge and skills, propose innovative solutions, and bring positive impacts to the company and employees.

Q2. After your transition, you served as the Asia HR Operation Director in a well-known foreign company. Could you share with us your gains from this experience?

GUO Lan: This was a very important and fulfilling period in my career. Facing challenges and changes in the business environment, I learned about leadership. I also started to heavily try out some new leadership strategies, such as, I would place more emphasis on encouraging innovation and pragmatism. At the same time, I devoted a lot of time to studying and reflecting on the definitions and applications of leadership. According to my observations and learning, I believe that leadership is not fixed but needs to be adjusted and developed according to specific situations and environments. My research on mentality and behavior change based on the model of “informing-doing-transforming” is a comprehensive, structured theory of dynamic leadership. “Informing” represents that leaders need to clearly articulate expectations and goals; “doing” requires leaders to use appropriate means and strategies to promote work progress; “transforming” means that leaders should advocate and guide continuous learning and change. I found that this study is very applicable to rapidly changing and diversified work environments, it is also the secret to my successful handling of difficulties and challenges.

Q3. As the Asia HR Operation Director, how do you lead your team to achieve efficient operation and continuous innovation? And in your opinion, what are the key qualities that an outstanding leader should possess?

GUO Lan: In my view, the key to achieving efficient operation is to understand and respect the diversity of the team, establish an environment for barrier-free communication, and ensure that each team member understands their own goals and responsibilities. I have always encouraged team members to make full use of their professional knowledge, specialized skills, and experience. As a result, I have tried to create an environment that encourages diversity of thought, supports a fearless approach to learning, and provides an opportunity for each team member to contribute their views and innovative ideas. And, I encourage team members to remain curious and explorative in terms of work processes, technology, and strategy, exerting their best efforts to solve problems, and seeking better ways to perform their work. In my opinion, an outstanding leader should first possess good communication skills. This not only implies the ability to convey information clearly and effectively, but also involves the capacity to listen to and understand viewpoints from others. Second, leaders need to have strategic thinking and be capable of transcending daily trivialities to see and direct the bigger picture. Third, a leader must be empathetic, capable of understanding and caring about team members, and helping them to achieve self-improvement and maintain motivation by understanding their needs and concerns.

Q4. You have received the honor of “Top Employer in China” on behalf of the company many times. How do you view this honor, and what implications does it have for your human resource management strategy?

GUO Lan: This is a joint honor for our entire company. I’ve always believed that only by genuinely caring for, respecting, and fully trusting our employees can we ignite their fullest potential. We’ve consistently committed to providing the best development platform for our employees. To this end, we actively optimize the company’s human resource policies to ensure they truly meet the needs of our employees. This honor merely serves as validation of our efforts, and it motivates us to keep on cultivating this path.

Q5. As one of the course designers for the Asia Leadership Acceleration Program, this program has received widespread acclaim and won the honor of Brand Learning Program at the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards held by Trainingmag. Could you share the original intention and current status of this course design?

GUO Lan: I’m glad to share this project with you all. The original intent behind the design of the Asia Leadership Acceleration Program is to enhance the leadership of leaders in the Asian region, helping them to better cope with a rapidly changing environment and complex business challenges. In course design, we adopted a combination of practice and theory, allowing participants to experience and practice leadership through case analysis, discussion and project practice. The course covers all the key aspects from strategy formulation, talent management to team collaboration, aiming at comprehensively enhancing participants’ leadership. After the program, participants’ leadership has notably improved and they have been able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the course to their work, achieving good results. Every time when I receive such feedback, it makes me feel gratified. The honor of Brand Learning Program at the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards is also a recognition and encouragement for our work.

Through Ms. GUO Lan’s sharing, we see that in the constantly changing world, we need far-sighted and wise leaders who can grasp future trends and yet be rooted in current development. We look forward to them more actively participating in driving corporate social responsibility and contributing to the sustainable development of the global ecological environment in the future.

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