So now, I would like to turn to you as a woman and also a very influential leader. So we would like to know more about you as a leader. Research has shown that women who are sports champions are very good leader. So how did you, being a table tennis legend, shape your leadership?
I think as athletes, we be very confidence for that. And it is we are nervous, particular when we play the finals in the Olympics, such a lot of people watching you. But the things that we can cope with.
We can control ourselves quite well. So I think that’s as important for the leaders. When you lead the teams, obviously, you will meet so many difficulties.
And you have to find out the way. The leaders, you have to tell your team members how to go, where to go, when to go. So I think of around the sports, we have to train quick decision. And so when you become the leaders, you definitely have to make sure in everything you order, everything unplanned. And also that everybody will be happy or make a full effort for the achievement.
So you have to know, not only yourself. You’re controlled over not only yourself. You have control over actually.
And you have to find out that they are feeling sad or happy or something happened for their family, or whatever. You have to know. You should be very sensitive. Otherwise, how can you become a leader?
Exactly. And I think what you say is very much in line with some of the more recent research in leadership we just talked about, how the leaders have to really work collaboratively, and collaborative leadership is much more powerful and influential than, say, for example, the traditional charismatic leadership where the leader is on the forefront. And basically, all the light is on the leader.
But I think shining light on your group members is very important. And that’s the leadership that has been shown. So I think what you said is very much in line with what people are talking about now.
Yes, and also, you mention I think just now, I think the women’s athletes have become good leaders because the women sometimes look more detailed.
And they are, I think, automatically from their character–
–they care everybody.
And they are quite sensitive.
Yes. And that’s exactly what we found actually in the research that I did on with my collaborators in China, actually, in four major cities in China in startup companies. And what we found is that when the founding teams of the new ventures where it had greater gender diversity, the decision making process was much more open. People felt much more safe speaking up.
And that actually enhanced the capabilities of the firm. So this is very much in line with what you said is creating a culture of listening better, opening better, making other people open up, that, I think, is very, very important.
I would like to know focus– we would love to hear from you about, everyone is talking about the new generation of women in China. And there was a special feature recently in BBC as well. And many of these new generation of women look up to you as a very strong role model. So how would you describe this new generation of women and how they are transforming China?
Actually, what I understand about women in China nowadays, because many of their parents, many of the middle class people, they set their children, in particular for the girls, they wanted to have the best education they can. And provide the best conditions for them. Because still in China, in fact, men still dominated in the society, in the country, in the government, in every aspect.
So let the girl have to make stronger. Otherwise, you can’t compete.
You can’t compete with the same position with men, with the boys. So this is actually, we have to have fight to make the girls more stronger, more competitive. So that is, I think, the reasons why so many middle class people families send their girls to be a more competitive, to learn something more.
But for the boys, they too spoiled as a family. This is kind of culture in China.
And it’s also a virtuous circle. Because I think having strong role models, such as yourself, further reinforces and helps these new generation of women have the aspirations and the motivation to rise up as well.
I would like to thank you for providing all these insights and opening our mind up towards your views, as well as your experiences. And thank you again for being a part of this, being a part of this interview. And I personally really enjoyed having the opportunity to have this dialogue with you. And I look forward to a more stronger collaboration in the future. Thank you.
Thank you very much.