I was tapped to lead a six-person team plagued by complaints such as "I feel stifled by the bureaucracy," "I am bored by the repetitive routines," and "My boss has no sense of business." Before taking on the responsibility, my mentor asked whether I had seriously considered what it meant to lead this infamous team. In my response, I quoted my former coach: "There's no bad boy, only a bad coach."
I did not criticize the so called bad boys, many previous leaders had done the same mistake and I certainly did not want to follow in their footsteps. Another positive thing which I did was that I listened to them patiently and gave them a good chance to express themselves, all these above things worked in my favor and I ended up winning their hearts.
I defined my role as the team's backup. I wouldn't lead; I planned to support. I shared my vision of turning the team members into real leaders who not only developed ideas, but also put them into action and delivered results. I invented the "changing seats" game, in which team members alternated sitting in my chair every Monday morning, initiating an activity for the whole team to execute that week. Later, I proposed setting up a Your-Voice forum, in which the team would exchange ideas about the latest international practices in trade finance as well as necessary reformations in workflow and business process. Motivated by the team's enthusiasm, I convinced the executives to provide a small budget to support our lecture series involving professionals in insurance, shipping, and foreign exchange management policy. The lecture series was open to the entire organization, which helped rebuild the team's image into a positive one. Gradually, I guided my bad boys to turn their innovative ideas into case studies and papers for top management's reference. Some were quoted widely in the bank. One year later, two of my bad boys were promoted to team leaders in other offices, and the rest were recognized in the bank as innovators. They were no longer bad boys.
The Capability of a leader is measured by the results, a leader is expected to defy all odds and achieve the goal and I certainly achieved my goal of transforming the so called Bad boys into matured leaders. This goes to show my ability as a leader.
3. Personal Statement 1
Could a commercial bank play the role of investment bank Although some peers perceived international trade finance as low-end commercial banking, preferring high-end investment banking instead, I established my roots in this area with love and repositioned my career with passion.
In 2007, I approached a potential customer who showed no enthusiasm for my credit letter-based international trade finance solution, looking instead to investment banks, which were raising capital through private equity and then getting IPOs overseas. This challenge stimulated my comparison of investment banking and commercial banking. Commercial banks are more conservative, issuing loans based on customers' current financial situations; meanwhile, investment banks are more aggressive and value future cash flow. Therefore, China's high-growth companies are more enthusiastic about investment banking as the valuation on their future cash flow gives them more potential in fundraising through investment banking.
Thus, I proposed breaking through the traditional philosophies and learning from the investment