Business | Global Virtual Networking Event : Leadership and Career in Post COVID-19

On November 16th, our first event in our Global Talent Networking Series, ‘Leadership and Career in the Post COVID-19 World’ took place and was a great success.

Nearly 300 people signed up and 196 attended from 17 countries including the UK, Germany, Finland, US, Malaysia, Switzerland and other Asian countries, coming from a variety of industries and career paths.  From students to high-level management, the event attracted a great range of people.

Our founder and CEO Ting Zhang gave an introductory speech to welcome the speakers and attendees.  The invited speakers included Lord Wei of Shoreditch, the first Chinese member of the House of Lords in the UK, Suwei Jiang, chief partner of PwC’s UK-China business, Chris Cheung, founder of Agile World, Jenny Chen, senior leadership coach, and Tony Xu, founder of Perfocal. 

 

Lord Wei

The event began with a speech by Lord Wei of Shoreditch, entitled ‘How to Become an International Leader of the Future’.  He discussed the skills required for success in the post-COVID world.  Tackling difficult topics such as the ‘glass ceiling’ phenomenon and how to overcome it by “understanding the culture at the highest level and focusing on the person you are”.  He also spoke of how to remain positive in difficult times while looking forward to “innovate and improve” to prevent further crises.  The post-pandemic world is constantly changing, and so he urged attendees to develop a diverse array of skills applicable to global development. By stepping out of one’s comfort zone, to Lord Wei, one can become a more successful leader.  Here are three points that Lord Wei believes are important in Leadership:

1. Resilience

When faced with sudden changes and challenges, leaders need to be flexible and adaptable.  The pandemic has provided us with new opportunities for global digitalisation.  For example, our own Digital Networking Event was held via Zoom.  By embracing these changes, leaders can make quick judgments and be well-equipped for the future.

2. Willingness to Listen

Regardless of industry, Wei believes we should all work together to understand each other and communicate well.  This is vital for the newly digitalised and interdependent world we live in today.

3. Build Networks and Establish Deep Connections

The establishment of deep and trustworthy connections is important for personal development.  These links can transcend cultural and geopolitical boundaries and break the barriers of time zones to come together in constructive and collaborative ways.  

 

Panel Speakers

The panel of experts Suwei Jiang, Chris Cheung, Jenny Chen, and Tony Qiuhao Xu shared their personal stories, gave advice for budding entrepreneurs, and discussed the best ways for overcoming cultural differences.  Each speaker had the opportunity to share their career development paths and experience.

Suwei Jiang shared his experiences since graduation.  Starting as an accounting management trainee, after twenty-two years of work, Suwei has successfully expanded a network and has become a business partner of PwC UK.  She also introduced her workplace experiences and best tips:

1.  Work Smart

Work requires high effort and accurate execution, and only by fully understanding the expectations of others can one be forward-looking and achieve short and long-term goals.

2. Create Value

Your personal driving force will determine the breadth and height of career development.  People in the workplace must not only strive to achieve self-worth but also find ways to provide value to those around them and the company as a whole.

 

3. Build Trust

Maintain team trust through successful work.  A good foundation of trust will motivate others to help you achieve your personal goals.

Jenny Chen, a senior workplace mentor and HR professional, expressed her view that the first step in career development is to fully understand the industry you intend to enter.

1. Know yourself:It is essential to fully understand individual strengths and weaknesses.

2. Know the company: Identify individual direction and familiarise yourself with the target company: the industry, services, products, leadership style and values.  According to individual characteristics and strengths, choose the industry and company that suits you best.

3. Know your colleagues:Look at the kinds of people they are, whether the style of the boss is good, and whether you will be provided with adequate and necessary growth opportunities

Tony Xu spoke in detail about his advice for those who are interested in starting a business in the UK.  He suggested that professionals, regardless of level or seniority, should embrace multiculturalism and use personal experience to ensure high-quality execution.

More important than a perfect plan, is how one implements it.  Entrepreneurs should speak with colleagues and friends and implement a step-by-step plan.

Chris Cheung spoke of the opposite: starting a business in China.  He believes that China is a market with huge potential and is experiencing a period of rapid change.  Many opportunities for expansion here lie in digital marketing.  Therefore, understanding China’s digital marketing sector is a necessary skill for foreigners looking to start a business in China. 

 

Group Discussion

Engaging breakout rooms for the following 30 minutes allowed participants to question the speakers further and network.  In-depth conversations

Throughout the event itself, participants were also engaging with the speakers via the online chat function, discussing topics such as learning Chinese, cultural difference, entrepreneurial thinking and global career development. 

Thank you so much to all that attended, and to the Crayfish team for making the event possible.  We look forward to seeing even more of you at our next event.