The Paulson Institute, in partnership with the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), convened over 100 Chinese and Western CEOs for a two-day Seminar on Leadership and Business in Shanghai, China. Hank Paulson invited Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, former Walmart CEO Lee Scott, Novartis Chairman Daniel Vasella, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, and Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner, to share experiences and lessons with the Chinese leaders, including ICBC China, Jiang Jianqing; Fu Chengyu, Sinopec; Xiao Gang, Bank of China; Liu Deshu, Sinochem; Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern Airlines; Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom; Liang Wengen, Sany Group; and, Wang Jianlin, Dalian Wangda Group. The sessions focused on leadership challenges in managing a global business as well as topics including how to identify and develop talent and how to engage stakeholders in markets around the world.
As Chinese companies look to “go global,” the Paulson Institute is committed to engaging Chinese companies on the importance of becoming global business leaders and engaging consumers, governments and communities, in addition to clients and investors. Being a good leader includes adopting strong sustainable business practices, engaging in corporate social responsibility at home and abroad, and being models for good business, social and environmental practices in all markets. An important part of the discussion also centered around how “doing good is good business.”
“Chinese companies are playing an ever-growing role in the global economy. The leaders of these companies want to be global business leaders, adding value to communities around the world as they expand their businesses,” said Paulson. “These are sophisticated businessmen who recognize the importance of engaging with stakeholders around the world and giving back to countries and communities in which they do business.”
In his own remarks to the gathered Chinese business leaders, Paulson noted that time is a CEO’s most valuable resource. Drawing on his experience working with CEOs in multiple countries and sectors, he offered his view that good CEOs delegate operating responsibilities and focus on five areas: strategy, culture, human capital, stakeholder engagement, and strong relationships with the board of directors. He made the point that while CEOs must build value over the long term, they must also achieve short-term progress to maintain confidence and build momentum. He remarked upon the rapid growth of Chinese companies, and the challenges that cultivate leadership, while emphasizing the importance of perseverance in achieving change.