Thisleadership paper focuses on George Li, the co-founder and the chiefexecutive officer (CEO) of 800APP Software Technologies Co., Ltd. Hebecame the CEO of 800APP in 2004. It is worth noting that Li is myneighbor whom I consider as my role model due to his leadershippractice. Li obtained his masters degree in Computer and SystemsEngineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Zoominfo par 6).He is believed to have adequate experience in the development ofenterprise applications for various companies including GeneralMotors and Oracle.
800APPis a Chinese private enterprise that functions in the softwareindustry. The company was founded in the year 2004 and itconcentrates in developing and marketing Customer Relation Management(CRM) Solutions (Zoominfo par. 1). Through these, organizations,either large or small are able to computerize their sales forcemanagement as well as facilitating customer service. In turn, thecompanies that use the CRM solutions are able to increase theirrevenue growth in addition to enhancing their customer satisfaction.Some of 800APP customers encompass ALCAN China, NEC China, ChinaMobile, ADP China, and Global Yasi Education amongst others (Societyfor Information Display p. 16-24).
Liis a person who was drawn to technology when he was still young. At avery tender age, he started playing with the things that lay aroundhim. Some of Li’s knowledge regarding technology came from hiselder brother who trained him to dismantle everything in order to seehow it works. From the interview, Li put forth that he recognized hehad the desire to discover stuff from an early age. This was thereason as to why he had great interest in business and technology. When he was still young, he became aware that one day he will be ableto establish his own company in future, which he did in 2004 as hewas the co-founder 800APP. With his strong educational background andinterest in technology, Li has helped 800APP greatly as the CEO ofthe company. He has used his skills to take the company into an eraof invention in technology especially during this twenty firstcentury that is characterized by rapid technological growth.
Liwas chosen for this interview due to various reasons. To start with,the CEO was easily accessible therefore, it was easy to arrange foran interview with him. Secondly, we needed to interview a leader whodeals in the field of technology considering that we have someinterest in technology. Besides, Li’s interest in technology sincehe was young was a driving force to choose him for this interview.The uniqueness of Li’s leadership philosophy also contributed in mychoice to choose him for this paper. His desire has made him to beone of the most notable technology leaders around China. He isbelieved to be among the smartest individuals around the country whohave helped their companies grow immensely in just a short time. Asthe chief executive officer of 800APP, he has the responsibility ofdeveloping CRM solutions that would make his customers to move to thenext level (800APPs par 1). Through his leadership, 800APP isplanning to change how companies operate by developing CRM solutionsthat would assist them in serving their customers in the mostexcellent way. As put forth by Li, customers are the most importantpeople in an organization considering that they are the ones who keepcompanies going. Without them, companies cannot be able to stand. Asa result, he came up with the idea of developing solutions that wouldhelp companies serve their customers best. This is the reason behindthe establishment of 800APP whose major aim was to offer practicaland affordable uninterruptedCRM solutions.
LeadershipPhilosophy of George Li
Lidefined philosophy as the manner in which leaders see themselves. Itacts as a guiding principle to the behaviors, actions as well as thethoughts of the leaders (Ruggero & Haley p. 28). Differentleaders have different philosophies which are swayed by both internaland external factors (Nhavandi p. 16-22). According to Li,leaderscan modify who they are by modifying their leadership philosophy. Asshown by studies, philosophy can modify as leaders develop theirunderstanding in the milieu of leading (Spillane & Diamond p.3-34).
Asput forth by Li,adoptingtechnology in the current time is easier and faster, especially withthe growth of smartphone. He also asserted that customers should havethe capacity of using technology in order to assist them grow andachieve their set goals. As for 800APP, the current productannouncements and design choices mirrors the said line of view, andin particular the user-friendliness associated with the companyproducts. Putting this into consideration, the leadership philosophyof Li can be summarized as “developing the best CRM solutions thatwould help companies to go to the next level of excellent customerservice” According to Li, this is the reason as to why the companydoes not focus on its competitors rather it endeavors at stayingahead with other things. In summary, Li’s leadership philosophy canbe explained in various aspects:
I always endeavor at developing the best CRM solutions that do not exist.
Leadership is an expedition consisting of leaders and followers.
I assist individuals in finding the best which they can offer.
I am able to reflect on my leadership style and how it impacts other people.
Including employees in offering their ideas for the betterment of the company.
Inorder to find one’s leadership philosophy, leaders shouldinvestigate and mirror upon their individual values, beliefs, andassumptions. Values are defined as qualities which a person values.An individual values are significant as they guide one’s intentionsbesides influencing the manner in which a leader leads. They help inestablishing a firm basis of leading. With regards to assumptions, Liaffirmed that these are ideas which are deemed to be true.Understanding the kind of assumptions which stimulate one’sleadership thinking is significant and leaders can achieve this byreflecting into the kind of leadership they offer. Lastly, beliefsare defined as ideas which individuals hold as right and they assistin shaping their realities.
Li’sleadership philosophy can be linked with his desire his company aswell as other developers to continue devoting themselves totechnology as this would make it accessible to individuals all overthe globe (EveryChina par 5). Licited his father as one of the people who influenced him greatly asfar as innovation is concerned. Libelieves in modifying the world by bringing new positivity.
EffectiveLeadership Methods or Approaches
Unlikeother companies, 800App is known to have unique behaviors indeveloping and marketing Customer Relationship Management solutions.This is seen in its accomplishments in the searches it conducts. Li’sinterview illustrates transformation of services and productsapproach to be more effective for success in comparison to theapproach of competition. He further states that poor basic companymanagement can lead to unprofitability. Motivation is a key factor inthe creation of exciting work force according to Li. If the aim ofworking is to compete with other companies, the work force tends tofocus more on what another company is producing rather than on thequality of work they should be producing. This in addition canproduce results which are not exciting not only to the consumers, butto the management as well. The other major problem according to Li isattainment of incremental development only. This is achieved as timepasses by since each time all that the work force does is creationof minor changes to already existing stuff. This however does not goon for long since it reaches a point where it becomes outdated.
Lihas a passion for innovation in developing CRM solutions and that iswhy he argues around that approach. He is always thinking of ways ofchanging 800App to become better. His leadership is democratic inthat he has equal and open approach of leading. There are severalreasons why great leadership in Li is found and they include valuinghis workforce and assisting them in their personal developmentalongside the development of the company.
Inhis leadership approach, Li advises his staff to think about crazyidea. He accepts such ideas brought forth by his employees as he isaware that they could work greatly in modifying the world. His mannerof leading such as including his staff to offer their creative ideasis based on his introvert nature. It has been shown that introvertspersons have a high probability of making the most excellent leadersfor practical staffs. His strong leadership skills have assisted inretaining employees as they believe in him taking 800App to the nextstep of technological innovation. He also practices active managementapproach. This is achieved by his behavior of working quickly andencouraging his people to make quick decisions. He encourages hisemployees to keep him informed regarding the progress of theircontinuing projects. This not only makes Li to be involved in suchwork but it also helps him to be effective in his everyday work.
Liis a concise leader. He always works at cultivating a quicker andlively management approach at the company. He encourages quickerdecision making as well as openness among his people. This can beevidenced by the reason that 800App’s top executives come togetheronce in a week to collaborate and make faster decisions. He wants800App to have the immediacy-minded approach in order to move forwardfaster. In a nutshell Li is a kind of leader who works numerous stepsat the same time in order to ensure that the company as well as hisstaff gets the best that he can offer. He can be said to be a greatleader who endeavors at retaining his staff as well as boost theservices offered by 800App.
Influenceson His Leadership Practice or Style
Li’sleadership style has influenced greatly the face of 800App. To startwith, he is an innovator who aims at ensuring that CRM solutions arefully developed. This according to him would enable companies as wellas businesses to offer better customer services. According to Li, CRMsolutions are very useful as they assist in the success of anorganization. This includes increasing customer retention andprofitability amongst others. All this can be attributed to Li’sinnovative ideas and the way he encourages his employee to come upwith new ideas which would move the company forward. His uniquenessleadership approach has allowed the company to invent new things thathave assisted their customers to offer better customer services. Hiscompany is an instrument of change and he wants other companies toemulate the same. Li is a democratic leader and this has assisted800App grow both in terms of retaining its employees and obtainingnew ideas as he allows his staffs to participate fully in the dailyrunning of the company.
Asevidenced by studies, democratic leaders help their companies to growas the work force feels incorporated in the daily operations(Northouse p. 26).
Leader’sReflections on Li’s Leadership Development
Asfor Li, he knew what he wanted from a very tender age. His educationbackground together his family has contributed greatly to what Li iscurrently. His father, who was greatly interested in technology,acted as Li’s role model and he endeavored at emulating hisfootsteps. Li leadership philosophy which is “developing the bestCRM solutions that would help companies to go to the next level ofexcellent customer service” shows his desire in innovation andensuring that CRM solutions are developed and adopted by companies inorder to help them become successful. He allows individuals to airtheir ideas and supports them to grow. Li wants corporations to beinstruments of change.
MyReflections on How the Interview Affected My Own View of Leadership
Fromthe interview, I learnt a lot regarding leadership and how leaderscan make the best of them in order to give their best in theirrespective work places. To start with, I was able to learn that inorder to lead effectively, a leader should have a leadershipphilosophy that acts as a guiding principle to the behaviors, actionsas well as the thoughts of the leaders. Different leaders havedifferent philosophies which are swayed by both internal and externalfactors. It is true that leaders can modify who they are by modifyingtheir leadership philosophy. Besides, philosophy can modify asleaders develop their understanding in the milieu of leading. Inorder to find one’s leadership philosophy, leaders shouldinvestigate and mirror upon their individual values, beliefs, andassumptions. For Li, being a great leader can be linked with hiseffective leadership philosophy, influence, smartness and greatdesire in achieving what he wanted. His desire made him to startusing technology when he was still a young boy. To be a leader alsomeans involving all people in the company to contribute their newideas. Through this, the company would not only be able to retain itsemployees but it would be able to give numerous ideas thus alwaysstay ahead from the competitors. I also learnt that leaders shouldnot focus at their competitors but rather they should focus oninventing new things that will always help them stay one step aheadfrom their rivals.
800APPs.Official website. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.800apps.com/
EveryChina.800APPs(Babaike)SoftwareTechnologies Co.,Ltd.2011. Retrieved fromhttp://www.everychina.com/buy/c-zba5f86/p-800apps_babaike_software_technologies_co_ltd.html
Nhavandi,Afsaneh. TheArt and Science of Leadership.New York: Pearson Education, 2012.
Northouse,Peter G. (eds.). Leadership:Theory and Practice.London: SAGE, 2010.
Ruggero,Ed & Haley, Dennis F. TheLeader`s Compass: A Personal Leadership Philosophy Is Your Key toSuccess(2 nd ed.). Academy Leadership Pub, 2005.
Societyfor Information Display. InformationDisplay, Volume 14, Issues 7-12.New York: Society for Information Display, 1998.
Spillane,James P. & Diamond, John R. Towards a Theory of LeadershipPractice. Journalof Curriculum Studies36 (1): 3–34, 2004.
Zoominfo.800APPs, 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://www.zoominfo.com/s/#!search/profile/company?companyId=348264237&targetid=profile
Appendix1: Interview Questions
What is your leadership philosophy?
What are your influences on your leadership practice?
What are some of the leadership methods you use in the daily running of the company?
What makes you distinct as a leader?
What are you doing to repeatedly in order to build your leadership capacity?
Give me an overview of your leadership development?
Appendix2: Contact Information
Email: [email protected]
Phone:86 10 5885 8938