What can you do today to make your tomorrow easier?
I would like to share with you the most concise and brilliant answer to this question which I just learned this past weekend. I owe it to Mr. Xinjun Liang, the CEO and Vice Chairman of Fosun Group, and I agree with every single point of the 4 points he made below.
This is not about how much money you are making today or how much money you can make tomorrow. This is about if there are people out there having the money and having a belief in you, so that one day when you need to make a bigger decision about your career, i.e. start your own enterprise, you don’t need to worry about the initial funding.
Discover a small group of people who share your ambition and vision, who have gained your respect and trust through hard work and character, and who can best complement what you have both on a career level and on a personality level, so that one day when you have a brilliant idea you don’t need to worry about where to get your team.
Industry/Sector Expertise (行业专业知识)
You don’t need to know every details about an industry but you need to know the history of the industry, how has it evolved and developed, what are the major players and what are their problems, and especially what are the vision and prospect going forward. If you are getting into an industry without having a vision of what it should or going to look like in the next 2 years, there is no reason why you should enter it in the first place.
Management Experience (管理经验)
You don’t have to be a Managing Director to actually obtain management experience. You can start manage people when you are an Analyst or an Associate. Actually you are probably managing yourself all the time. The best story you could tell here, no matter which level you are at, is that you turned over a project with a bunch of really bad players on the team. Everyone knows how to manage a good team: you give them the work and they get it done, then why do they need you at all? You have worked with bad teams before and you know how to train them and make things work, there you demonstrate how you can add value.
You probably don’t need all 4 to be successful, any 2 of them will make you substantially competitive; and with all 4, you’ll probably be the rain maker no matter where you go.