Courage. Determination. Tenacity. These are all qualities I find in abundance among the SME bosses I work with.
Their resolve and hard work, in building private companies of significant size and importance, seem super-human. Most of these companies were started a decade or more ago, when China was much less hospitable to private business, and the market economy was still in its infancy. The risks, at every stage, were large and close-to-hand. Still, they persevered, and eventually prospered.Â
How did they do it? Â I have no clear answer or insight, beyond the fact that all these men have uncommon intelligence and confidence. While firmly part of â€œthe new Chinaâ€, they are also, in one important respect, representative of the most classic of Chinese virtues.
These entrepreneurs personify an ideal beautifully described over 2,200 years ago, by the philosopher Mencius.Â
Â So it is whenever Heaven invests a person with great responsibilities, it first tries his resolve, exhausts his muscles and bones, starves his body, leaves him destitute and confounds his every endeavor. In this way, his patience and endurance are developed and his weaknesses are overcome.â€ *(see Chinese below)
*”å¤©é™å¤§ä»»äºŽæ–¯äººä¹Ÿå¿…å…ˆè‹¦å…¶å¿ƒå¿—åŠ³å…¶ç‹éª¨é¥¿å…¶ä½“è‚¤ç©ºä¹å…¶èº«è¡ŒæŒ‡ä¹±å…¶æ‰€ä¸ºæ‰€ä»¥åŠ¨å¿ƒå¿æ€§æ›¾ç›Šå…¶æ‰€ä¸èƒ½.” Thanks to my friend Cao Zhen for providing this.Â