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Chinese New Year event:
Double happiness and water-like leadership

The Dragons Businessclub was welcomed by dragons and live music at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.

Dragons Businessclub

We celebrated the Year of the Monkey. This is also the time of the year that we announce the Dragons Business award. It is our yearly ritual. This award is designated to members of the Dragons Businessclub that has seen significant growth in Chinese-Dutch business. Last year’s winner Jacco Bouw of Webpower announced this year’s winner: 1421 Consulting Group. They help companies who are looking to start their business in China. For instance, by their office facilitation. Michael Pronk, one of the founding partners of 1421 Consulting Group accepted the award: “I had to prepare for the possibility of giving a speech. The Dragons Businessclub told me, just say something inspiring. But as a service provider we don’t just want to inspire, we want to assist and contribute to establishing and growing Chinese-Dutch relationships. Just like the other two nominees. This award is really for all our people who do all the hard work in Beijing and Shenzhen. I accept this award on behalf of them.”

From left to right: Jacco Bouw (Webpower), Michael Pronk (1421 Consulting Group), Atom Zhou (Dragons Businessclub)

Our other two nominees were China Inroads and International Performing Arts.

Left: Dorrit Sliepen (China Inroads).

Right: Uling Hu (Dragons Businessclub)

Left: Felicitas Speth von Schulzburg (International Performing Arts).
Right: Uling Hu (Dragons Businessclub)

This evening we also enjoyed an interesting tour of the building of the Royal Tropical Institute. Interesting, not just because of the beautiful building, even more due to the enthusiastic guide, who could even make the door handles of the building very exciting.

Dragons Businessclub

We learnt a lot about the connection with the colonial history of the Netherlands. The entire building is full with decorative features and symbols that refer to different cultures of the world. Next, China expert Dr. Wendong Deng of KIT Intercultural Professionals shared his insights about Chinese leadership styles. He talked for instance about how mismatching of Chinese leadership styles towards their Western employees can occur. He also explained the water-like leadership style, which has attributes such as altruistic, modest, flexible, transparent, and gentle, but persistent. The changes from a new generation perspective were discussed as well. A transition from an authoritarian and controlling style to a participative or empowering leadership style. Which is of course, not that different from what happens in the Netherlands. The key take-away? Although there are guidelines for understanding the leadership styles in China, it is important to look at the whole context. Or as Dr. Wendong Deng phrased it: “You have to smell what is in the air”!

Dr. Wendong Deng (KIT Intercultural Professionals)

Selection slides Chinese Leadership Presentation

After our members had enjoyed their Chinese food, talked something more about the workshop, and met new people, everybody left with a Hong Bao 红包. A red envelope and a warm goodbye with the wish of “Double Happiness”. On a personal note, I was really “double” happy, when I arrived home and found two chocolates in the Hong Bao. Chinese tradition, with a Dutch twist.

By Marleen Spijkman

Pictures taken by Michael Tsang

View all pictures here.

 

Read more about our members:

From left to right, volunteers of the Dragons Businessclub together with KIT Intercultural Professionals: Georgina Li, Yuyo Tsen, Atom Zhou, Uling Hu, May Wu, Bart van Luijn (KIT Intercultural Professionals) Nga Yau Wong, Marleen Spijkman, Marike Schilderman (KIT Intercultural Professionals)

 

 

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