As a proven leader and strategic thinker, Mr. Bryan Wang has been leading Shanghai Metal Corporation for roughly fourteen years now. Throughout his journey, Mr. Wang has learned many valuable things about the role of leadership and the evolution it has taken. Passionate about business, more specifically the business of world’s best steel products, Mr. Wang is driven by the belief of a customer-driven culture, as well as the principle of supporting and promoting the professional development of the employees at SMC.
We met Mr. Wang for a brief interview to ask him questions to understand better his role as a decision-maker, leader and a respected role figure for people starting out in their career life. Below you can read the extract of the interview.
How do you know that you are leading well?
It is the company’s profit that tells me if we are doing well or not. If the profits get better it means that we are doing good. Also, I look if people are happy. It is very important to me that everybody is happy because if they happy, they work better. So I am always looking out for the working environment, for example, if they like the afternoon tea that we provide, I am happy. Also, I am always thinking how to make things fair to everyone, as well as productive and effective for us. They should be compensated for the hard work they have done.
How do you know that you have made the right decision?
My brain is little, that is why I need more people to help me, to help SMC. Actually I need people who could help from inside their hearts. I am the kind of person who always support people, and I also expect constructive discussions so we could learn from each other. That is actually the role of a manager, to help other people to reach the goal set for the team. They are supposed to work as a team and support each other. But I also think that a good manager should also help each one to reach his/her own success because it is very important to become successful and I want my employees to be very successful. I am learning every day with everybody working here. Every day. From this learning process I could also see who is good and who needs more support. And finally, when I spot a problem in the company for example SMC getting more competition, it is time to act upon it and try to revert the situation so we acquire a more favorable position in the market.
How have the foreign interns helped your company as a whole?
I see the foreign internship program as a window, a motor, an engine to help SMC build an international image all over the world. The way I see them is a source of good and fresh ideas. And I think this is very important in the company. Ideas. Of course not all ideas are good, but I hear all of them and then evaluate each one of them. What I expect from them is that they understand how SMC works. I mean, they have to grasp how the system works here, especially in the beginning. That is important so that business and daily tasks could run smoothly. I am also concerned if they are happy and if they are doing a good job. On the other hand, I think the local people need to change a little bit to accommodate the foreign interns in to the local habits.
What do you look for in a good candidate to work at SMC?
I look for people who are hard working, who contributes to the company, and have good results. Especially in the beginning, when you have to pay more attention to learn all the new things about the company, it is important to follow the company’s rules. Of course you can think about our process and make recommendations and suggestions in order to change what has not been working well. We have our KPI metrics to see who is doing well and who is not. We need good people, the ones who think about the company in the long-term. I am always following each one’s performance, but I also have an immediate sense of how a person is by just talking to this person for one minute. One minute is all it takes to know how a person is.
What is the secret behind the success at SMC?
Openness and fairness. These are the secret behind the success at SMC. I appreciate everyone’s suggestion. And to me this is the best way to find out what the problems in the company are. I won’t know what the problems are if you don’t tell me. That is why I think it is important to have an open and fair conversation so we could spot any problem or things that are running perfectly in the company, hence act immediately.
Can you give any tips for people starting out?
In the beginning you have to work very hard and follow people’s and company’s instructions. This is relevant in order to understand how the process works as a first step. After that, you have to think and reflect on what you have seen and give a clear reason to what and how things could be better. Smart thinking is important. Also, you have to look after the places you worked at. For example, if you come to leave the company one day, it is not good for this person to talk bad things about the company that he/she just left. Hurting the image or reputation of the company is not seen as a good quality in a person who does that. One good thing is to always look at the bright side, what you learned while you were working there, and appreciate the opportunity and the lessons learned. Say thank you is a way to appreciate things in life. Finally, you have to be honest and trustful. No company wants to hire people who do not have these qualities. So those are the aspects that one must look at once starting out in their career life.
Shanghai Metal Corporation (SMC) serves the world’s businesses as an integrated global manufacturer, exporter, and supplier with offices and subsidiaries located throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. SMC manufactures a wide-array of value-added Metal Products, Building Systems, Shipping Containers, and Machinery. Just as crucial to this leadership is our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability, safeguarding our planet for our family and friends across the globe, which embodies our company’s commitment to Building Value Across the Globe.
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Camilla G.//SMC Editor