Executive Coach in China


Tristan Francis worked at Morgan Stanley for five years and is spending the summer in Chengdu as an executive coach – before he goes to Harvard for an MBA in the fall. One could say he is an “insider,” although he is considerate and never forgets his tough neighborhood in New York.

He gave us several group sessions and some intensive one-on-one sessions, in order for us to maximize our potential. Obviously there are some things that work at Morgan Stanley and in the US that do not work here, and he knows that.

The upside to working in China is that there is a lot of team spirit in the workplace. Teams often perform better than loose collections of individuals, depending on the task.

The downside to working in China is that there is a lot of team spirit in the workplace.

The intense team spirit means that there are no real boundaries between work and life. People are expected to do pretty much anything and everything after hours and on weekends, if it will help the company. Americans sometimes resist this.

The Chinese workplace has teams. Yet the hierarchies are sharper and more pronounced, above the teams. It is difficult to challenge superiors in China, or to even offer mild constructive criticism, as this is seen as insubordination or subversion.

In general, overall, I think the plusses still outweigh the minuses. Also, I think Tristan’s effect was positive, and I’ve already noticed a few improvements.


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