The first great entrepreneurial leader in China was Deng Xiaoping. From 1978 until 1989 he led China through a number of envelope stretching market economy reforms. The China we know today, which is on the brink of becoming the biggest economy in the world, is a direct result of those Deng led reforms. Communism/socialism, as we know it, does not work as a market economy and changes had to be made to the system established by Mao Zedong. Deng studied in France in the 1920s and returned to China prior to the revolution; he was a veteran of the Long March.
Entrepreneurial Leadership in China
Deng began something, which has been continued by a succession of Chinese leaders, to move that populous nation into a world economic super power. Chinese people around the world have been known for their industriousness and economic networking. This nascent energy and motivation of the Chinese people, domestically and abroad, has been channelled by the leaders of a socialist state to allow China to flourish economically, and to avoid what happened in the Soviet Union. Leadership development was vital for China to move forward into the twenty first century. Political systems and management systems that get stuck in genuflecting to the past rarely survive into the future.
Xi Jinping is continuing that strong entrepreneurial leadership today in China. More market reform is on the agenda, along with crack downs on graft and corruption within China. The political situation in China is far from perfect, but it is a lot better than it once was. There is still a great deal of nepotism and bribery for favours at the top levels of government. This type of corruption exists everywhere, but is particularly prominent within authoritarian regimes like communism. Powerful politburo members protect and favour their family members, often creating dynasties of power.
Wherever there is money there will be corruption and entrepreneurial situations demand investment. China will continue to grow and evolve within as a market economy, and the economic demands will mould it in new directions. The world, including China, is in a relatively low growth phase at the moment and only entrepreneurial skill will get us out of this slow growth. New technologies will continue to feed market demand in the consumer realm. New businesses will emerge out of these continuing technological developments. Governments need to foster growth and not hamper it with unnecessary red tape and backward thinking; China is no exception.