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To achieve stable growth, an enterprise must live up to its conviction.

This quote is attributed to Cheng Yu-tung, one of Hong Kong’s richest men. In fact, Forbes puts him at the no. 5 spot on its 50 richest list in Hong Kong. Forbes estimates his net worth at $15.5 billion. Cheng controls NWS Holdings Ltd. which recently agreed to buy 8.8% of Beijing Capital International Airport Co. from GIC Pte.

Cheng’s quote resonates with the sentiments of most entrepreneurs as manyhold the same goals for their business—to grow steadily and surely like a tree that takes time to grow as it digs deeper into the ground and reaches upwards to the sky. It’s the sort of growth that most entrepreneurs who have a long-term vision for their company would want to achieve. Some entrepreneurs would want to see quick returns on their investments, and in the process,inevitably do stuff that endangers long-term prospects of their company.

To achieve growth, Cheng believes that conviction is necessary in an enterprise. But what is conviction? Conviction is to hold firmly onto a belief or opinion. Entrepreneurs can believe that he will sell X amount of his products. Then Cheng prescribes that entrepreneurs hold onto this goal firmly. If they believe it can capture more of the market, then everyone in the company should commit firmly to this vision.

Ralph Nader, who ran for President of the United States several times, made a similar quote about conviction. Nader said, “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” Nader’s quote supports Cheng’s belief about the importance of conviction in achieving a goal. This goal in Cheng’s quote is stable growth. It speaks about leaders who inspire people to push towards their goal.

Leaders have to be able to convince their people of the higher purpose of their endeavours. History certainly has its fair share of charismatic leaders who led people or their companies to great heights. In the realm of politics, there’s Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Mahatma Gandhi. In business, there’s Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.

Alexander the Great and Napoleon rallied their men to explore and conquer new territories overseas. Can you do that? Can you rally your people to reach their targets consistently for months on end and keep them happy along the way? Do you have the vision and conviction so that your people will follow your orders even if they have to make personal sacrifices along the way?

Steve Jobs said something similar to Cheng about living up to one’s conviction. Jobs said, “A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.” Jobs ran Apple on the belief that they need to create great products for their customers. Where is Apple now? Well, Apple is now a tech giant and many people have their products in their homes or have something with the Apple logo on it in their pockets.

Not much is known about the media-shy Cheng, but his quote provides a peek at how his mind works and his management style. If he was able to grow his money as an entrepreneur and become the fifth richest man in Hong Kong, then his words are probably worth listening to.

This guest post is written by Israel Defeo. He is the writer and online promoter of the leading financial comparison website in Hong Kong, Money Hero. The online portal presents up-to-date and unbiased information about insurance companies, credit cards, loans, deposit accounts and broadband and mobile plans.
Image Source: Cheng Yu-Tung

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