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时间:2016-08-18 17:07:55 来源:中国英语作文网

Andrea Jung

Tsinghua University - (Beijing) Oct. 23rd

Good afternoon everyone. I can't tell you how honored I am to be here with you to talk about my thoughts on leadership and to share my experiences as one of only a handful of women today running a major global corporation.

As I look out at all of you .... some at the beginning stages of your careers....some well along the road to your future.... wherever you are on your own personal path I can promise you a world of opportunity and excitement. Anything you choose to do is within your reach. How far you go will depend on how high you set your dreams and how hard you work to achieve them. But whatever path you take, the foundation provided by a good education will make success come that much easier, I promise you.

I have shared my experiences on leadership with many different groups of people all over the world. But being here in the country where my parents and grandparents were born - a country to which I continue to feel strong emotional and intellectual ties -- is an enormous privilege and a dream come true.

I consider myself a relatively recent member of a new generation of business leaders faced with a dizzying pace of change and a global economic and political environment that are redefined by the day in this tumultuous 21st century.

I was offered the job as CEO of Avon four years ago, and it has certainly been an experience of a lifetime for me ever since. We've had a spectacular success, modernizing everything about the company from top to bottom.

With sales that this year will top $6.7 billion USD and a stock price which is at an all-time high, we've certainly had some incredible results. Avon has been named one of Fortune magazine's most admired companies and we've made Business Week's list of the world's most valuable brands for three years in a row.

You may not realize this, but Avon does business in 143 countries and we sell our products through more than four million independent sales representatives through our now-famous direct selling distribution model.

Of all the countries where Avon does business, China is without doubt our fastest growing market. Avon entered China in 1990, and we were the first international direct selling company to open our doors here. Over the years we have adapted our selling techniques to the unique needs of the Chinese consumer. Today, we sell our products in a variety of different ways, with broad distribution through 5,000 independent Beauty Boutiques, owned and operated by entrepreneurs who are building successful Avon businesses.

The majority -more than three-quarters-- of these Beauty Boutique owners are women, in keeping with Avon's founding principles of providing business and financial opportunities for women. This is really the core of our business vision and it is consistent from market to market all over the world.

Today, Avon is proudly known as "The Company for Women" in every country in which we do business. And our ability to provide women with both quality products and a significant earnings opportunity has become an important competitive advantage.

It is one of the reasons our business in China has grown so rapidly right from the start. Over the past four years we have experienced robust sales growth of 30% annually. In 2003, we expect to achieve total sales of $150 million to $200 million U.S. dollars. We have become the number one brand of skin care for Chinese women, and we're also one of their top three favorite makeup brands. Our facilities include 74 Branches in 27 provinces, plus a $41 million state-of-the-art global manufacturing facility in Guangzhou.

Going forward, our strategy for Avon recognizes China as the number one market in the world for future expansion, reflecting our strong commitment to bring new business opportunities to entrepreneurial women in every corner of this great country.


As I look back to all that we have accomplished over the past decade and particularly over the past four years, it has been a real period of breakout success for our company .... breathtaking, but also exhausting. The roller coaster ride has opened my eyes to many things....about the increasingly complex demands of running a business today, about my own competencies and the need to constantly challenge and renew my own commitment to being a better leader.

I had no idea at the moment I became CEO that I would experience such great fortune and such great challenge both at the same time....and how enormously my life would change as a result. No idea what privilege, yet what responsibility comes with being the first woman to lead the company, to be constantly scrutinized as one of less than a handful of women CEOs today - what it would be like to balance my Chinese cultural background - what the responsibilities of the office would entail in this unparalleled environment. And what it would mean to be a business leader that could distinguish him or herself in today's world where the game is changing by the minute.

As I reflect on my rapid rise to the top as one of the few women running a major global corporation, I have found myself thinking a great deal about my Chinese heritage and how enormously fortunate I am to have been given this very precious gift.

I was raised in a traditional Chinese family where achievement was not demanded, but expected. My father, born in Hong Kong, was a successful architect. My mother, born in Shanghai, was the first female chemical engineer in her graduating class at the University of Toronto in Canada. They arrived in America not speaking a word of English but through hard work, both were able to fulfill their full potential, and their success has set a wonderful example for me.

My parents were always, and continue to be today, the single biggest influence in my life. They raised my brother and I with a respect for the values and traditions of our Chinese heritage, yet also with an unwavering commitment to bring us up with all the opportunities for higher education and a desire to prepare us to adapt to American society and to succeed in this world of great change.

My brother and I were given all the opportunities of our American friends - the same schools, the same tennis lessons, the same piano teachers....but we had the wonderful advantage in my mind of a cultural heritage that we were always taught to be proud of. Mom and Dad always wanted us to be proud of being Chinese - my brother and I smile today when we reminisce on growing up in our house. We grew up believing that being Chinese was the greatest advantage in life; in our house, everything important in life came from China, was invented in China, owed all to the Chinese.

We went on elementary school field trips to pulp plants, where they taught us how paper was made. paper was invented in China, Mom said, after we relayed the process in awe. Our favorite neighbors were Italian and invited us over for spaghetti. When we came home and raved, Dad would remind us that Marco polo brought pasta home from China. Not Italian....Chinese....and so it went. And how wonderful they were to instill in us the sense of pride in our heritage that we have never forgotten.

When I first became CEO, a famous American television journalist interviewed my dad and asked him if he always knew I would be successful in business. No, he said, quite to the contrary, he worried for years that raising me to be a respectful Chinese daughter would hinder my ability to compete in a world with what he considered the aggressive, cut throat traits of typical America CEO's. In fact, he passed on a letter to me that I keep, translated from Chinese to English, in my desk drawer. The letter reads:

"Remember, there are distinctive qualities that set apart the successful Chinese....strive to excel in all you do; be a superb parent willing to curtail your own pleasure for the sake of better nurturing your children; be generous, fair, tolerant, eager to learn from other cultures while sharing your own. But beyond these attributes, remember to have an absence of arrogance and boastfulness; have unfailing courtesy, forbearance, sensitivity of others' feelings and above all, the ability to diffuse your anger and grievance, not by surppressing them but by transforming them into helpful, positive emotions. In an age and environment of pretension, you have a precious Chinese cultural heritage which we are proud to pass down to you....."


And so, with my parents definition of distinguished leadership in my drawer at all times, I have pushed forward to redefine aggressive as assertive, yet hopefully never abrasive, to insure that I'm tough enough to make the hard decisions, but never unfairly, always treating people well...reminding myself at all times to have the humility and sensitivity which is expected in the Chinese culture, adapted to the needs of the pressing business environment which requires a healthy dose of outwardly expressed confidence and courage.

In a way, my own experiences reflect those of many women in the business arena who struggle to retain the best of who they are while carving out a successful management career. During my visit here, I have met and talked with so many women, and I am truly heartened that the doors of opportunity are beginning to open for women in every field. But I also know that real change is a slow process, so I am hopeful that my own experiences as a woman and as a leader will provide a valuable perspective.

As the company for women, Avon's commitment to providing developmental opportunities for women is second to none. As you might expect, Avon has a solid representation of women in senior management. In fact, this was one of the reasons I joined the company a decade ago, working my way up the ranks through areas of increasing responsibility.

But interestingly, it has only been in recent years that "the company for women" has also emerged as the company for women in senior leadership positions. Until the last decade, women were not well represented in the executive suite. With few exceptions, middle management was about as far as they could go. Here was a company with virtually 100% women customers and sales representatives, yet capable women simply could not get to the top.

This not only proved unfair, it also proved to be a poor business decision. The lack of women in management came to hurt Avon. Between 1975 and 1985, more than twelve and a half million women entered the United States work force. These working women had to be served in new ways. But, at that time, Avon's leadership team was still made up entirely of men. Women's voices weren't heard as we planned our marketing strategy and as a result, sales in our largest market suffered.

Fortunately, Avon learned to change. Men and women now work together as equal business partners. They learn from each other and respect each other. We still offer our male executives an outstanding career opportunity, but now women have an equal chance to succeed.

Today, six out of eleven of Avon's board of directors are women. My number two executive is a woman. Almost half of our management staff around the world are women. And importantly, we have put in place special programs to develop the next generation of women who are being trained and prepared to become General Managers in markets all over the world.

I am equally excited about our progress with the development of the next generation of Avon's women leaders in China. Women now account for 78% of our total workforce here. Even more impressive, 75% of our managers and supervisors are women, and 30% of our most senior executive are women.


With Avon's reputation for promoting women and my own career success, I am often asked for advice on how people can prepare themselves to be the leaders of tomorrow. In fact, over my career, I have come to believe that there are indeed some very special qualities that distinguish all leaders - and help them stand out in today's competitive arena.

First is passion. You have to love the work you do. You have to be excited to come to work every day. They taught us the four principles of marketing when I went to school: product, price, place, promotion. But they didn't teach us the fifth, most critical principle which as far as I'm concerned is passion, the key to being truly successful as a leader over the long run.

No matter what career path you choose, I believe you have to love what you do. My own personal experience proves this point. There was a time in my Avon career when I was passed over for a promotion to be the CEO. I had a job offer to be the head of another company, but a woman I respected gave me some good advice. She told me always to follow my heart, not my head. So I followed my heart and stayed at Avon. In the end, I got the promotion, but most important, I have always loved my work, and that has made all the difference.

The next distinguishing quality of leadership is Compassion - caring about people. In my four years as CEO at Avon, I've had to make some tough decisions and difficult calls -eliminating jobs and closing factories. Actions that affect good people. The horrible part of the job. But I believe we demonstrate compassion and treat people fairly, with respect and dignity during those tough decisions. And it is the responsibility for those of us wanting the privilege of being tomorrow's corporate leaders to honor the commitment to compassion and the protection of the human spirit, in spite of the pressures and demands of business today.

Along with compassion comes Humility. Many people are surprised to learn this is one of Avon's core values. None of us has all the answers. And all of us must listen to each other, because listening makes us stronger. One of the things I've learned about myself is that I tend to be impatient in solving problems. Instead of listening to the opinions of others, I try right away to find solutions. I have had to learn that other people can give me valuable input and that listening makes me a better leader.

To be a better listener, I now bring employees from all over the world - including China - to New York City four times a year to hear their suggestions for how to improve our business. I meet with them for a full day and spend most of my time listening. This is one of the most important things I do.

Balance is another essential leadership quality in today's complex world, and it's a quality that is especially critical for women who are juggling many and sometimes competing roles. As a working mother with two children -- my daughter Lauren is 14 and my some Jamie is 6 -- I constantly struggle with the issue of balance. people always ask me how I do it, and my answer is....it's never easy to balance work and family.

I'll give you an example. I belong to an executive committee of CEOs from the business world. Recently we were invited to Washington for a meeting with the president of the United States. This was very exciting to me. What an incredible opportunity. The only problem was, the meeting occurred at the same time as my daughter's first big trip away from home. It was a big moment for her and her friends - to go on a multiple day trip - and my daughter needed me to be there.

What should I do. There was never a doubt in my mind. The president wouldn't know if I was there or not. But my daughter would. So I went to the bus with her and I never looked back. It didn't affect Avon that I didn't go to the White House. But I also tell women that it is even all right if your job does sometimes come second to your personal priorities. Sometimes the job is more important.. But sometimes your family has to be more important.

There are two final qualities of distinguished leadership that I want to share with you today. These may be the most important qualities of all and how lucky we are that both are a fundamental part of our Chinese culture - something we all learn from our parents virtually from the day we are born.

First is perseverance. I'm talking about simple hard work and a commitment to stay the course even when times are tough. In today's fast-pace business environment, unexpected challenges come at you from all directions, with no end in sight. Sometimes I read articles about myself and my career path and it makes it sound so easy. But believe me, it hasn't been easy for a single day. I work far harder now than I ever have in my life. I've had to embrace constant change, and every time I think I've finally mastered the situation a new challenge comes along I hadn't anticipated.

There will be many days when the challenges each of you confront will seem overwhelming. We all have those days; they go with the territory when you are trying to achieve something great.

perseverance and hard work will see you through the tough times. My parents instilled these qualities in me and it has made all the difference. Sometimes I watch young Americans quit when things are difficult, and I always advise them to try again....and again....and again. Never give up until you achieve your goal. That's what distinguishes those who make it to the top from those who don't.

Hard work is essential.....but all the hard work in the world won't take you anywhere unless you know where it is you want to go.

That's why it's so important to have a dream. This is the final important quality of leadership. Everything great that has ever happened in this world began with a dream.

Avon has big dreams. In fact our company theme this year is "Dream Bigger." We want to be number one in beauty worldwide and number one in satisfying our customers and sales representatives. We want to be the best place to work. We want to be the leader in philanthropy. And we want to be one of the world's most successful companies.

I have a personal dream as well. My dream is to make a real difference for women all over the world and to help transform lives. Every time a woman opens an Avon Beauty Boutique, we are making her dream of business ownership come true. This is the dream of unlimited opportunity This is the dream of hope. It is also the dream of China - where everything is possible and success can be as great as the size of your imagination.

In many ways the dream of China is really the biggest dream of all -- and it's a dream we all share. And we're not alone. The dream of China has captured the world's imagination since the beginning of history. From Columbus to Marco polo, explorers have traveled long and far to unlock China's mystery and discover its riches.

The dream of China is a gift given to each of us as part of our cultural heritage. As China emerges as one of the world's leading powers, this dream grows stronger and brighter every day. The world is looking on in awe. And nothing makes me prouder than to watch this growth and success. Nothing makes me prouder than to know that this is my culture. Like all of you, I am very proud to be Chinese, and very grateful that I have been given the gift of this wonderful heritage. It is a gift that serves as a source of strength and as a guiding compass every single day in my life and in my career.


In closing, I encourage all of you to take full advantage of the gifts you have been given.

You have the benefit of a precious cultural heritage, including a respect for the value of hard work. You know what is important and you work to achieve it. And your are tenacious in pursuing your goals.

As you pursue these goals, I encourage you to aspire high.

Dream big dreams. Dream bold dreams. Dream as far as your imagination will take you.

Whatever it is you dream of, there is no doubt in my mind you can do it. The world is open to you. So go out there and make all your dreams come true.