A truly impactful leadership has dual focus where it moves a team towards the goal while also nurturing their individual growth. It’s an impressive act. Leaders, who make an impact, recognize and prioritize their team members’ growth as much as their end goal. Let’s read about the story of one such business personality who believes in such kind of leadership and making an actual impact through it. “I think an impactful leadership is a combination of courage, humility, resilience, commitment, strength, hardworking, and with a warm heart,” says Taiwing Tian. She is the Co-founder of Switching-Time and recognized to have a triumphed career at a young age. She further adds “I personally prefer a leadership that is to listen, to inspire, to empower and to support. That’s the direction and style we try to shape our key leaders at the agency.”
“Our Motto at Switching-Time is Be Bold, Work Hard, Stay Humble which represent our core values.”
A Visionary Approach
Taiwing Tian co-founded Switching-Time with her partner back in 2012 with the vision to create unique and impactful communications agency in China that focuses on Fashion, Beauty, Luxury and Lifestyle. It has been 9 years, the business and team had a very healthy and significant growth. They have developed a large client pool of wellknown international brands, won multi awards at key international awards programs by providing world-class work for their clients. Taiwing asserts “For the past 3 years, we have won 3 times in GOLD at Campaign Greater China Award. Setting it not only on par with 4A agencies, but ahead of them. This was a big recognization for our agency and our team.”
Inspiring from Elder
Taiwing considers her father as her inspiration. She keeps going back to her childhood, specifically growing up with her dad and gets inspired by him, who has always been very kind, strong and humble. She recalls one of her dad’s hobby tai chi, a graceful form of exercise in China, as she used to watch him practicing tai chi since she was little. This inspires her to practice the combination of soft and hard, to stay calm, and focus on inner strength and resilience.
Positive Work Environment is Essential
Taiwing believes a positive work culture is very important for their agency. As a communications agency, people are the most valuable assets to them. She considers humility, respect, trust and courage has been always important part of the company’s culture at Switching-Time. “We work as a team, support each other as a family, back up each other, like a family culture,” says Taiwing. She opines “We are here to make sure we inspire, encourage each other daily, maintain positive energy and stay true to who we are.”
Sustaining Growth through Novel Working Approaches
After 9 years of healthy growth and achievements, Taiwing now finds it challenging to take Switching-Time to another level to keep a sustainable growth. She mentions that in agency industry, where the pressure is extremely high, the common challenge is high staff turnover, and thus, quality of work gets affected and leads to client turnover. Thus, she believes in the golden triangle that reflects Growth, Probability and Happy team. She believes in keeping team motivated to keep the quality.
With its team leaders, Switching-Time launched the CEO strategy: C stands for Current Client Focus, E for Education and Learning, and O for Operational Excellence. Taiwing is of the opinion that the agency should grow through focus on current clients or their referrals. This would positively impact team balance, as well as guarantee the quality of work, as no time would be wasted chasing “maybe” revenue.
She believes that education means putting great emphasis on team capability development, and thus, the company launched student program (学堂), an academy for all team members, by support from external training resources, to make sure people work not harder but smarter.
The team at Switching-Time loves to support local start up brands and using its expertise and services to help them to grow. In the next five years, Taiwing wants Switching-Time to reinforce its status of leading integrated communications agency in China, continue to be the expert in Fashion, Beauty, luxury & lifestyle and keep growing current team to become the future business leaders…
Believe in Yourself
At Switching-Time, 90% of the team members are women, and Taiwing sees them as the future business leaders of China. On advising emerging businesswomen leaders, she opines “Believe in yourself, be bold & open, give 200% of energy and very important stay humble no matter at what stage. This will always lead you to somewhere.”