Whenever I sign up for websites, I use “On the Road” as my username. As you know, this tells something about me, especially my values and personality. I’m Gary Wang, I live in Shanghai, and I have three passions in life: 1. My family, 2. Running, 3. Coaching.
First, my family.
It may sound like cliché, but it’s invariably true for most people including myself: My family is the center and anchor of my life, which means that their wellbeing remains mine, and their challenges are inseparable from me. I’ve been grateful to my family for making me who I am. Liza, my wife, a life and love partner in the last 23 years, has been my answer to my signature calm, content and satisfaction. Doris, my older daughter, who will begin her new page of life by studying at NYU New York Campus this fall, has been a huge inspiration for being insanely focused and goal-driven. And Orange, my younger daughter, serves as my role model for being insatiably curious for everything, and asking great “why” questions such as, “Why government-official corruption is so popular in China?”
Second, is running.
Running became my passion in a quite unexpected way. I had never considered myself a sporty person for more than 40 years, except that I was passionate about, and played, tennis for about 6-7 years, before I started my own business. Being an entrepreneur in the first couple of years was a killing experience for many, and I was no exception. I had worked and stressed out so hard about keeping my business above the water, until one day I insisted on doing a client workshop in Chengdu spite of suffering from a bad cold. I fainted during the workshop: it was a moment of reckoning and shame, and I had paid a price for my working nonstop. After receiving IV for 3 days back in Shanghai, I vowed to make change, a real change, and boldly announced to my team that I would take Wednesday mornings off for exercises until I’ve fully regained my physical health. I started with walking 7,000 steps per day, then began jogging, and on a January morning, I made history by running my first 5K in my life, inspired by one of my cousins and a former DuPont colleague, who is a competent marathon runner. My determination and discipline paid off. In the last 10 years, I’ve run more than 17,000K including 23 marathons and 230 half marathons. I’ve run many cities in China and globally.
Running gives me a sense of self-control and enables me to do my best and exceed my expectations of myself. I want to keep running until I cannot compete anymore.
Third, coaching is close to my heart. In the last 15 years, since I was introduced to the wonderful world of coaching, I’ve breathed and lived coaching and coaching-enabled human change, driven by my mission to make the power of coaching known to as many leaders and companies as possible. I believe coaching helps develop better leaders and better human beings, and will assist China in its ambition to become a global power, adored and respected by people from both developed and developing nations. In the last 15 years, I’ve witnessed so many changes and transformations on personal, team and organizational levels, so many so that I’m deeply convinced that in aiming to make change happen, no other methodologies can do more than coaching. In our client success folklore, we have many unbelievable human breakthroughs. We have an Oncology sales team in a global pharma delivered RMB1.4 billion ($200 MM) more sales due to a RMB1.3MM coaching investment for the Sales VP and his direct reports. We have a Division President of a luxury car brand changed from a silo-leader to an inspiring people leader, who eventually made her division the most profitable one, accounting for over 60% of profits of the parent company’s China operations.
To make the message thundering, my daughter also Doris stands out as a powerful testament to the power of coaching. Thanks to coaching of her mom, Doris had successfully overcome two of her biggest personal crises: when she entered 7th grade, she could not understand what her math teacher was saying in class, and she would cry when got home from school; and when she was accepted into YK Pao, a top int’l school in China, as a 10th grader, she had a hard time feeling worthy about herself because she could
compete competently with her peers in English, presentation and critical thinking skills, and in sports. Her peers all seemed too mighty to catch up with, and the only possible way out for Doris seemed to be weathering as a loser.
Doris mom’s coaching has however changed the way how things worked for Doris. By the beginning, Dora had become a different person. She got President’s Award, which was to recognize 15% of the academic achievers; her SAT score was 1570, making her the #3 achiever in her grade of 144 students, and was accepted by NYU and 8 other top global universities. And her leadership was recognized in other fields too. She became the youngest winner in her Toastmasters Club, set up YK Pao Toastmasters Club, and
helped set up a volunteer coach network for her school leaving a deep footprint, a legacy that many students will benefit.
I want you to know that I am here to support you in accomplishing your visions, dreams, and goals in China. Please let me know your wishes and I will do my best.
My heart is full with gratitude for my wonderful family, my ability to continue running, and to offer coach training to my Chinese colleagues in partnership with MMS Worldwide Institute. Together we live the process and grow our global community to make the world a better place.
Founder and CEO of Mindspan