Baidu and the Persistent Pursuit of Leadership

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There are many things that we take for granted in life.  “Google” is probably high on that list.  At least it is for me.  That is until I took my first business trip to China.  I am back in China this week and I didn’t realize until this week how important social networking sites like Facebook and Google’s search engine were to me.

Most of the people that I spoke with about this do not really feel a sense of loss.  There is an alternative that provides most of the features and functions of the suite of tools and portals that Google provides.  China’s equivalent to Google is “Baidu”.  Baidu exists because China has blocked Google’s access to the 1.2 billion people in the country through its state sponsored filtering software.

The name was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty. The poem compares the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one’s dream while confronted by life’s many obstacles. Consider this line from that poem.

“…hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos,
suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood.”

What is the leadership lesson here?

Baidu, whose literal meaning is “hundreds of times”, represents a persistent search for the ideal.

Did you catch that?

“A persistent search for the ideal . . .”  That is a powerful phrase.  There is power in persistence.

Perhaps I still have my last article on my mind.  In that one I discussed the importance of leadership development as an ongoing pursuit.  But how persistent am I in that pursuit?

I think that we will do well to persistently pursue the ideal of excellence in leadership.  I will become more persistent.  Will you join me?


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2 Replies to “Baidu and the Persistent Pursuit of Leadership”

  1. Great article. I will join you in the persistant search. The persistant search for leaders with a committment to make a difference for good IS a noble goal. A goal that is life long, with vision, and purpose that not only sees a beginning but has the depth to see the end as well.

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