Business Culture

How to be strategic in Chinese – 格局 (gé jú)1 min read

28 February 2021 < 1 min read


How to be strategic in Chinese – 格局 (gé jú)1 min read

Reading Time: < 1 minute

If you are told you have big 格局 (gé jú) in Chinese, then you are a master big-picture strategist.

But there just is no word for this in English, the best I can come up with is ‘being strategic’

格局 (gé jú) – being strategic with Chinese characteristics

But this means SO much more than just being strategic. There is a depth to it that just does not come across in English. It is also one of the most complimentary things that can be said to an entrepreneur. The correct compliment is

您的格局大 (“you have big gé jú”).

It combines the following meanings (and more): to have gé jú is to have giant balls or be courageous (actually it is gall bladder in Chinese 胆量), to be wise (智慧), have a sense of mission (使命感), have rich experience (见识), be loving (爱心), responsible (责任心) and have vision (眼光).

According to the Chinese definition, to have big gé jú, a leader needs to give unconditionally to others as if they were family; they earn respect and trust over years of their careers; they manage to build huge networks of friends and supporters that are part of a matrix of people that are willing to help; they are not concerned with small matters, but at the same time they can focus on the detail, and what matters most to people.

The closest English I have found to describe those who have big gé jú, is what Ray Dalio in his book, Principles, calls ‘shapers’. There are lots of parallels with this concept.

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