In a recent interview with WorldJournal.com, Dr. James S.C. Chao, founder of Foremost Group, shared his thoughts on family, American and Chinese culture, and the keys to business success.
On the subject of Foremost Group, Dr. Chao shared that the overriding goal of the company has always been to deliver on promises, to be dependable and to build trust. In Dr. Chao’s opinion it is these key principles that define success rather than desiring to be the largest company in the world. He humbly insists that Foremost Group is not a big company, but he places more emphasis and importance on reputation. Foremost Group focuses on ordering and building the best ships, employee retention, keeping debt low and riding out the fluctuations in the market.
When asked about his tendency to not speak very much, Dr. Chao noted that his wife also spoke few words, but everyone listened because her words were very powerful. “Speak little but do everything I say I will” is his motto.
Dr. Chao noted that in spite of his relationships with American and Chinese governments over the years, and certainly today with many politicians, he has never had a desire to become personally involved in the process. He has the photos, his relationships are good, but he loves shipping.
The other long-term focus of Dr. Chao is his daughters, six accomplished women. The interviewer asked him about the core values that were passed on to them. Dr. Chao shared that he and his wife, before her passing, were very involved in the support, encouragement and empowering of their daughters, helping each one succeed in her individual dreams and life path. What was most important is that their individuality be cherished, respected and nurtured.
On the topic of how to succeed as Chinese in American society, Dr. Chao noted that Chinese people have their own unique roots, culture and traditions. He emphasized that it is important to carry these gifts to our new place, appreciate our bicultural background as strengths not weaknesses and not deny our identity.