Leading in Times of Challenge with Li Zhao Mandelbaum
As co-founder and president of the China Iowa Group, Li Zhao Mandelbaum is known to be one of Iowa’s top China experts. China Iowa Group is a boutique firm that helps businesses do business with Chinese companies and increase profitability through sourcing, partnerships and more. She was also named a 2019 Women of Influence by the Des Moines Business Record and a 2014 Passport to Prosperity Honoree.
Li Zhao Mandelbaum’s Leadership Tips
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Li says the challenge for her when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic is to come out stronger than before. She explains how because of the small size of the organization, team members need understanding as events in their personal lives arise. When you’re in a larger organization, there is usually a contingency plan. Li shares the struggle of being a small business that doesn’t have that luxury.
The most recent challenge Li discussed prior to COVID-19 occurred in 2018 when the U.S. began experiencing trade tension with China. As a small business, there are things that can be changed and things that cannot. For her own business, which became affected by increased tariffs, her firm needed to come up with a plan for what could be changed. Ideas ranged from cutting marketing costs to other creative solutions. That plan then brought back a sense of optimism to the entire team.
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The Leading in Times of Change podcast is brought to you by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and hosted by Mike Jefferson. The podcast features community leaders from across Greater Des Moines (DSM). To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here.