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The 11K’s Expert Series: David Stringer-Lamarre on Leadership and China

Posted by in China, Communications, Latest News

In our third 11K’s Expert Series, we invited David Stringer-Lamarre, Chairman of Institute of Directors’ London Region and Managing Director of Fortis Consulting London to share his views on leadership, doing business with China, UK education and his own inspiration. 


1. You have been taking a leadership role at the IoD London for a few years and running your own successful consulting business since 2010. What are the top qualities of being a good leader in your opinion? 

Leadership is a team sport. The ability to engage with people is very important, as is emotional intelligence and active listening. Silo thinking must be avoided by encouraging diversity of thought. Leaders and the teams they work with have to have strong rapport and an alignment of objectives. The ability to make decisions is essential. High level communication skills allow people in leadership positions to communicate their organisation’s values and services effectively.

2. You have been actively involved in bridging the gap between UK and China through the IoD and your own consulting. What are your top tips for UK companies who want to do business with China? 

Clearly understand and explain your value propositions. Create agreements that have a win-win foundation to them. Work to understand how the Chinese do business and develop your cross-cultural engagement skills. We all make mistakes so no need to try to be perfect, but do be authentic.

3. Following on Q2, what are your top tips for Chinese companies who want to do business with the UK? 

The UK is ‘open for business’ and the interest of UK companies to engage with Chinese companies is high. Chinese companies should look for trusted parties in the UK to help them connect with potential business partners and, or customers. Do develop an understanding of how business is done in the UK. Due to BRI there are opportunities for UK and Chinese companies to partner in third countries, look to discuss this with UK companies, they will be win-win synergies.

4. You are also very active in connecting UK and international education establishments; and recently we saw more and more Chinese students choosing the UK as their overseas study destination. What make the UK education stand out? 

Education in the UK is world leading and welcoming to students from China. Universities, colleges and schools recognise that Chinese students bring a desire to learn with them, a different way of looking at subjects (diversity of thought) and have enquiring minds. The UK offers a large range of universities and subject areas within a framework of creative thinking and innovation. UK education wants to strengthen links with education establishments in China on a mutually beneficial basis, Chinese students are part of this bridge, which is getting ever stronger.

5. Who or What is your inspiration? 

My objective is to help to make effective and worthwhile connections happen, as well as communicate the values that I believe in. For example, the importance and benefits of inclusion, diversity of thought, international engagement, determination, innovation and creative thought. I have been and I am inspired by many people, including established leaders, engaging diplomats, entrepreneurs, civil servants, artists, lecturers, students and emerging young leaders. 


About David Stringer-Lamarre:

David Stringer-Lamarre is the Chairman of the Institute of Directors, London Region, a high profile group of over 6000 business leaders. He has wide experience in the design and delivery of corporate consultancy and management education. David has worked with many medium and large organisations, UK based & international. Start-ups and scale ups, including those looking to enter the UK market, are a growing area of activity.

Notes to readers:
If you would like to be featured in The 11K’s Expert Series, a series of expert opinions on UK-China/Asia opportunities and challenges. We would love to hear from you. Email to

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Sally Maier-Yip is the MD and Founder at 11K. She is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help ambitious companies grow in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

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