Deng Xiaoping was a politician and reformist leader in the Communist Party of China. He had never held office as the head of government in his life, but with his courage as an innovator and the contribution to the revolutions, he served as the paramount leader of People’s Republic of China. By viewing Deng’s political career as being resigned and returned for three times, we could realize how tenacious and remarkable his spirit of leadership is. Deng is a man who not only knows himself well, but also knows the world. With his broad vision, he was able to get on the balcony to open China to foreign investment, the global market and limited private competition. His different point of view changes China’s politics, education, and economy. However, Deng Xiaoping has been condemned as a sinner through the ages because of his bloody suppression in Tiananmen Square. No one is perfect, and so is Deng. The leadership traits which Deng possesses prove that he is a capable leader, but what he had done also left him a controversial leader for later generations.
“The first step in becoming a leader, then, is to recognize the context for what it is-a breaker, not a maker.” (Bennis, 2009). Deng Xiaoping, eldest son of a prosperous landlord, was born in a peasant family. It was a turbulent time when Deng was born. After Deng returned to China, China was on the ever radical changes. He worked at the Sun-Yat-sen Military and political Academy in Xi’an. In 1930s, after he worked as a Communist Party organizer in southwestern China, Deng moved to the Jiangsi Soviet to be with Mao Zedong. Deng worked for Mao Zedong until the failure of the Great Leap Forward. Great Leap Forward is an economic reconstruction campaign aiming to use China’s vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society through industrialization and collectivization, but private farming was prohibited. While most of people still blindly followed Mao’s ideology, Deng propagated a series of reforms, allowing farmers to grow different kinds of crops and produced free market. In 1962, Deng addressed in a working conference, emphasizing the need to follow the trend of democratic centralism and to carry on the Party’s fine traditions. He raised the voice for all the cases of cadres who have been wrongly treated in past political movements, suggesting that they be re-examined and rehabilitated. People in China had lived in a close society controlled by only one party for decades. Fish blinds to the water. When most people surrendered to the dominant and autocratic government, Deng was the one who mastered the context and spoke out for people. An authentic leader is able to analyze the context and transcend it, like Deng Xiaoping, who is able to express the values and unite the people in pursuit of goals worthy of their efforts.
“To become a true leader, one must know the world as well as one knows one’s self.” A true leader has to know the world (Bennis, 2009). Deng’s education and working experiences shape him a remarkable leader and bring him a unique future as well. He used a work-study program to go to France in the 1920s, from age 16 to 21. At that time, Deng began to study Marxism and was transformed into a Marxist. After six years abroad, absorbing Marxism –Leninism theories, Deng became a faithful revolutionary with basic understanding of Marxism –Leninism and some practical experience. Back to China, In 1930s, after he worked as a Communist Party organizer in southwestern China, Deng moved to the Jiangsi Soviet to be with Mao Zedong. After the civil war, Deng was appointed vice premier because of his loyalty to the party. In 1952, the Central Committee of the Party transferred Deng to the central organizations. During 1950s regarded as one of reconstruction period, Deng showed his capable administrative ability. He together with Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai, improved the productivity