Leadership

Didi Chuxing exec, who's buying Uber's China business, shares 4 leadership tips

Didi Chuxing, the largest ride-hailing service in China, announced Monday that it will acquire Uber's operations in the country. The deal would reportedly value the combined company at $35 billion.

CNBC recently caught up with Didi Chuxing's president, Jean Liu, who became a star in the industry after expanding Didi's global partnerships with ride-hailing service Lyft and working with Apple CEO Tim Cook to secure a $1 billion investment from the tech giant.

She shared four tips on how to run a standout business.

Jean Liu, president of Didi Chuxing
Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jean Liu, president of Didi Chuxing

1. Embrace competition

"Competition makes you stronger," Liu told CNBC in July. "We love competition. It makes you more focused."

In 2015, China's car-hailing giants Didi and Kuaidi merged to create a unified force against Uber, attracting investment from Alibaba, Tencent and Apple. Liu once called Uber's negative campaign against Didi "cute."

2. Stay focused on the future

Liu said that keeping focused on your company's mission is crucial.

"When you have competition, you're in a hurdles game; you just need to focus," said Liu, who previously worked in investment banking for 12 years. "You don't keep looking back, looking aside — you move on. You just keep looking at where you want to go."

Didi Chuxing application
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Didi Chuxing application

3. Align company and employee interests

Successful businesses connect the company's goals with the employee's goals, Liu said.

"If there's one thing I've learned, it's how do you align one's personal interests with the corporate interests?" she said. "For example, in Didi, our mission is to provide this more comfortable, convenient, affordable service to everyone. And how do we relate it to every employee?"

Liu added that she wants every employee to feel that working for Didi is fun and meaningful.

4. You need a thick skin

"In the business world, there will be a lot of hiccups, professionally and personally," she said. "You need to have a strong heart to stomach everything."