Ms. Chua has a point about the positives of how Chinese moms parent. They are much more strict and take less B.S. than their Western counterparts. Sybil is a perfectionist, which goes along with the Chinese stereotype. She expects her children to as perfect as possible. Of her siblings, she is the least successful: oldest brother is a physician, second oldest is an aeronautical engineer, third oldest is an electrical engineer, older sister is a pharmacist, and younger brother is a pharmacist. Sybil by contrast was a stay-at-home-mom until our youngest was old enough to go to school. Now she helps me in my business. I have seen first hand how a Chinese mom can be. In a word, they are tyrants.
That does not mean that Chinese moms do not love their children. They express their desire to have the best for their children by trying to mold them into being the best. Chinese women have a control freakishness about them that is surprising. The stereotypical Chinese woman is subservient to her husband. That may be true in movies. I have never seen it. Not her mother nor her sister. This need to control extends to their children. Couple that need to status (having "face"), and that is can be a bad mixture.
This mixture makes Chinese people great employees. You want a software written without bugs? Get a Chinese person to do it. You want a doctor to operate on you? Get a Chinese person to do it. You get the drift. Sadly, this form of upbringing makes for poor entrepreneurs. The perfectionist, play-it-safe upbringing makes for a terrible skill set for striking out on one's own. The fear of failure and, therefore, loss of face is too great. A Chinese upbringing makes for too much emphasis to be placed on getting the right credentials and not developing a skill set.
What skills are needed? In my opinion, the ones listed below:
1. Self-esteem. To start a business or move up in the corporate ladder one needs self-esteem. Being a worker bee trapped in a cubicle, while safe, is a soul-sucking existence.
2. Networking. Controlling the types of people one's children come in contact with, leaves that person in a poor position to be able to relate to others. Many Chinese people have a hard time relating to non-Chinese people.