By: Josie Tao (Hong Kong)
For such a small pocket of space, Hong Kong is full of brilliant and educated business people. Due to my line of work, socializing and meeting the big guns in the city is essential to keeping my shoe collection. From my personal observation, many of the most successful men and women in Hong Kong have a handful of unexpected shared attributes.
1 They ask all the stupid questions
One of my friend Candice* is a big shot Lawyer at one of the Big Four Law Firms. We were chatting over martinis a Wednesday evening when my girlfriend Lance mentioned that the new Jane Austin movie sucked. Candice asked, “Who is Jane Austin?” Candice was probably the most successful woman at the table (bank account and bag collection wise anyway). I saw from the corner of my eye the 2 ladies giving each other a sly grin, basically thinking, ” How (insert insult here) is she?”
a) Successful people set their pride aside and don’t let the fear of sounding dumb get in the way of finding answers, and b) they do not waste time finding these answers (i.e googling secretly in the bathroom 15 mins later).
2 Many are not Mr (or Ms) Know it all
There is something virtuous, especially in Chinese culture to be hands-on and do-it yourself. But contrary to common belief, successful people do very little themselves. In fact, they are experts at letting go and delegating responsibilities. Being a type A control freak may be synonymous with success (Tom Ford, Woody Allen are among the many people notorious for their obsessiveness), but in reality, many leaders’ key successful is surrounding themselves with people they trust, and letting them do what they do best (just look Obama’s team).
3 Often, they play match-maker
Too bad very few of them are Jewish in Hong Kong, or they would definitely go to Heaven. A friend of mine is currently occupying my dream job as the Fashion Queen in Hong Kong. She travels 2 weeks out of the month all over the world, always with a trip to New York, London and/or Paris. She is the person you keep on your speeddail for EVERYTHING. Want a recommendation for good French food? She passes on the cellphone number of the Head Chef at Chez Patrick. Looking for a job? She personally e-mails her bestie at Warner Brother Studios and gets you a 10am talk a week later. The fact is, good true friends are not easy to find in Hong Kong and successful people know how important it is to build bridges. They always put their friends before their ego and they are not worried about how they will look if Jane messes up at Warner Brothers.
4 There is a reason they are blackberry/iphone addicts
Hong Kong is one of the few cities that can pride itself on its efficiency. When e-mailing successful people in Hong Kong, you can rest assured that they will respond within an hour or two (if not 1.5 mins). Obviously, their lightning speed at responding and their to-do spirit is not only with e-mailing. Want to see Angkor Wat? Let’s go next weekend. Heard the new Spanish restaurant in LKF is good? Will book it for lunch Friday. Bottom line is, there is no room for procrastinating for these guys and gals. Questions and problems are addressed immediately, with the advice of a few trusted one and never left to the backburner.
To read more of my blogs, visit this website: http://josietaonews.wordpress.com