When I first moved to Shanghai, a friend of mine pulled me aside and said, “I can see where you are going and I think you will do well. So I’m going to return a favor someone did for me once. He told me never burn any bridges in Shanghai because you never know when you may need to cross them.”
I asked, “Ok…what do you mean?” He replied, “The most important thing for you to do in the next 3 years isn’t about money. It’s about reputation. Do whatever you can to build it. Make everything right with everyone you can. Keep your head down and always over deliver.”
Coming from forgiving suburbs, I thought he was crazy…fast forward five years and I think he’s a GENIUS.
Want proof? I’m interviewing an advisor. He has solid credentials, but was too quick on the draw. In a hyper connected city, you can EASILY check references. He didn’t offer, so I found people we had in common. Then I asked… HE GOT MIXED REVIEWS! Not the worst thing, but now he’s got to prove himself, which isn’t easy without making concessions and doing a lot more to win our trust.