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I posted on my blog a while ago about my efforts to learn Mandarin. It’s really hard... but for me, it’s not just about the personal challenge of learning a new and complex language – it’s also about trying truly understand and get under the skin of a completely different culture. This is important for me because I think that learning a language is also a great way to gain an insight into the way that people think and talk about business. So, I was really pleased to be able to head to Beijing recently for a few weeks to try and give my Mandarin a boost – and I have to say it was a very productive and interesting visit. A tech revolution There are many fascinating cultural differences that strike you when you visit Beijing – but I was struck on this particular visit by one overriding phenomenon – the extent to which the Chinese have embraced the QR code. While you do often see QR codes being used in all sorts of settings in the rest of the world, I was struck by just how ubiquitous the technology has become in China. In Beijing, I saw it being used for everything from renting bicycles on the street to ordering your food in restaurants – with most people using WeChat to scan the code for information. WeChat now has around a billion users and could be described as the WhatsApp of China – and it allows not just QR code scanning but also payment using your phone and a linked bank account. Again, along with the QR code it was a piece of tech I’d heard of – but had no idea of the extent to which it is now being used in China. Multiple uses Here’s a quick example – my wife, her parents and I went to a restaurant that had no menus and only one waiter for more than ten tables. This unusual set up worked like a dream however – because diners simply needed to scan the QR code on the table to access the menu, place the order and then pay the bill. It’s a nice example of just how far the QR code has permeated almost every aspect of consumer life in Beijing – but it’s far from the only one. On the same trip, the first thing my father-in-law did was hand to me a mobile phone that had multiple apps loaded onto it that allowed for payment by QR code. After leaving the restaurant that evening, we stepped outside, found a yellow ofo bicycle, scanned the QR code, unlocked the bike and pedalled off. We then went to the San Yuan Li Market ( 三源里菜市场) to buy some fruit and veg, and used another app to scan a QR code which was taped onto a pole next to the fruit lady’s stand – once again, payment was immediate and hassle-free. Simple tech, but with many applications I could go on: everywhere, right across the city, in everything from tea shops to the local craft brewery, we were able to use QR codes to pay quickly and easily. Of course, you need to be settled in China to use them, as without a local credit card or bank account to top-up the payment the apps are useless – but the principle still stands that China has embraced this technology in multiple ways and has made it straightforward and simple to use. So, what did I learn from the experience of using QR codes in so many different ways in Beijing? Well, firstly that often the simplest solutions are often the best – the technology behind QR codes is not new, nor is it particularly complex. The impact, for me at least, was being in Beijing and seeing the extent to which it has been implemented across almost every type of transaction you can think of. And I think that, in many ways, that is the key to the success of any piece of technology: it has to be simple enough for people to be able to make it their own, to take it and shape it so that it works for them, whenever and wherever they need it. Because of the flexibility and adaptability of this simple technology to so many different environments – from lampposts to bikes to restaurant tables – China truly has become the land of the QR Code. Robert Weider
我之前在这里谈到了越南令人兴奋的投资环境，特别是在胡志明市。 越来越明显的是，由于各种原因 - 不断增长的经济，有利的人口和积极的政府政策，越南目前投资时机已经成熟。 但那里的机会远远超过了胡志明市 - 所以在这篇文章中，我想把重点放在另一个越南的主要位置：岘港。 一个方便的位置 岘港对于那些想进入越南房地产市场的外国投资者（特别是对于我们在香港的人来说，这可以说是一个很有吸引力的选择）呢？ 那么，第一个也是最明显的原因是它的可访问性。 岘港距离香港只有短暂的90分钟航程。 三家航空公司 - 国泰航空，香港快运，捷星航空 - 他们之间每周都会提供25航班，已经很好地服务了，预计未来还会有更多航班。 这种可访问性非常重要 - 当然这意味着您可以更轻松地从您的香港基地监控您的投资资产 - 但这也是岘港受到香港游客和其他游客欢迎的原因之一东亚的一样。 这是我们最近的和最容易到达的海滩目的地，因为这样的度假物业在香港有很高的需求。 理想的生活方式 尽管岘港作为越南第三大城市的地位，但它提供了比胡志明和河内更轻松的生活方式。 对于那些希望摆脱城市生活压力的人来说，这是一个完美的周末度假之地。 然而，因为它是一个中等城市，它拥有一流的基础设施，在东南亚的其他海滩度假胜地很难找到。 会安和岘港之间的海岸线 - 超过25km的美丽海滩 - 令人惊叹，吸引游客。 高尔夫也在蓬勃发展，沿海有四个世界级的18球洞球场，而且还有更多球场正在兴建。 对于许多游客来说，中心城市岘港也是探索越南其他地区的有用基地 - 会安世界遗产中心就在附近，该国历史悠久的前首都Hué也在附近。 岘港的外国和国内游客人数每年都以惊人的速度攀升。 总而言之，对于那些希望投资该地区的租赁房产的人来说，这是一个极具吸引力的套餐。 高品质的发展 那么外国投资者希望在那里购买房产有哪些选择？ 那么首先要说的是，即使在像岘港这样的高端市场，你在越南可能会获得更多的钱。 我认为，我在岘港看到的投资房产质量最令人鼓舞的迹象之一就是它们的完成程度如何 - 对许多房产已经完成的工作具有真正的质量，已被提供到具有全球知名品牌的高标准。 与任何类型的投资一样，这是一个根据自己的喜好进行工作的案例，但选择范围从度假村管理的'condotels'和提供固定年度回报的别墅到未管理的单独公寓和别墅。 大部分高端物业属于第一类，对于不在越南的投资者来说，这是一个真正无忧的选择。 优质的餐饮选择的一个很好的例子是岘港尊贵度假村，那里设有118海滨别墅，都可以很方便地到达海滩。 从机场开车只需10分钟，开发项目包括餐厅，游泳池，健身房和水疗中心。 这只是众多开发商目前致力于在岘港附近沿海建设的度假胜地之一，看到他们正在完成并达到如此高的标准令人鼓舞。 良好的回报 当然，虽然美丽的位置很重要，但显然投资者也热衷于看到丰厚的回报 - 而且我认为这是岘港表现良好的另一个领域。 通常情况下，开发项目提供5到10十年以上年收益之间的任何交易 - 仅仅为了说明，岘港海滩上的融合套房目前提供6到8之间的保证收益计划，而Wyndham Soleil Danang在五年内保证5的回报。 然而，那些希望购买该地区保证收益的房产需要首先完成他们的功课，因为开发商承诺高租金回报往往伴随着房价的大幅上涨。 当然，就任何潜在的房地产投资而言，您需要作出自己的判断，并根据其优点来抓住每个发展机遇 - 但对我而言，岘港对于寻求良好回报的香港投资者来说是一个充满希望的目的地。 罗伯特·韦德
Buddhists describe our habit of holding on to everything as 'attachment'. It’s true that letting go is never an easy thing to do. Whether that’s in everyday life, or in business. We can find it hard to move on. In addition, I think that we're always looking for ways to gain more control over our lives, and to cling onto that control. But this can be detrimental - especially in business. Understanding how to let go a little is one of the most important lessons I've learned. It’s transformed me from a manager into a leader, and enabled me to focus on what is really important for me professionally. Keeping focused What do I mean by 'letting go'? First of all, it doesn’t mean taking my foot off the pedal, losing focus or avoiding responsibility. It’s actually the complete opposite –and instead consciously letting go of the things that aren’t contributing real value to my everyday work. This enables me to concentrate more fully on the things that do add value. The beauty of this is that, today, I'm actually more focused, driven and clear about my responsibilities than before. And secondly, it’s helped me to lead better. The transition into leading others is often difficult. As we move up the ladder within an organisation, we often carry the responsibilities we had in our previous role with us. We can find them hard to let go of and we can find ourselves clinging to them in our new role too. The things we used to do and be responsible for give us comfort and a sense of safety. But moving forward they weigh us down and take up too much time. Learning to trust This brings me to what practical strategies we can put in place to avoid becoming attached to things that don't help us professionally? How can we learn to let go at work? One of the most important skills is learning how to delegate and avoiding getting involved in everything. As a leader, it's tempting to micromanage, but it’s rarely productive. A good team, who all understand what is expected of them, you can trust them to do their job properly. The benefits are two-fold: taking the burden off you, and empowering others to take on responsibility. The best way to make delegation easy is to hire people who are better than you. Realising that you can't do something as well as someone else is tough, but very useful in letting go. Trust me, you’ll be a better leader for it. I’ve also learned that it’s important to think about why you're still holding on to old responsibilities. Be prepared to do some really tough self-reflection - find out exactly what is holding you back. Is it self-belief? Do you worry that you aren’t cut out for your new role? Are you trying to impress people, or define yourself by how others see you? Or, are you afraid of failure? We’ve all encountered these feelings at some point. But, the only failure you need to really fear is the failure of letting go of the things you don’t need any more. About Rob Weider Rob Weider is Head of Sales and Marketing for a global supply chain and quality assurance business. He is also providing strategy and management training to a non-profit organization in Hong Kong. Rob Weider has experience with a range of organisations including Siemens, Molten Group and Cathay Pacific (CX). For enquiries you can contact Rob here.