I just returned from a road trip through the South Island of New Zealand. Like most memorable trips, I had the chance to rest, reflect, and learn something about myself. I reflected on 2017, what I accomplished and what hasn’t yet been achieved. If you’re wondering what I learned about myself it's that I prefer structure and plan as opposed to just figuring it out as I go. Towards the end of the trip, I even wrote down a few goals for 2018.

This is my last Editor’s Note for HQ Asia – I’m handing over the reins to a colleague, and later today I’ll be starting a new adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

I wanted to share three lessons I’ve learned from working on HQ Asia over the last few years:

  1. Adapt lessons from the leaders. Out of the 60+ interviews I’ve had the pleasure to participate in, there have been echoes of similar statements and sentiments. When asked what the essential leadership traits are, humility and curiosity are often shared. So is raising your hand for a project or assignment, or taking a risk.
  2. Be client- (or reader) first. In today’s world, we must be able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It’s important to imagine the needs or wants of others, and for HQ Asia, it has meant thinking from the point of view of our readers.

    On a related note, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is to always offer a helping hand. This might be through practical advice or takeaways, or offering to make an introduction. I’d suggest you read up on Adam Rifkin’s five-minute favour, which I first read about in Adam Grant’s Give and Take (coincidentally this is the book I recommend the most).
  3. Take calculated chances. While this is good life advice, it also pertains to work. Some of the articles we’ve published have surprised us by being runaway hits while others that the HQ Asia team was sure about turned out to not resonate as much.

    What it may be clichéd, my move to Singapore was a calculated risk. I arrived almost four years ago and intended to stay just one year. Before I made the jump to this city-state, I created a backup plan if it didn’t work out, but I’m so happy that it did. What chances can you take in work or life?

While there will be some changes over the next few months with the direction of HQ Asia, we promise to keep delivering insightful articles and leadership stories. As always, thank you for reading, and I wish you the best!


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