Why settle for the familiar when the unknown offers limitless possibilities

Thu, Jan 1 2015


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Businessman. Mentor. Global citizen.

William Wei grew up in Beijing, first in a traditional courtyard residence and then in a high-rise condo. The settings couldn’t have been more different, but in both homes, the social fabric was tightly woven, tradition was key and hard work was a given.

William says that education in China is changing, but when he was a student, school was fiercely competitive. He recalls teachers posting student rankings on the blackboard. To stay on top required hard work; and public humiliation was guaranteed for those at the bottom of the list. “The competition was really fierce and I remember doing a lot of work by myself—there was rarely good teamwork.”

While he thinks that the blackboard motivation he knew as a student was far from ideal, growing up in that environment primed him for hard work. And it paid off.