Chapter One: There Are No Asians
My first trip to Asia was in 1985. After returning home, I believed I had gained great insights into the five countries I had visited. How naive I was. I came to realize over the following years how little I actually knew. I did, however, learn one important lesson that has stuck with me ever since, and that is to be humble. No one can or will ever know everything about Asia or any individual country in Asia. Accept the fact that the person sitting on the other side of the table is at least as smart as you are and is likely to know just as much, if not more, about any proposed transaction. You cannot finesse or manipulate a negotiation in Asia. Try it and you will be eaten alive. Your only hope is to be as prepared as possible. This means you will have to leave all preconceived notions about how business is conducted in the Far East at home. The fact that you are successful where you live has no bearing at all on how you will perform overseas.