The Ancient Chinese were known for their trading prowess (the early uses of The Silk Road) and for their technological and scientific advancements (the development of writing, a calendar, gunpowder, silk, paper and the compass, for example). They impacted cultures, knowledge, customs, and ideas well beyond their borders. At one time, the Chinese were the major players in the world. And then The Great Wall was built, and for the last 2000 years, they cut themselves off from the rest of the world and decided that being centralized, insular, and “self-sufficient” would be just fine. Yeah, that worked out well.
But since the mid 1970s, China has re-positioned itself in a more open fashion, reaching out beyond its borders through trade, the internet, travel, etc. and adopting a more de-centralized stance toward business and argiculture. And wow, what a difference 30 years can make!
In a mere 30 years China has become a world player again. They are on the move and they have clout. Their people are moving up the economic ladder, and quickly. And the country is again an economic (and thus military, political, and cultural) force. They unleashed their potential by focusing more on the outside world and focusing less on themselves.
Individuals (and organizations) that spend the bulk of their time on administrative tasks and focused internally end up wanting and needing. On the other hand, those that focus on reaching out and engaging others are more effective, respected, and provide solutions and enhanced value.
The more we turn inward, the more we lose. So, how will you prioritize your activities?