The thought that hiring better people than you might makeyou look inferior, must be eliminated as Steve always looked for people whowere a step ahead of him. Surprisingly, Steve considered death as a life changingagent. According to him, remembrance of death and putting yourself in aposition where you believe it is your last day could make all the externalexpectations like pride, embarrassment and fear fall away in the face of death.He stated in his most influential speech that one must not let the thought ofwhat people think about him trap him.
He suggested the graduating students to notlet the voice of others’ opinions drown out the own inner voice. People eventoday look up to him. Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, is another inspiringpersonality. Jack ma was born to parents who were into the profession ofstorytelling. From a very young age he was eager to learn English whichpersuaded him to talk to foreigners and gain small but valuable languagelessons that helped him in his way towards communicating with the people in theUS. Jack Ma faced a lot of failures in his life, he failed his primary schoolexamination twice, middle school exams thrice, and college entrance exams twice. He evenapplied and wrote to Harvard University ten times about being admitted –and got rejected each time. He got rejected for a job at KFC and dozens ofothers.
Met failure in his initial two ventures. It affected him a lot but surprisingas it seems, NONE of the failures stopped him from being who he is today. Justlike Steve Jobs, he did not let himself get affected by others’ opinions. Consideringhis physical appearance he was not seen to meet the standard set by the Chinesepeople. He was short heighted, skinny and did not have excellent speakingskills. People told him that his ideas, like AliPay, were stupid.
People testedhis patience and burnt his photos outside his office, yet this did not weakenhis will to move ahead.Jack Ma’s trips as translator to the US made him realize howChina was lagging behind the race. This happened when he first used the Computerto access the internet but could not find information about China. Having noengineering background he was captivated by the Internet. He came back toHangzhou with only $1 in his pocket. He had no proper education, no strongfinancial background but still with the height of determination and will to changethe face of China, he brought Ali Baba into existence by the help of friendsand former students. China, where people had no access to modern commerce, nowhad Ali baba. Having 40% of the population of China registered he urged to getmore.
Before the advent of Ali baba, China had no clue of what was coming next.They followed the traditional ways of buying and selling that is face to face. Therewas no concept of credit cards and package delivery.
Jack Ma gained the trustof people by guaranteeing the transactions and creating his own payment system.That is where the success rolled in. he became a hero to millions of Chinese. Therewas a time when Jack Ma was not making enough profit, $1 in 2002 to be exact,but he did not stop and now his profits are counted to be in billions.Another spectacular contribution Jack did was that heprovided people with jobs. He believed to change the world, invest in youth andinvested in the empowerment of future generations.
Giving small businessesloans have not only helped the society flourish but also have created goodwill.He hires a lot of women as he speaks that women think about others more than themselves.He playssafe and smart. He does not involve with the government and likes to beindependent. This, he believes, helps maintain healthy relationship with thegovernment.
Jack Ma strives to build communication with his customers andemployees. Taking care of them would ultimately result in the well-off of stakeholders.He has created an environment in the organization where he seeks to eliminatethe idea of superiority. Interesting is the fact that employees at AliBaba arerequired to keep nicknames for themselves to maintain a friendly working office.The corporate culture has a sense of family unit. Jack Ma’s idea of masswedding and giving out interest free loans to employees, portrays Ma as anaffectionate leader.
Jack Ma is not only considered to be a successful businesstycoon but also is adored and treated as a celebrity. He is immensely loved byhis employees and their families. A very down to earth human being who knowshow to enjoy around his employees and does not even feel shame in performingbefore them.In his own words, “if you don’t give up, you still gave achance. Giving up is the greatest failure”. For him being persistent andconsidering failures as lessons and opportunities is how you propel yourselvesahead.