The thought that hiring better people than you might make
you look inferior, must be eliminated as Steve always looked for people who
were a step ahead of him.
Surprisingly, Steve considered death as a life changing
agent. According to him, remembrance of death and putting yourself in a
position where you believe it is your last day could make all the external
expectations 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 of
what people think about him trap him. He suggested the graduating students to not
let the voice of others’ opinions drown out the own inner voice. People even
today look up to him.
Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, is another inspiring
personality. Jack ma was born to parents who were into the profession of
storytelling. From a very young age he was eager to learn English which
persuaded him to talk to foreigners and gain small but valuable language
lessons that helped him in his way towards communicating with the people in the
US. Jack Ma faced a lot of failures in his life, he failed his primary school
examination twice, middle school exams thrice, and college entrance exams twice. He even
applied 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 of
others. Met failure in his initial two ventures. It affected him a lot but surprising
as it seems, NONE of the failures stopped him from being who he is today. Just
like Steve Jobs, he did not let himself get affected by others’ opinions. Considering
his physical appearance he was not seen to meet the standard set by the Chinese
people. He was short heighted, skinny and did not have excellent speaking
skills. People told him that his ideas, like AliPay, were stupid. People tested
his patience and burnt his photos outside his office, yet this did not weaken
his will to move ahead.
Jack Ma’s trips as translator to the US made him realize how
China was lagging behind the race. This happened when he first used the Computer
to access the internet but could not find information about China. Having no
engineering background he was captivated by the Internet. He came back to
Hangzhou with only $1 in his pocket. He had no proper education, no strong
financial background but still with the height of determination and will to change
the face of China, he brought Ali Baba into existence by the help of friends
and former students. China, where people had no access to modern commerce, now
had Ali baba. Having 40% of the population of China registered he urged to get
more. 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. There
was no concept of credit cards and package delivery. Jack Ma gained the trust
of 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. There
was 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 he
provided people with jobs. He believed to change the world, invest in youth and
invested in the empowerment of future generations. Giving small businesses
loans 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.
safe and smart. He does not involve with the government and likes to be
independent. This, he believes, helps maintain healthy relationship with the
Jack Ma strives to build communication with his customers and
employees. 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 eliminate
the idea of superiority. Interesting is the fact that employees at AliBaba are
required 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 mass
wedding and giving out interest free loans to employees, portrays Ma as an
affectionate leader. Jack Ma is not only considered to be a successful business
tycoon but also is adored and treated as a celebrity. He is immensely loved by
his employees and their families. A very down to earth human being who knows
how to enjoy around his employees and does not even feel shame in performing
In his own words, “if you don’t give up, you still gave a
chance. Giving up is the greatest failure”. For him being persistent and
considering failures as lessons and opportunities is how you propel yourselves