At this stage in my studies of business and leadership, the type of leader I would like to become one day would be a successful leader. Somebody who achieves his goals, with the right ways, at the least time possible with the minimum resources. I would like to be a visionary leader who recognises that the methods, steps and processes of leadership are all obtained with and through people. Most great and successful leaders have the aspects of vision in them. Along with vision, team leadership is a must for a successful leader. Team leadership involves the creation of a vivid picture of its future, where it is heading and what it will stand for. The vision inspires and provides a strong sense of purpose and direction. Team leadership is about working with the hearts and minds of all those involved. It also recognizes that teamwork may not always involve trusting cooperative relationships. The most challenging aspect of this leadership is whether or not it will succeed. According to Harvard Business Review, team leadership may fail because of poor leadership qualities.
In the current scenario, a truly inspirational leadership and business style can be found in Alibaba and its kinetic leader Jack Ma have blended the best of Western and Chinese technologies, culture and management to create the world’s largest ecommerce company and perhaps soon to be biggest and most diversified global technology enterprise. The company’s Sept. 19 IPO raised more than $20 billion and gave Alibaba a market cap of $240 billion. It also made Jack Ma, already the richest man in China, one of the wealthiest men in the world with a net worth of more than $18 billion.
Jack Ma’s inspiring leadership style has had a big influence on the way I would want to run my company, and he serves as an excellent example for leaders of budding start-ups and established companies alike. The four principles of Jack Ma:
- Be an authentic leader. Ma hands out cans of Silly String, encourages employees to do handstands in the office, and welcomes his staff’s candid opinions. He’s relatable and credible, and he possesses a strong sense of character. This is crucial for leaders because it fosters loyalty and builds a strong foundation on which our companies can grow. We don’t have to sacrifice our sense of humour just because we’re in charge.
- See through customers’ eyes. Ma runs an e-commerce business, but he attributes his success to not being “a tech guy.” Rather, he views products from his customers’ perspectives, and that allows him to offer relatable, intuitive products.
- Develop a mission. Ma has a grand mission. He wants to revive China’s sense of purpose and culture — things he believes were lost under Mao Zedong’s rule. Ma has condemned corruption and given his employees generous equity shares so they benefit from Alibaba’s success as well.
- Hire rousers. Ma hires enthusiastic entrepreneurs instead of seasoned businessmen because he prefers dedication and innovation to someone who looks good on paper. These are the people we all need in our companies — those who are natural leaders, adaptable, and dedicated to a common goal.
Leadership skills I would like to develop.
- Have a clear vision
- Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.
- Be passionate
- Live in accordance with your morals and values.
- Serve as a role model
- Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Improve communication skills.
- Motivate others to greatness.
- Be willing to admit and learn from failures and weaknesses.
Although I possess few of these skills, I currently do not master at any of these. Also, there are few skills yet to acquire. I plan on developing these skills while doing my MBA in London.