This research is going to argue the sides of leadership and transformation management of the Chinese leader Jack Ma who initiated Alibaba group in 1999 as a website that supports small businesses to strengthen innovation by the approach of business-to-business online. His company became one of the most central international leaders in online and mobile market led by a very successful business leader Jack Ma. Sharma and Jain (2013) define leadership as the procedure of impact others to accomplish a target or purposes and to scaffold the organization to advance its performance and accomplishment. Jack Ma retired in 2013 from being the head of the company of Alibaba Group leaving behind him ideas that can be trained to young entrepreneurs. So, who is Jack Ma and what marks him as a Leader?
This essay will discuss the transformational style of leadership of Jack Ma who is well known business leader. A survey questionnaire aiming to find out more about effective leadership, qualities and skills as overall view.
Jack Ma’s Biography
Ma was born in October the15th in 1964 in Hangzhou, south China. He was raised in an area that has nothing to do with the west. He was poor and he did not do well at school and had many troubles with his colleagues. By the age of teenager he gave tourists of China tours to the city because his English was good. He was nicknamed “Jack” by one of the tourists. In 1988 he graduated and looked for jobs in many places until he became an English teacher in a school teaching English where he became famous with good relations. In his trip to the USA in 1995 Ma found out more about internet and programming and coding. He said that he knew how to use the internet in 1998 a year earlier than doing his distance study of business where he convinced seventeen of his friends to invest. Today Jack Ma is considered one of the richest men in the China with a fortune worth $25 billion (Stone & D’onfro, 2014).
Application of Generic Approaches to Leadership
Jack Ma’s personalities and behaviours
has inspired many with his optimism and liveliness with a lot of self-confidence on himself to do change in the world, therefore he was a little bit idealistic (Anderlini, 2013). He was very careful in his job; with high honesty he admires the confidence of his employees. He is an open-minded person with a lot of creative ideas in his mind and flexible (Ft.com, n.d.).
The behaviour of Jack Ma in different cases
He motivates the employees he made yearly entertaining parties like Talent Show party to which he contribute with his employee and enjoy (Stone & D’onfro, 2014).
Other Aspects of Leadership
The Success of Jack Ma
Various reasons were behind the achievements of Jack Ma. His transformational leadership that he made it in the organization that was not ordinary as well as his behavior. In addition, his respected character and dedication was very much important to him than theoretical skills (Kux, n.d.).
The strength and the weaknesses of the leader
Like any person on earth Jack Ma have advantages and disadvantages. Some of his advantages that his English was good so it was easy for him to convey the message with good communications skill and his ideas were easily presented in an effective way. On the other hand his disadvantages were; very down to earth person and sensitive which can be negative. He was over confident about his staffs (Chowdhury, n.d.).
Jack Ma was a risk taker. Many managers are afraid of that that, but Ma liked it. He even taught his staff how to deal with risk and to take challenges and if they cannot he consider them as failures. He was flexible, tolerable for new ideas and has the skills to change without losing the real meaning of the original goal (Chowdhury, n.d.).
Change management is one type of changes made in the organization because of external or internal influences. Change can be sensitive for certain situations or planned to reach a needed goal (Griffin, 2013).
Jack Ma’s and transformation management
Jack Ma initiated change in the process of creating a new business. He mentioned “Embrace Change, Change is the best Plan”. So making Alibaba platform was a step into a change that Ma thought it is a chance that central to success: “Any change is an opportunity for young people because if things do not change nobody has a chance” (Ma, 2013).
In implementing change, Alibaba started as a small online trade business.so he realised that he needs to work hard to understand the consumers’ needs. He suggested that they should use technology to help small businesses grow (Ma, 2013). They became a business to business company without giving up on their business to consumer or even consumer to consumer, but they realised that they need to maintain workable growth of their company.
Barriers to transformation
Ma knew that any application of change on Alibaba group will face several barriers. One of the circumstances where Jack Ma and his group met difficulties is when Alibaba group decided to do more business in the United stated, Alibaba USA faced a lot of cultural barriers. In addition Alibaba has many competitors such as Amazon and EBay (Thomson, 2014). These changes should be appropriate to the US organizational culture that do not look like to the Chinese organizational values and structure.
This piece of research used a questionnaire randomly distributed to 20 respondents to answer the following 3 main questions about effectiveness of leadership.
Most of the respondents consider an effective leader is a leader who is supportive as 18 of them strongly agreed that it is a good quality that a leader must have. The other results varied when it came to a leader being honest, fair, encouraging, confident and creative. They were close highest 14 and the lowest is 9. As for the leader being strict 4 of the respondents strongly agreed while 6 strongly disagreed.
The majority of the respondents thought that situations and the environment played an important role in becoming leaders making 45% of the participants. Whereas, 10% of the participants thought that all the choices contributed in making them leaders, as for if the leaders are born or made the results were close weighing between 25% as made to 20% as born.
16 of the participants strongly agreed that a leader should be a hard working person then 15 of them strongly agreed that a leader must be responsible. The participants strongly agreed on a leader to be an open minded leader then good listener and a team builder. The least was as a risk taker only 4 of them strongly agreed.
Jack Ma is a transformational leader that transformed the reality of china and rejected Ruyard Kipling’s quotes that says: “East is east and West is west, and never the twain shall meet”. He was the first to go in the e-commerce world in 1999 and succeed to enter china in the global e-market. He has a countless persuading power, creative innovative ideas, have a change nature and able to accept contests. Now Jack Ma retired leaving behind him ideas for new CEO, advanced thoughts and quotations, great business model and policies to apply in business. Jack Ma retired but he still has this influencing power.