A Fool is needed to lead Smart People

Jack Ma, Co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., announced on Monday his plans for stepping down from the e-commerce giant and handing over responsibilities to the senior management. Since founding the company in 1999 with 17 other people in Hangzhou, China, Ma has become the distinctive face of the company and through its success, the country’s technology industry.

Speaking about leadership skills Jack said, “Intelligent people need a fool to lead them. When the team’s all a bunch of scientists, it is best to have a peasant lead the way.

His way of thinking is different. It’s easier to win if you have people seeing things from different perspectives”. “Women understand the thing that makes them better than men, the greatest weapon that God gives them is gentleness. They understand tolerance.”

On the importance of perseverance, “Today is hard, tomorrow is harder, but the day after tomorrow is beautiful.”

On determination- “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

On fighting eBay’s efforts to enter China, “EBay may be a shark in the ocean, but I am a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean, we lose, but if we fight in the river, we win.”

On the distraction of rivals, “Do not focus on your competitors, focus on your customers.”

On hiring the right people, “We’re never in lack of money. We lack people with dreams who can die for those dreams.”

On perspective for young workers, “If young people are in awe of the future, act conscientiously towards the present and be thankful for the past, they will have opportunities.”