Jack Ma’s Leadership Approach
by Chris Atkinson
At his retirement party, Jack Ma stepped onstage to celebrate Alibaba’s 20th anniversary looking every inch the rock star complete with a leather jacket, shades, guitar, and jewellery. He sang and spoke to an emotional crowd in Hangzhou, China.
It’s fair to say that Jack Ma isn’t a typical CEO however, he most certainly is part of a new generation of leaders that appear to be more willing to put their personality ‘front and centre’ regardless of typical corporate cultural norms. I won’t write about his backstory, suffice to say it’s worth reading.
I want to illustrate some of the things that have come to define the differences between modern leadership and the historical CEO. I accept that Jack Ma is a fantastic showman and that alone is quite unique, however, I hope you will see that the points below are not limited to wild extrovert characters.