“Time Is More Than Money For Leaders.”
Opening Case Study :
Jack Ma –ALeader with Great Time-Management
Jack Ma was born on September 10, 1964, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. He is a Chinese business magnate who is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of successful Internet-based businesses. He is one of the world’s greatest living examples of entrepreneurship leaders today. Once a poor lad who survived by guiding tourists, Ma left no stone unturned to rise above his humble condition and achieve success. One of the ﬁrst steps he took in this regard was to improve his communication skills by learning English. Jack was one of the ﬁrst few individuals who saw Internet as a business opportunity even at a time when the rest of the world didn’t believe in his thoughts. After starting his ﬁrst venture using a mere $20000, the entrepreneur earned around $800,000 in a matter of just three years.
However, it is the e-commerce based venture, ‘Alibaba’, which he founded in the early 2000s that catapulted this entrepreneur to global fame. The revenue earned by the ﬁrm has helped him reach the zenith of success and made him the richest man in China. He even co-founded a few other similar ventures which were also successful to a great extent; one of these was the e-commerce website called ‘Taobao’. Jack has also been a recipient of many awards over the years; a few of these include featuring in world- renowned magazines such as ‘Forbes’, ‘Time’ and others.
Jack Ma founded Alibaba Group, together with his 17 friends in 1999. Jack Ma was just an English teacher when he developed the idea of establishing an e-commerce site that will help sellers and buyers alike, as a platform for them to communicate, advertise and make transactions. The Internet was still not at the peak of its popularity yet back then, but Jack Ma had a vision. With a fund of he knew that he could help businesses in China to develop and compete competitively in the local and international markets. Today, Alibaba Group has grown so much and has created multiple platforms for the business-to-business, business-to- customer, and customer-to-customer trading site and been one of the largest e-commerce sites that ever established.
One of its earliest and most successful trading sites is Alibaba.com, a business-to-business trading platform. Alibaba.com gathers sellers from all over the world, mainly from China, India, Pakistan, the United States, and Thailand and they are allowed to create listings of their products for free but have the options of upgrading the service with a fee to more acquire beneﬁts and exposure by the Alibaba.com site. One huge difference between Alibaba Group and Amazon is that Alibaba does not own any inventories and only act as the middleman between the seller and the buyer. Although Amazon’s revenue is about ten times higher than Alibaba, not having to hold inventories allows Alibaba Group to earn more proﬁts than Amazon because they do not have to spend anything on the warehouse or shipping costs.
In 2004, China Central Television and its viewers selected Mr. Ma as one of the “Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year”.In Sep 2005, World Economic Forum selected Mr. Ma as a “Young Global Leader”. Fortune Magazine also selected him as one of the “25 Most Powerful Businessperson in Asia”. Businessweek also selected him as a “Businessperson of the Year” in 2007, and Barron’s chose him as one of the 30 “World’s Best CEOs” in 2008.2009 was an eventful year in Jack’s life; he secured a spot in ‘Time’ magazine’s list of ‘World’s 100 Most Inﬂuential People’. The internet giant also received the ‘2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year: Business Leader of the Decade Award’.In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.
Leaders have a host of responsibilities that keep their schedules packed, and often overﬂowing. From managing a team of employees, to securing new vendors and looking for new marketing opportunities, leaders are tasked with juggling multiple projects at once. Effective leaders put their time management skills into play to ensure that they maximize their time and accomplish their goals.
The best leaders are proactive and purposeful about their day, every day. It enables them to use their best brain time, ensure interactions with team are positive and productive, and are energized knowing that they run their diary – not it runs them.
Good time management allows you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, which leads to more free time, which lets you take advantage of learning opportunities, lowers your stress, and helps you focus, which leads to more career success. Each beneﬁt of time management improves another aspect of your life. All you have to do is get the cycle started.
Here are ﬁve handy tips for effective time management as a leader:
1. Be disciplined: There is perhaps no area of your life where self-discipline is more important than in the way you manage your time. Time management is a core discipline that largely determines the quality of your life. Peter Drucker says, “You cannot manage time; you can only manage yourself.”Time management is really life management, personal management, management of yourself, rather than of time or circumstances.
2. Delegate effectively: To delegate is to assign a speciﬁc task to someone else and give them the authority to complete that task. Delegation helps save time for management, and it allows more work to be completed faster. Managers must delegate tasks to employees because they often have to focus on higher-level work. A good manager does not take on all the work themselves but instead is able to assign work to employees so that he or she can oversee all employees. When delegating tasks, the manager must provide a clear picture of how the task should be completed, and what the desired result is. Delegating tasks allows management to concentrate on other things, such as overseeing employees or coming up with new ideas.
3. Introduce check lists: Check Lists are essential if you’re going to beat work overload. When you don’t use them effectively, you’ll appear unfocused and unreliable to the people around you. When you do use them effectively, you’ll be much better organized, and you’ll be much more reliable. You’ll experience less stress, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t forgotten anything important. More than this, if you prioritize intelligently, you’ll focus your time and energy on high-value activities, which will mean that you’re more productive, and more valuable to your team.
4. Make systems: Time management systems often include a time clock or web-based application used to track an employee’s work hours. Time management systems give employers insights into their workforce, allowing them to see, plan and manage employees’ time. Doing so allows employers to control labor costs and increase productivity. A time management system automates processes, which eliminates paper work and tedious tasks.
5. Important vs urgent: Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention. These are the to-do’s that shout “Now!” Urgent tasks put us in a reactive mode, one marked by a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly-focused mind set. Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they’re not. When we focus on important activities we operate in a responsive mode, which helps us remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.
Time in the organization is constant and irreversible. Nothing can be substituted for time. Worse, once wasted, it can never be regained. Leaders have numerous demands on their limited time
— time keeps getting away and they have trouble controlling it. No matter what their position or role is, they cannot stop time, they cannot slow it down, nor can they speed it up. Thus, time needs to be effectively managed to be effective.