The Key to Success is Relationships: says Jack Ma (Founder of

  • AUTHOR: maanendra
  • January 5, 2021
The Key to Success is Relationships: says Jack Ma (Founder of

The Key to Success is Relationships: says Jack Ma (Founder of

60,000 people packed into an Olympic stadium for Jack Ma’s retirement party. China’s richest man, Alibaba’s cofounder donned a wig and leather jacket for the occasion which was also his 55th birthday and the Chinese e-commerce giant’s 20th anniversary.

Jack Ma once said at a forum organized by the De La Salle University that despite knowing “very little about technology” the key to his billion-dollar success is knowing how to work and deal with people. “If you want to be successful, you should have great EQ (emotional quotient). Because you’d know how to work with people.”

How are you relating? How are your relationships?

Life is a journey and along the way, you will meet many people. Some of them you will help, assist, advise. Others will help, assist and advise you. It has been my experience that when you think you are there to help someone else, chances are they are really there to help you. Our students make the best teachers.

Without the help of others, you will never make this journey. It is a funny thing I have observed about life – mistakes are almost always and inevitably one’s own responsibility, but one’s success, triumphs and worthwhile achievements are rarely accomplished without the help of others.

Empathy lets us better understand the people we are trying to serve or work with and gives us perspectives and insight that can drive greater and more effective actions. Some of us are born with an overwhelming degree of empathy, while others are callous or even blind to the perspectives of others. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. But empathy is more than just a natural talent; it can also be a process, a learned skill, developed and applied when and where needed.

You see, people are very willing to go the extra mile for someone they trust but they won’t even consider doing so for someone they don’t trust. When the trust level is high, people feel confident that the situation is going to be win-win. On the other hand, if there is no trust, people automatically assume the situation is going to be win-lose, that they will simply be taken advantage of.

Trust, not money, is the currency of business and life. Trust can accelerate and mistrust can destroy any business, team or relationship. No matter what your role is, trust affects your influence and success.

When the trust level is high, people see very clearly that working hard to help their leader pursue his or her objective (ie extraordinary results) is also the vigorous pursuit of their own. In other words, they know the leader isn’t going to take advantage of them and is going to reciprocate in some meaningful way. As a result, they can become highly motivated to direct their best efforts toward this pursuit. Without this connection, there is absolutely no reason for them to get excited about helping their leader achieve extraordinary results, so they don’t.

While it may sound trivial, the most important thing you do to demonstrate you care is to ask for their thoughts and opinions, listen to what they have to say, and then take whatever constructive action is required. You see, leaders who achieve extraordinary results are not arrogant or superficial, they don’t play games, and they are not powermongers. Instead, they are real, and that’s how they come across to people.

At the end of the day, it is not who you know, but who knows you that counts.