Some Valuable Tidbits From #JackMaXDLSU

Social media has been abuzz with #JackMaXDLSU. The e-commerce giant founder delivered a talk in front of the lucky students of De La Salle University. The university had snagged the Chinese billionaire to empower and inspire those passionate kids. For those who were not lucky enough to catch Jack Ma in the flesh, the university also set up a Facebook Live feed to catch the entire event.

If you don’t have the time or the patience to watch the two-hour video (Ma’s talk alone started at around 40:00 mark), we did the heavy lifting from you and watched the entire thing. Here are just some of the wise words from Jack Ma’s talk at the DLSU.

“When you are 20-30 years old, find a good boss. A good boss is better than a good company.”

People leave managers, not companies. Regardless of your capabilities as a cog in the machine, every decision will ultimately be at the hands of your boss. An exceptional boss will not just inspire people to work hard with every bone in their body but will also impart to your knowledge that will help you become a better employee and subsequently, a better person. Never settle for a boss that merely gives you your paycheck fortnightly.

“Don’t invite your best of friends to make a company.”

Business and pleasure are like an energy drink and alcohol: they sound amazing when together, but you will regret it the morning after. Since business is a grueling proposition that may result in some hurt feelings, you may want to keep your friends at bay. After all, you can lose a company many times but you can only lose true friendship once.

“If you complain, you have to have a solution. If you don’t have, then don’t complain.”

We all know a certain mema; they yap about a lot of things yet don’t bring anything valuable to the table. It’s a toxic attitude to have and it only makes a person look like a chronic complainer. If you don’t want to be that person, you have to learn how to make things work for yourself. Train your mind to see solutions. Change the way you see the world. That way, you won’t just rewire the way you see problems, but it can also help you grow by becoming the solution itself. After all, a lot of companies start as a way to bring solutions to the people.

“If you want to be successful, you have to have great EQ because EQ knows how to work with people. No matter how smart you are but you never know how to work with people, you will never succeed.”

Intelligence is great. It gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes. However, Ma stressed that EQ is just as important as IQ because it makes you more empathic and able to see things from the eyes of other people, thus allowing you to work better with them. Don’t put too much premium on technical expertise; you have to harness your people power too.

“Like any kid, I have a lot of dreams when I was young and most of them never came true. Now that I’m 53 years old and I’ve been working extremely hard for the past 30-35 years, it’s time to think about my childhood dreams.”

Sometimes, life will take us to places we don’t expect. That means dreams not coming true and jobs not meeting our expectations. But it shouldn’t stop us or make us completely forget about our dreams. You have to put in a tremendous amount of effort so that you can revisit your dreams and make them happen. If you feel like life is taking you away from your dreams, don’t worry about it. It’s just a detour—you can still make it happen.

“Don’t be discouraged when people don’t help you. You should earn the right to be helped.”

It’s not the obligation of other people to help us. After all, everyone has their own war to win. While it may sound like the end of the world if people decline to aid us, don’t let it bring you down. Confront your problems and try to overcome it. If you succeed, you’ll emerge as a different person. If you don’t, you will earn people’s respect because you tried to fight something insurmountable.

“I arrived late last night and I tried to test the speed of Philippine internet. It’s no good.”

Need we say more?