Is it right for a businessman at a certain point in his career (let’s say well before reaching the retirement age), to decide to make a complete turnaround and dedicate himself to something else? Or do you think it’s absolutely crazy?
Some time ago, the news about Jack Ma, the successful Chinese businessman founder of Alibaba, who upon reaching the age of 55 appointed the current CEO Daniel Zhang as his successor and decided to dedicate his time to something else (in his case, education).
Jack Ma is obviously not the first or last businessman to make such a drastic decision yet, what is surprising is not simply the decision in itself, but the fact that the decision was made by a Chinese citizen. Someone born in a country with a culture that is notorious for its high speed work pace that is the centre of their world.
So first and foremost I think that Jack Ma will have had a strong and important impact on millions of Chinese businessmen.
That said, I believe that
if I was in the position to do so, at a certain point I would gladly leave MICROingranaggi to dedicate my time to something else: travelling, hobbies, interests.
It is common in Italy to remain at work well after reaching the age of retirement. We see company owners (especially family-run enterprises) who remain at the helm into their 80s and even older, which often does not turn out to be a benefit for the firm.
Enterprises run by the over-seventies, as I wrote some time ago, actually record lower levels of performance. First and foremost because people of this age – despite being on-the-ball and great at their job of running the company – find it more difficult to embrace change, and this represents a problem especially if we look at the current global situation which is evolving at an incredible speed.
With no criticism intended, I think that everything has a time and place and I completely share the declarations made by Jack Ma on this topic some time ago:
“When you’re 20 work hard at your studies, when you’re 25 start work and don’t worry about making mistakes, you can still afford to lose, to fail and carry on regardless. Go to a small company. Normally, in a big company, it is good to learn processing; you are part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn to do a lot of things at one time. The most important thing is to choose someone to follow, and learn as much from them as possible. It is not which company you go to, but what your boss is able to teach you. From 30 to 40, focus on your profession and if you want to become an entrepreneur. From 40 to 50 there’s no going back, don’t try to jump into a new area, it’s too late. Become better at all the things you are good at. From 50 to 60 invest in young people, rely on them, raise talents and transfer knowledge. From 60 onwards, spend time on yourself, your well-being, be it physical or mental. Go to the seaside!”