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Jack Ma, the Founder & Executive Chairman of Alibaba, set ambitious long-term goals from the beginning and relentlessly pursued them over the next 15 years.  Even when it was still just an idea backed by a small team, he planned to grow Alibaba into a market leader. 

Porter Erisman, a former Vice President at Alibaba and protege of Jack Ma, explains what set Jack Ma apart as a leader from the beginning when the future was uncertain to the ups and downs of growing Alibaba's business and brand name.  

 

Vision Comes First

 

One of the things that was key to Alibaba’s success was that Jack Ma set out extremely long-term goals. 

He wanted to build a company that would last 103 years and span 3 centuries.

He said early on that he wanted to build one of the top ten websites in the world, one which would serve all business people. 

''I will even admit that as a foreigner who just joined this company with a ragtag team of managers, I wondered if it was possible,'' said Porter. ''I supported the dream, but even myself I had some doubts.'' 

 

And Then, Persistence

 

By focusing on this dream, chasing it, being persistent and not giving up, Jack Ma has achieved many of the goals he set out in the beginning. It is one of the top internet companies worldwide and has about 400 million members. 

''My main learning from watching Jack is that sometimes those ideals of defining a long-term vision really do come true when you stick to basic business fundamentals.''
 

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