When Jack Ma talks about more love in the workplace, we should listen. Not just because he’s very rich – recently estimated to have a net worth of $44.3 billion – but because he has successfully built a business empire employing thousands of people.
At a recent OECD conference, Jack Ma made the case for enhancing those skills which make us uniquely human. We shouldn’t even bother trying to compete with machines, so let’s focus on loving each other instead. The 4th Industrial Revolution will require great team working, which means emotional intelligence and collaboration in the workplace. We need to cherish our employees and colleagues, to ensure the best ideas are created, and focusing on those softer skills throughout life will create not only happy and successful humans, but companies too.
Ma’s theory is that to be successful in business, it’s important to have great ideas, drive and vigor, but it’s just as important that people actually like you. Ma thinks love – or LQ – the quotient of love – is essential in the workplace. “The brain will be replaced by machines, but machines can never replace your heart.” Put IQ with EQ, and sprinkle some LQ into the mix, and you have a winning formula.
Rather than just thinking about ourselves, we should be thinking about other people, as it’s only in teams that we can succeed. We also need to get used to failure and rejection, as we’re going to have to be more resilient in this brave new world, so it’s important that we support each other, rather than just looking out for ourselves.
Education is key, and Ma believes we should start to try and develop more well-rounded individuals much earlier in the educational system, including teamwork, self-knowledge and empathy. We all really need to be working on our collaborative skills, emotional intelligence and resilience. Don’t worry if you left school a long time ago, you can still learn these skills with online training courses.
Jack Ma isn’t the only one talking about love and stuff! Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk employs a Chief Heart Officer to replace the traditional HR function. Rather than treating employees as just another ‘cog in the wheel’ Vaynerchuk believes staff should be looked at more holistically – cared for as you would care for a friend – supported in a more human way. If your staff don’t feel loved and cared for, your company is going nowhere. Vayerchuk thinks emotional intelligence will be the number one issue in the next ten years.
This all sounds pretty good doesn’t it and is a nice contrast to the dystopian idea that we will be governed by robots in a soulless world. We’re all human, and what makes us unique is love, which cannot be replicated by machines. So, focus on the good stuff - keep your love quotient (LQ) high, work on your emotional intelligence, collaboration and teamwork, and you’ll do very well in the next decade.
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