Leadership Lessons From Jack Welch
Ten years ago, and for many years before that, you couldn’t pick up a business periodical without seeing Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, on the front, in a quote, or being referenced in some way.
Welch retired in 2004 but is credited with some of the most enlightened leadership practices of modern American business. He took GE from $13 billion to over $400 billion during his tenure and authored several books during this time on the secrets to his success.
Even though most of us run much smaller operations, his lessons are good ones for companies of all sizes. Here are a few:
What To Measure?
“If I had to run a company on three measures, those measures would be customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and cash flow.”
Build Confidence To Drive Simplicity
“If you’re not simple, you can’t be fast. And, if you’re not fast, you’re dead. So, everything we do (at GE) focuses on building self-confidence in people so they can be simple.”
Set Your People Free
“You’ve got to balance freedom with some control, but you’ve got to have more freedom than you’ve ever dreamed of.”
Shout When You Win
“People feel guilty about stopping to celebrate a little victory … but it lets people know they’ve won. It’s so critical to an institution. It brings it alive, gives it character.”
Numbers Don’t Inspire, Vision Does
“Numbers aren’t the vision. Numbers are the product. I never talk about numbers.”
Make People Share Good Ideas
“What makes a company flourish is transferring ideas.” At quarterly meetings, Welch insisted that GE bring together the leaders of all of its businesses to share best practice ideas. “We take the best of diversity and use it,” said Welch.
Meet Customers More Often
Welch made a point of personally meeting GE’s major customers in the spring and fall of every year. What he learned drove major company initiatives.
Don’t Dither. Jump!
“I’ve learned in a hundred ways that I rarely regretted acting but often regretted NOT acting fast enough.”
Have a great week.