Corporate Leader:

Transformational Leader

Success Story:  Jack Welch

Corporate Change Leader

Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"Change before you have to." ~ Jack Welch

 

 

Leading Change through the GE's Organization

25 Lessons from Jack Welch Leadership Energizing People Be a Winner The Power of Attitude Results-based Leadership

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

  1. Lead more

  2. Manage Less

  3. Articulate Your Vision

  4. Simplify

  5. Get Less Formal

  6. Energize Others

  7. Face Reality

  8. See Change as Opportunity

  9. Get Good Ideas from Everywhere

  10. Follow up ... More

Jack Welch's Six Rules for Successful Leadership

  1. Control your destiny, or someone else will... More

Seven-Point Program for Management by Leadership

  1. Develop a vision for the business... More

25 Lessons from Jack Welch (Ten3 Mini-course)

Inspirational Quotes

Jack Welch Quotes

  • The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well.

  • Getting great talent, giving them all the support in the world, and letting them run is the whole management philosophy of GE.

  • My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.

  • An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

  • I've learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.

  • Leading a big company means never allowing a company to take itself too seriously.

  • An overburdened, overstretched executive is the best executive, because he or she doesn't have the time to meddle, to deal in trivia, to bother people.

  • Change before you have to.

  • Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.

  • You can't believe how hard it is for people to be simple, how much they fear being simple... Clear tough-minded people are the most simple.

  • Leading a big company... means never allowing a company to take itself too seriously, and reminding itself constantly... that yesterday's press clippings often wrap today's fish.

  • Everything we do is aimed at either getting a customer or keeping a customer.

  • Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital – the world's best talents and greatest ideas.

  • It's [the internet] like the flu – it just spreads like crazy.

  • I was afraid of the internet... because I couldn't type.

  • The Internet is the Viagra of big business.

  • If GE's strategy of investment in China is wrong, it represents a loss of a billion dollars, perhaps a couple of billion dollars. If it is right, it is the future of this company for the next century.

  • If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don't have to manage them.

  • Strong managers who make tough decisions to cut jobs provide the only true job security in today's world. Weak managers are the problem. Weak managers destroy jobs.

  • The 1980s will seem like a walk in the park when compared to new global challenges, where annual productivity increases of 6% may not be enough. A combination of software, brains, and running harder will be needed to bring that percentage up to 8% or 9%.

  • The world will not belong to 'managers' or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.

  • The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.

  • Again, your challenge is not just to improve. It is to break the service paradigm in your industry or market so that customers aren’t just satisfied, they’re so shocked that they tell strangers on the street how good you are.

  • We bring together the best ideas turning the meetings of our top managers into intellectual orgies.

  • We've only been wealthy in this country for 70 years. Who said we ought to have all this? Is it ordained?

  • Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.

 Discover more!

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

Jack Welch's 3Ss of Winning: Self-confidence, Simplicity, Speed

General Electric (GE) Leadership Effectiveness Survey (LES)

25 Lessons from Jack Welch (Ten3 Mini-course)

Case Studies

General Electric – Reinventing the Corporation

Konosuke Matsushita, Founder of Panasonic

Corporate Leadership: the Jack Welch Way

Jack Welch has been with the General Electric Company (GE) since 1960. Having taken GE with a market capitalization of about $12 billion, Jack Welch turned it into one of the largest and most admired companies in the world, with a market value of about $500 billion, when he stepped down as its CEO 20 years later, in 2000. Although Jack Welch is "the celebrated leader of a global manufacturer often noted for its technological prowess, he has utilized a very human process to drive change through GE's vast organization. Having respect for the individual as a pivotal force in organizational change, Welch created a model of exceptional performance every corporate leader can learn from.

The Role of the Leader in the New Economy

As Jack Welch wrote in a letter to shareholders: "In the old culture, managers got their power from secret knowledge: profit margins, market share, and all that... In the new economy, the role of the leader is to express a vision, get buy-in, and implement it. That calls for open, caring relations with every employee, and face-to-face communication. People who can't convincingly articulate a vision won't be successful. But those who can will become even more open – because success breeds self-confidence."

Welch believed that great business leaders have to:

  1. possess large doses of energy, and

  2. know how to use that energy to energize others.

Welch moves from meeting to meeting, conveying that message – and the host of other ones as well, some of which have become his trademarks:3

  • Business is simple.

  • Don't make it overly complicated.

  • Face reality.

  • Don't be afraid of change.

  • Fight bureaucracy.

  • Use the brains of your workers.

  • Discover who has the best ideas, and put those ideas into practice.

Employee Empowerment

Under Welch's leadership, managers had wide latitude in building their GE units in entrepreneurial fashion. Determined to harness the collective power of GE employees, Jack Welch redefined also relationships between boss and subordinates. He wrote: "The individual is the fountainhead of creativity and innovation, and we are struggling to get all of our people to accept the countercultural truth that often the best way to manage people is just to get out of their way. Only by releasing the energy and fire of our employees can we achieve the decisive, continuous productivity advantages that will give us the freedom to compete and win in any business anywhere on the globe."

3Ss of Winning

Jack Welch summed up his prescription for winning in three words:

Jack: Straight from the Gut

In his book 'Jack: Straight from the Gut', Welch is both storyteller and coach, using his exceptional career as the backdrop to share his thoughts on what it takes to be a great leader. Part management text, part page-turner, Jack shows how the man widely regarded as the finest corporate executive of his generation built his business and his reputation.

You’ll learn in the executive summary of his book prepared by Soundview that:

  • It’s best to be small, no matter how big you are. By slashing unneeded bureaucracy and insisting that GE’s businesses be in the top two positions in their respective fields, Welch instilled an entrepreneurial spirit and a quick-thinking, quick-moving approach to competition and constant improvement. It was a small-company approach to running an enormous, multi-billion-dollar organization, and it worked marvelously.

  • It’s all about people. Jack Welch’s passion was making people GE’s core competency, and he saw to it that the company found and developed great people.

  • Companies must be boundaryless to unlock their potential. Insular thinking results in stale ideas and, consequently, stale organizations. By breaking down the walls and borders that separated various departmental and functional areas at GE, Welch was able to unlock the full creativity of his people, propelling the company forward with fresh, creative approaches to problems.

  • Quality is nothing without efficiency. GE’s Six Sigma initiatives replaced sloganeering quality strategies with ones that brought about measurable results in increased efficiency, reduced defects and satisfied customers.

 

More About / From Jack Welch

Characteristics of a Great Corporate Leader

Understanding Strategic Issues

Creating Vision

Simplifying the Strategy

Setting Objectives

Asking Effective Questions

Redesigning Organization

Creating Change

Leading by Example

Leading Transformational Change

Jack Welch Fires an Ineffective Business Architect

Business Innovation

Transforming the Old Management Model

Getting Rid of Bureaucracy

Turning Managers into Leaders

People Power

Jack Welch's Recipe for Winning Employees' Hearts and Minds

Employee Empowerment

Motivating: Combining "Rewards for the Soul" with "Rewards for the Wallet"

Attitude Motivation

Build a Star Team, Not a Team of Stars

Benchmarking Employee Performance

Harnessing the Power of Diversity

Integrated Diversity

Organizational Transformation

Building a Learning Culture

Learning Organization

Idea Management

Letting the Best Idea Win

Creativity Management

Entrepreneurial Organization

Behave Like a Small Company

Customer Intimacy

Systemic Innovation

Creating a Diversified Company

The Four E's of Leadership

Venture Strategies

Speed

Simplicity

Winning Worldwide

 

References:

  1. Venture Catalyst, Donald L. Laurie

  2. The Welch Way, Jeffrey A. Krames

  3. Jack Welch and the GE Way, Robert Slater

  4. "Strategies for Leading Breakthroughs," Ted Santos

  5. "Winning," Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

  6. "Jack Welch on Leadership," Robert Slater

  7. "Jack Welch and The 4 E's of Leadership," Jeffrey A. Krames

  8. "Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will", Noel M. Tichy and Stratford Sherman