Vision, Leadership Lessons from Jack Welch: ARTICULATE YOUR VISION. How To Be a Great Leader

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

3Ss of Winning in Business

See Change as an Opportunity

Get Less Formal

Harness Your People for Competitive Advantage

Make Everybody a Team Player

Behave Like a Small Company

Corporate Vision, Mission and Goals

Creating a Grand Vision >> Shared Vision    Strategic Intent

Launching a Crusade    Tips for Making the Vision a Reality

Managerial Leadership

12 Leadership Roles

Inspiring People



Best Practices

Jack Welch, CEO, GE a Corporate Leader

GE: Creating an Extraordinary Organization

Jack Welch Fires an Ineffective Business Architect

GE Work-Out

GE Leadership Effectiveness Survey (LES)

Using the Best Practice at GE: The Trotter Scorecard

GE Equity Investing in External Ventures

Six Sigma Implementation at GE

Creating a Vision

In one of his first speeches as CEO of GE, Jack Welch, explained that he was not going to lay out an "all-inclusive" grand strategy or step-by-step agenda for the company. Instead, he was going to articulate a vision and a few clear goals for the company. He has always felt that best leaders are visionaries. They do not get caught up in the minutiae or obsess over every detail, but instead inspire others to execute on that vision.



To Welch, there are several reasons why it is better to lay out a general vision and not an exact blueprint. It is the leader's responsibility to come up with the vision. Once the vision was communicated, it is up to the team to turn this vision into a reality.

A leader who spends too much time on the details is likely overmanaging. It is much better to give a general direction and empower the team to figure out the exact route.

Jack Welch believed that the only way to lead is to talk about company's values, not numbers. Numbers have little to do with creating a vision of fulfilling a mission; they don't instill corporate values into the minds and hearts of the employees, and they don't provide much help in living up to those values or carrying out the vision.

  • Create and project a clear vision. Best leaders are visionaries. Give a general direction and empower the team to figure out the exact route. "The leader's unending responsibility must be to remove every detour, every barrier, to ensure that vision is first, clear, and then real. The leader must create an atmosphere in the organization where people feel not only free to, but obliged to demand clarity and purpose from their leaders."

  • Articulate a few clear stretch goals for your company. Set stretch goals, and if people don't make them, don't punish them for trying. "The key is helping people reach for the unreachable, and to celebrate when they come close. That will build confidence into the fabric of the organization, and prepare the team for greater challenges."

  • Make sure you have the very best people to carry your vision out. Hire those most capable of turning visions into reality ask questions about how they might go about attacking a particular thorny problem. Promote those people who have the best record of making things happen.