Lessons from Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE

Managerial Leadership Jack Welch - case study Develop a Vision GE Values Guide Eliminate Bureacracy Employee Empowerment Efficiency Improvement Eliminate Boundaries GE - case study 25 Lessons from Jack Welch GE (case study) Flat Organizational Structures Case Studies 1000ventures.com JACK WELCH - Making GE the Most Competitive Enterprise  - Achievements and 7-Point Program for Management by Leadership


Fun must be a big element in your business strategy. No one should have a job they don't enjoy. If you don't wake up energized and excited about tackling a new set of challenges, then you might be in the wrong job.

  • Never allow your company to take itself too seriously. "As I went to bigger pieces of GE, I found bigger bureaucracies, layers and all that stuff and it wasn't friendly," writes Jack Welch. "Business was very serious-turf-boxes. Business isn't that. Business is ideas and fun and excitement and celebrations, all those things." Ultimately, Welch's book Winning is about making business more fun: “There are several themes you’ll hear again and again: the team with the best players wins, so find and retain the best players; don’t overbrain things to the point of inaction; no matter what part of a business you’re in, share learning relentlessly; have a positive attitude and spread it around; never let yourself be a victim; and for goodness sake – have fun.”

  • Take swings, have fun. Welch's "Authentic Leadership Model" included such success factors and traits as having a sense of humor, having fun, and having infectious enthusiasm. Welch's ultimate advice to those who want to be managers: “Err on the side of the bold. … Take swings, have fun.”

  • Find job that challenges you. "Seek out jobs and assignments that challenge your mind. You will never find out what you are truly capable unless you have job that inspires you."2 When asked to give one important piece of advice for the new generation of managers, Welch answered, "Do your thing. I mean have fun. Do what you like. If you're doing something you don't like, get the hell out of it. Go live and do things and reach for the moon all the time. Have fun doing it and don't be afraid. Don't live in a box."

  • Remove anything that makes people less excited about going to work. Business should be about passion and winning and creating new things. It doesn't have to be about slogging through bureaucracy and approvals and all the other things that make work so depressing.

  • Celebrate success. “Business is ideas and fun and excitement and celebrations, and all those things.” Business has to be fun. For too many people, it's "just a job". Celebration is also a great way to energize an organization. A CEO's job is to make sure that his/her team is having fun – while they're being productive.



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