Jack Welch Quotes

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Jack Welch

Welch in 2012
Born John Francis Welch, Jr.
(1935-11-19) November 19, 1935 (age 81)
Peabody, Massachusetts
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Illinois
Occupation

1960, Engineer, GE Chemical Development Organization
1972, GM & VP, GE Plastics
1979, Vice Chairman, GE
1981, Chairman & CEO, GE
2001, Retires from GE

Home town Salem, Massachusetts
Net worth $750 Million (2012)[1]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carolyn B. Osburn (1959-87)
Jane Beasley (1989–2003)
Suzy Wetlaufer (2004–present)

There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.
Jack Welch
One of the jobs of a manager is to instill confidence, pump confidence into your people. And when you've got somebody who's raring to go and you can smell it and feel it, give 'em that shot.
Jack Welch
The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.
Jack Welch
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.
Jack Welch
You got to be rigorous in your appraisal system. The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.
Jack Welch
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.
Jack Welch
I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that's a big deal. And if you're going to be a leader – if you're a leader and you're the smartest guy in the world – in the room, you've got real problems.
Jack Welch
Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.
Jack Welch
CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.
Jack Welch
You can't grow long-term if you can't eat short-term. Anybody can manage short. Anybody can manage long. Balancing those two things is what management is.
Jack Welch
Public hangings are teaching moments. Every company has to do it. A teaching moment is worth a thousand CEO speeches. CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.
Jack Welch
I was afraid of the internet... because I couldn't type.
Number one, cash is king… number two, communicate… number three, buy or bury the competition.
Jack Welch
You've got to eat while you dream. You've got to deliver on short-range commitments, while you develop a long-range strategy and vision and implement it. The success of doing both. Walking and chewing gum if you will. Getting it done in the short-range, and delivering a long-range plan, and executing on that.
Jack Welch
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.
Jack Welch
Number one, cash is king… number two, communicate… number three, buy or bury the competition.
Jack Welch
The team with the best players wins.
If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.
Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.
Jack Welch
The story about GE that hasn't been told is the value of an informal place. I think it's a big thought. I don't think people have ever figured out that being informal is a big deal.
Jack Welch
I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all.
If you don't have public hangings for bad culture in a company, if you don't take people out and let them say, they went home to spend more time with the family. It's crazy.
Jack Welch
An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
Jack Welch
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%.
Jack Welch
Be candid with everyone.
Change before you have to.
We've only been wealthy in this country for 70 years. Who said we ought to have all this? Is it ordained?
Jack Welch
If you have a reputation as a big, stiff bureaucracy, you're stuck.
In order to lead a country or a company, you've got to get everybody on the same page and you've got to be able to have a vision of where you're going. America can't have a vision of health care for everybody, green economy, regulations – can't have a bunch of piece-meal activities. It's got to have a vision.
Jack Welch
In my lifetime, Mitt Romney is the most qualified leader I've ever seen run for the presidency of the United States.
Jack Welch
I actually think that the economy has got some positives. It's got the market. It's got consumer confidence and it's got banks throwing – I mean central bankers throwing money at it around the world.
Jack Welch
Don't manage - lead change before you have to.
I've learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.
Any jerk can have short-term earnings. You squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, and the company sinks five years later.
Jack Welch
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.
Jack Welch
Give me a highly successful unionized industry.
Short cycle business are being impacted by credit, and are being impacted by gasoline prices, food, distribution businesses, chemical business.
Jack Welch
Culture drives great results.
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.
Jack Welch
What's important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems. If the customer isn't satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale, if the shelf isn't right, or if the offerings aren't right, it's the same thing. You manage it like a small organization. You don't get hung up on zeros.
Jack Welch
The Internet is the Viagra of big business.
The productivity now at universities is terrible. Tenure is a terrible idea. It keeps them around forever and they don't have to work hard.
Jack Welch
Control your own destiny or someone else will.
Out-innovating them is the way to beat China. And to do everything that we do in this country to support innovative policy, that drives innovation and new products and more jobs and creates jobs. You can't – you can't put a wall up around here. We tried that in the '30s. It didn't work.
Jack Welch
The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well. I don't like to use the word efficiency. It's creativity. It's a belief that every person counts.
Jack Welch
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.
Jack Welch
Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
Jack Welch
Management is all about managing in the short term, while developing the plans for the long term.
Jack Welch
You measure your people and you take action on those that don't measure up.
Jack Welch
Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.
A strategy is something like, an innovative new product; globalization, taking your products around the world; be the low-cost producer. A strategy is something you can touch; you can motivate people with; be number one and number two in every business. You can energize people around the message.
Jack Welch