Jack Welch Winning Essay

What Makes Jack Welch an Effective Leader? Essay

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What Makes Jack Welch an Effective Leader?

---ideas from the article “Will Legacy Live On?”

Before I talk about what makes Jack an effective leader, I want to explain briefly why I chose him as my study subject.

Why do I like him?

Jack Welch created a new model for business leaders everywhere. His genius leadership and management techniques are an example to anyone aspiring to a successful career. Why is he so famous?

He became the youngest CEO and Chairman of one of America's biggest and most respected companies (General Electric) at age 44, and successfully rewrote the rules of what an incredibly profitable and successful company should be, and had fun in the process.

What is leadership?

To know what makes an…show more content…

What stays with him was the personality of the man: his passion, his intensity, his energy, his need to engage. It’s not hard for us to find out that Welch has most of the personality which are included in the trait theories of leadership. What we should notice is that the author strongly emphasizes one of his characteristics---his extraordinary passion. It’s what has animated and motivated hundreds of thousands of workers across one of the most complex portfolios of business and engaged them in constructive activity. Jack didn’t use his tremendous passion to control his employees to get things done. Instead, he motivated them and empowered them to achieve the goals of the entire organization. Again, according to the textbook, this is one of the major distinguishing factors between managers and leaders.

• Management Skills

The author of the article describes the “Welch Management Religion” through what he calls “two trinities of management” which are: Trinity 1: Self-Confidence, Simplicity, Speed; Trinity 2: People, Dollars, Ideas. Here, I just want to analysis two elements of them---people and ideas.


When Jack was in charge of GE, he wasn't afraid to change. His efforts streamlined the company. However, in doing so, over 100,000 GE employees lost their jobs. For this, Welch earned the nickname

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A company where people really want to work has one of the most powerful competitive advantages in the game: the ability to hire and field the best team.

Building that advantage can often take years — decades or more. That's just the way it is with employer reputations.

They're built career by career, annual report by annual report, crisis by crisis (because every company has one or two of them), and recovery by recovery.

In today's media-saturated world, however, there is a major exception to the generally slow pace of reputation-building.

Companies can become preferred employers virtually overnight thanks to the "buzz factor," which is as potent as it is fast-acting. In a technology-based company, buzz usually comes with an exciting breakthrough or paradigm-altering product or service. Google, Amazon, and Twitter are perfect examples. Buzz can also come from having a glamorous or prestigious brand, like Chanel or Ferrari.

But across all of these magnetic companies, there are a few big common denominators.

So how does your employer stack up? Do you work for a great company? Here's how to tell…

1. Great companies demonstrate a real commitment to continuous learning.

No lip service. These companies invest in the development of their people through classes, training programs, and off-site experiences, all sending the message that the organization is eager to facilitate a steady path to personal growth.

2. Great companies are meritocracies.

Pay and promotions are tightly linked to performance, and rigorous appraisal systems consistently make people aware of where they stand. As at every company, the people you know and the school you went to might help get you in the door. But after that, it's all about results. People with brains, self-confidence, and competitive spirit are always attracted to such environments.

3. Great companies not only allow people to take risks but also celebrate those who do.

And they don't shoot those who try but fail. As with meritocracies, a culture of risk-taking attracts exactly the kind of creative, bold employees companies want and need in a global marketplace where innovation is the single best defense against unrelenting cost competition.

4. Great companies understand that what is good for society is also good for business.

Gender, race, and nationality are never limitations; everyone's ideas matter. Preferred employers are diverse and global in their outlook and environmentally sensitive in their practices. They offer flexibility in work schedules to those who earn it with performance. In a word, great companies are enlightened.

5. Great companies keep their hiring standards tight.

They make candidates work hard to join the ranks by meeting strict criteria that center around intelligence and previous experience and by undergoing an arduous interview process. Talent has an uncanny way of attracting other talent.

6. Great companies are profitable and growing.

A rising stock price is a hiring and retention magnet. But beyond that, only thriving companies can promise you a future with career mobility and the potential of increased financial rewards. Indeed, one of the most intoxicating things a company can say to you, as a potential employee, is: "Join us for the ride of your life."

And that launches a virtuous cycle. The best team attracts the best team, and winning often leads to more winning. It's a ride that you and your people will never want to get off.

This article, written by Jack and Suzy Welch, is provided by the Jack Welch Management Institute, where it was originally published in their online MBA program.

Jack is Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute provides students and organizations with the proven methodologies, immediately actionable practices, and respected credentials needed to win in business.

Suzy is a best-selling author, television commentator, and noted business journalist. She is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review, and she spent several years at Bain & Company, the management consulting firm.

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