CNBC’s Titans profiles the world’s greatest business leaders and is the finest program of its type on television. Recently, they featured the iconic former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. The following is the first part of a series that captures the leadership quotes and principles from the man called “Manager of the Century” by Fortune magazine.
- When asked who is Jack Welch, he responds “tough-minded, most would say ‘fair’, candid, hopefully fun.”
- “I’m the same person I was when I started.”
- “She (my mother) would causely drive me, and whack me when I did something stupid.”
- “You survived (sports) based upon how good you are.”
- “Only winners deserve trophies on the green and off.”
- “He’s had an innate sense that he acts like he’s right all the time but he knows he not.” – Bob Wright
- “I like my life and I like to play hard and I like to work hard.”
- “He had a great vision for the company and I shard in that vision so it was an easy partnership.” – Larry Bossidy
- “But the General Electric strategy in management will be to be #1 in everything we do.” – Welch in 1981
- “We were ahead of our time. When IBM and other companies laid off armies 10 years later, it was well accepted at that time to get leaner. We were the first one and we were making money. We had to compete against global competitors and we had to win. Or else we are going to go down the drain.”
- “We got all those businesses (from the purchase of RCA in 1985) and then we end up after sold everything, we got NBC for free.”
- “Your test as a leader is to deal with whatever hand you’ve been dealt.”
- “People have to lead. They got to know how to build great teams. They go to know how to give candid appraisals. They got to know how to communicate.”
- “A leader focuses on shaping tomorrow. There is little or nothing you can do about yesterday. Learn from it but don’t waste a moment on it. Get on with tomorrow. “
- “He built people up. He took great pride in bringing people along.” – Matt Lauer
- “There’s a gene of good managers and leaders. And that gene is a generosity gene. You LOVE to give raises to good stars. It’s a turn-on to call them in, give them money, and give them a promotion. It’s a big deal.”
- “If you think he’s got that much of a vested interest in your well-being and success, aren’t you going to work a lot harder for that guy. You’ll do anything. You’ll follow him into the fires of hell just because he’s made you feel special.” – Laue
- “There was a heightened sense about performance. Jack is very driven, has a special way of creating collegiate competitiveness.” – Robert Nardelli
- “What people didn’t recognize early in his career that they did late in his career is he is compassionate and caring. Nobody could work a room as well as Jack.” – Nardelli
Check back tomorrow for Part 2. To read comments from wife Suzy Welch along with other great business leaders, click 50 John Maxwell, Seth Godin, and Dave Ramsey Leadership Quotes From The Chick-Fil-A Leadercast.
To have future posts on leadership emailed directly to your Inbox, simply subscribe or click here.