Jack Welch wrote the book on winning. No, really. He authored with his wife Suzy a book titled, "Winning: The Ultimate Business How-To Book" in 2009.
And if Welch's words aren't enough to verify his claimed expertise on the matter, his track record ought to suffice. Jack Welch started working at General Electric Co. (GE) in 1960, a freshly minted chemical engineering PhD working at a plant in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with a starting salary of $10,500.
In 2001, Welch retired from his position as CEO of the same company with a $417 million severance package, the biggest type of payment made to any U.S. CEO in recent history.
During his leadership at GE, the firm increased in value by an impressive $300 billion. Welch whipped a struggling industrials company into a global leader by implementing widespread change and stark cost-cutting that earned him the nickname "Neutron Jack."
It's safe to say that Jack Welch knows how to win. Here, take a few tips from his playbook on how to get the W every time.
Think of Others
Even the best pitcher can't play ball without a catcher. If you think you can win on your own, you're probably wrong.
Welch, even in his oft-criticized method of "managing out" the bottom 10% of GE's staff yearly, focused a great deal of his time at GE on creating an excited, inspired workforce. Welch wanted those around him to truly believe in the company's vision and goals. He asked for their feedback and in turn, established an open and communicative workplace.
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When choosing the right team members, Welch said to hire by testing for integrity, intelligence and maturity. That will ensure that even those on the bench are worthy of their turn under the lights.
Don't Fear the Unknown
In "Winning," Welch outlines four of the best practices for adapting to unavoidable change. First, attach every change initiative to a "clear purpose." Second, hire only "true believers and get-on-with-it types." Third, Welch said to remove those who resist to change regardless of how well they perform. Finally, Welch said you have to seize opportunity, even if it means stepping on some toes.
Voice and Dignity
In "Winning," Welch said each and every person deserves "voice and dignity." That means letting your subordinates constructively criticize and contribute to your work. Even if someone doesn't have a corner office, he or she ought to receive the same respect your supervisor does. It's impossible to build a culture of mutual respect in the workplace without voice and dignity.
Ponder Less, Do More
Welch has some straightforward advice on strategizing to win: "Pick a general direction and implement like hell."
Once you have the eureka moment, immediately start putting together a team that can make it happen for you. Don't pursue an idea that doesn't end in some sort of competitive advantage, though. The time when you're gunning for a victory isn't the time to dillydally on an unoriginal idea.
"If you want to win, when it comes to strategy, ponder less and do more," Welch said.