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Jack Welch Quotes

John Francis Welch Jr

Jack Welch quotes: wise words from the late, ex-CEO of GE.

“Life is too short to spend every day doing something you don’t love.”

“The only career worth pursuing is the one that turns your crank.”

“Don’t take a job because your mother wants you to.  Don’t be a victim.  You own your decision.”

“There is no straight line to a dream.”

“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward.  You pick a general direction and implement it like all hell.”

“Strategy means making clear-cut choices about how to compete.”

“The world belongs to passionate, driven people.”

“Look, winning and losing can’t be quantified.  They are states of mind, and losing happens only when you give up.  Seen that way, then, the world can be filled with winners, and there is room for them all.”

“The secret of success is changing the way you think.”

“The  three S’s of winning in business are speed, simplicity and self-confidence.”

“The hero is the one with ideas.”

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”

“If we wait for the perfect answer, the world will pass us by.  Don’t make the process harder than it is.”

“It is better to act too quickly than it is to wait too long.”

“Don’t manage; lead change before you have to.”

“Any time there is change, there is opportunity.  So it is paramount that an organization get energized rather than paralyzed.  When there’s change, there’s opportunity.”

“Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.”

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”

“Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.”

“You can look at the situation and feel victimized.  Or you can look at it and be excited about conquering the challenges and opportunities it presents.”

“I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”

“Don’t lose yourself on the way to the top.”

“Arrogance is a killer, and wearing ambition on one’s sleeve can have the same effect.  There is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence.”

“Culture drives great results.”

“The internet is the Viagra of big business.”

“Simple messages travel faster, simpler designs reach the market faster and the elimination of clutter allows faster decision making.”

“When launching something new, you have to go for it.  ‘Playing not to lose’ can never be an option.”

“Business success is less a function of grandiose predictions than it is a result of being able to respond rapidly to real changes as they occur.”

“Our behavior is driven by a fundamental core belief: the desire, and the ability, of an organization to continuously learn from any source, anywhere; and to rapidly convert this learning into action is its ultimate competitive advantage.”

“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”

“Number one, cash is king; number two, communicate; number three, buy or bury the competition.”

“Only satisfied customers can give people job security.  Not companies.”

“No one can guarantee you a job other than satisfied customers.  That’s the only thing that works.  Nothing creates work other than products and services you provide that create satisfied customers.”

“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.”

“Too often we measure everything and understand nothing.  The three most important things you need to measure in a business are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and cash flow.  If you’re growing customer satisfaction, your global market share is sure to grow, too.  Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride and creativity.  And cash flow is the pulse—the key vital sign of a company.”

“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.”

“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.”

“In my experience, an effective mission statement basically answers one question: how do we intend to win in this business?”

“No vision is worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards.”

“The mission announces exactly where you are going, and the values describe the behaviors that will get you there.”

“When you own your choices, you own their consequences.”

“Underneath, you would surely see that the best care passionately about their people—about their growth and success.  And you would see that they themselves are comfortable in their own skins.  They’re real, filled with candor and integrity, optimism and humanity.”

“Leadership, very simply, is about two things: truth and trust; and ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter.”

“What is trust?  I could give you a dictionary definition, but you know it when you feel it.  Trust happens when leaders are transparent, candid and keep their word.  It’s that simple.  Your people should always know where they stand in terms of their performance.  They have to know how the business is doing.  And sometimes the news is not good.  But you have to fight the impulse to pad or diminish hard messages or you’ll pay with your team’s confidence and energy.”

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.  When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

“You talk about seeing around corners as an element of success.  That’s what differentiates the good leader.  Not many people have it.  Not many people can predict that corner.  That would be a characteristic of great leaders.”

“As a leader, your job is to energize people around the mission and vision you’ve articulated.”

“Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence.”

“When you were made a leader you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.”

“You measure your people and you take action on those that don’t measure up.”

“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.”

“Take every opportunity to inject self-confidence into those who have earned it.  Use ample praise, the more specific the better.”

“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.”

“The most important job you have is growing your people, giving them a chance to reach their dreams.”

“The best way to support dreams and stretch is to set apart small ideas with big potential, then give people positive role models and the resources to turn small projects into big businesses.”

“Does coaching work?  Yes.  Good coaches provide a truly important service.  They tell you the truth when no one else will.”

“What could possibly be more important than who gets hired, developed, promoted or moved out the door?  Business is a game, and as with all games, the team that puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together wins.”

“No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

“You can’t believe how hard it is for people to be simple, how much they fear being simple.  They worry that if they’re simple, people will think they’re simple-minded.  In reality, of course, it’s just the reverse.  Clear, tough-minded people are the most simple.”

“Learning is truly a value.  Growth for every employee is a real objective.  Mistakes aren’t always fatal.  And there are lots of people around whom you can reach out to for coaching and mentoring.”

“If work is just going in every day and getting a check, it’s an ugly life.  When you can make work a meaningful purpose, you’ve hit the jackpot for people.”

“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.”

“Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do.  Because then they will act.”

“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.”

“I might not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I’m pretty good at getting most of the other bulbs to light up.”

“I’m not perfect, but if there are any points given for caring about people with every fiber of your being and giving life all you’ve got every day, then I suppose I have a shot.”

“When all is said and done, teaching is what I try to do for a living.”

“There’s no such thing as work-life balance.  There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”

“Achieving work-life balance is a process.  Getting it right is iterative.  You get better at it with experience and observation, and eventually, after some time passes, you notice it’s not getting harder anymore.  It’s just what you do.”

“It’s said that you can only live life forward and understand it backward.”

“In the end, your integrity is all you’ve got.”

“Indeed, the biggest winners in the world are those who answer yes to the question, ‘Am I living the life I choose?'”

“You never know how diverse your career can be.  I think it’s wonderful.  My life has always been the next page, not the last page.”

Related: James Lipton quotes.

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