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What can we learn from Jack Welch?

April 3rd, 2011 by dimpledbrain

Jack Welch of General Electric (GE) fame taught us 6 principles in life:

1. Control your destiny, or someone else will – this reminds me of the recent alien intrusion themed Hollywood movies where the consequence of inaction (because one is paralyzed by fear) is deadly. Which is somehow true, don’t you think?

2. Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it were – there is a phrase in the Malay language called syok sendiri. It very much means the above, only in a more humourous way.

3. Be candid with everyone – they say ‘let your yes be yes and no, no; anything beyond these is of evil’

4. Don’t manage, lead – from a business perspective, the distinction comes from whether we view manpower as  human resource (and manage your cost) or human capital (where you lead and grow your asset). Do we treat it as yet another profit and loss line item or as an intangible asset?

5. Change before you have to – everyone knows about this but in order to change we must first find a compelling reason or purpose to do so, failing which we will almost always rationalize internally against it!

6. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete – always follow the path of least resistance, as they say it in the capital market (referring to share price movement). Or in a more academic/ intelligent manner if you like, adopt ‘blue ocean strategy’.  This reminds me of Fredrik Haren (author of The Idea book), who in one of his book signing sessions in Malaysia asked a very interesting question: What is the blue ocean strategy of the Blue Ocean Strategy book? Intriguing… (he was trying to make a point on his book – 150 pages about ideas, 150 pages for your own ideas and One Idea Book which doesn’t compete directly with traditional books)

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    • Hi Xiomara,

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