Jack Welch was an American business executive, chemical engineer and writer. He was the CEO of General Electric and was one of the most influential businessmen in American history.
35 Jack Welch Quotes
- “Working to fulfill someone else’s needs or dreams almost always catches up with you.”
2. “Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will”
3. “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”
4. “Change before you have to.”
5. “It is better to act too quickly than it is to wait too long.”
6. “When you become a leader success is all about growing others.”
7. “Life is too short to spend every day doing something you don’t love.”
8. “In my experience, an effective mission statement basically answers one question: How do we intend to win in this business?”
9. “Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.”
10. “Don’t lose youself on the way to the top.”
Inspirational Jack Welch Quotes
11. “We’ve all been guilty at one point or another in our careers of boasting of perfect hindsight.
12. “When launching something new, you have to go for it—“playing not to lose” can never be an option.”
13. “There are no finite answers to many questions. What really counted was your thought process.”
14. “Indeed, the biggest winners in the world are those who answer yes to the question, “Am I living the life I choose?”
15. “When you own your choices, you own their consequences.”
16. “Lack of candor blocks smart ideas, fast action, and good people contributing all the stuff they’ve got. It’s a killer.”
17. “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.”
18. “Only satisfied customers can give people job security. Not companies.”
19. “Every ending is just an opportunity to start again, wiser, more experienced, and more emboldened for the next act.”
20. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
Jack Welch Winning Quotes
21. “Common mission trap for companies: trying to be all things to all people at all times.”
22. “When you were made a leader you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.”
23. “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
24. “If you are not confused, you don´t know what is going on.”
25. “Over the course of your career, your Detroit will surely call you at one point or another. If you can go, that’s great. If you can’t, make peace with the reasons why.”
26. “Take every opportunity to inject self-confidence into those who have earned it. Use ample praise, the more specific the better.”
27. “Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.”
28. “Effective people know when to stop assessing and make a tough call, even without total information. Little is worse than a manager who can’t cut bait.”
29. “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.”
30. “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
31. “The mission announces exactly where you are going, and the values describe the behaviors that will get you there.”
32. “In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement it like a hell.”
33. “Differentiation favors people who are energetic and extroverted and undervalues people who are shy and introverted, even if they are talented.”
34. “People development should be a daily event, integrated into every aspect of your regular goings-on.”
35. “Every job you take is a gamble that could increase your options or shut them down.”
35. “People with big personalities can make very big targets of themselves.”
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Jack Welch Brief Biography
General Electric hired Welch in 1960. He earned $10,500 per year as a junior chemical engineer in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; in 2018 dollars, that would be roughly $90,000. Welch intended to resign from his position as a junior engineer in 1961 because he was unhappy with the raise that had been given to him and the bureaucracy he had noticed at GE. Reuben Gutoff, a company executive, convinced Welch to stay at GE by promising to help foster the small-company environment Welch desired.
By 1968, Welch had been promoted to vice president and was in charge of GE’s $26 million plastics division. Welch was in charge of marketing and production for the GE-developed plastics Lexan and Noryl. Welch quickly advanced to vice president of GE’s chemical and metallurgical divisions in 1971.
Welch was appointed group executive in 1973 and was responsible for the businesses of chemical, metallurgical, medical systems, appliance components, and electronic components. He worked with the corporate headquarters in that role until 1979, where he was exposed to many of the “big fish” he would later work with.
Welch was appointed senior vice president and director of the Consumer Products and Services Division in 1977. He served in this capacity until 1979, when he was appointed vice chairman of GE. Welch succeeded Reginald H. Jones as GE’s youngest chairman and CEO in 1981. With aggressive simplification and consolidation, Welch had by 1982 largely dismantled the earlier management structure that Jones had established. One of his key leadership mandates was for GE to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the industries in which it competed.
If you want to be a winner in business and leadership, here is a selection of Jack Welch books to read.