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10 Great Jack Welch Quotes On Leadership, Developing Talent And More

Jack Welch, who started out as an engineer at General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), and rose to be one of the most influential CEOs in modern business, has died.

Benzinga · 03/02/2020 22:30

Jack Welch, who started out as an engineer at General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), and rose to be one of the most influential CEOs in modern business, has died.

Welch was appointed GE chairman and CEO in 1981, the youngest leader in GE’s history, and retired in 2001. He died at 84 years old and was worth $750 million.

Here are a few of the best Jack Welch lines, a collection of wisdom from his writing and speeches.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch Dies At 84

Welch On Personnel

"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.”

"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."

Welch On Leadership

"Don't manage. Lead change before you have to."

“If you are a leader and you are a manager, shame on you if people don’t know where they stand. You have a moral obligation leading people’s lives, talking about their future and ... telling them where they stand."

Welch On Vision

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

"Any jerk can have short-term earnings. You squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, and the company sinks five years later."

Welch On Managing And Strategy

"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."

"If GE's strategy of investment in China is wrong, it represents a loss of a billion dollars, perhaps a couple of billion dollars. If it is right, it is the future of this company for the next century."

Welch On Technology

"I was afraid of the internet... because I couldn't type."