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109 Top Jack Welch Quotes On Winning And Leadership

Famous As: Former Chairman & CEO of General Electric
Born On: November 19, 1935
Died On: March 1, 2020
Born In: Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S
Died At Age: 84
John Francis Welch Jr., better known as Jack Welch, is an American chemical engineer, former business executive and writer. He went on to become one of the most successful chief executives in American corporate history. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied chemical engineering and then went to acquire his post graduate degree and doctorate in the same subject from the University of Illinois. Welch started working for General Electric in 1960 as a chemical engineer and quickly rose up through the ranks to become the vice president in the company in 8 years. Later, he became the head of strategic planning, a post he held for six years. However, his most significant time at General Electric was from 1981 and 2001 that he spent as the chief executive of the company. During his tenure as the CEO, Welch turned the already huge corporation’s growth to levels that were unheard of. According to some estimates, the company grew 4000% during those twenty years. Welch has been without doubt one of the most important men in American business and is regarded as a legend. Let’s dive into some business and life lessons from one of the world’s best CEOs. We have curated Jack Welch's quotes from his sppeches, life and writings that you would find interesting. Read on the compilation of thoughts and quotations by Jack Welch.
Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.

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

Jack Welch
Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will

Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will

Jack Welch
You got to be rigorous in your appraisal system. The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.

You got to be rigorous in your appraisal system. The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch
The productivity now at universities is terrible. Tenure is a terrible idea. It keeps them around forever and they don't have to work hard.

The productivity now at universities is terrible. Tenure is a terrible idea. It keeps them around forever and they don't have to work hard.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch

The 1980s will seem like a walk in the park when compared to new global challenges, where annual productivity increases of 6% may not be enough. A combination of software, brains, and running harder will be needed to bring that percentage up to 8% or 9%.

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

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

Jack Welch
CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.

CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.

Jack Welch
If you have a reputation as a big, stiff bureaucracy, you're stuck.

If you have a reputation as a big, stiff bureaucracy, you're stuck.

Jack Welch
Give me a highly successful unionized industry.

Give me a highly successful unionized industry.

Jack Welch

Public hangings are teaching moments. Every company has to do it. A teaching moment is worth a thousand CEO speeches. CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.

Jack Welch

In order to lead a country or a company, you've got to get everybody on the same page and you've got to be able to have a vision of where you're going. America can't have a vision of health care for everybody, green economy, regulations - can't have a bunch of piece-meal activities. It's got to have a vision.

Jack Welch
I've learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.

I've learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.

Jack Welch
If you don't have public hangings for bad culture in a company, if you don't take people out and let them say, they went home to spend more time with the family. It's crazy.

If you don't have public hangings for bad culture in a company, if you don't take people out and let them say, they went home to spend more time with the family. It's crazy.

Jack Welch
We've only been wealthy in this country for 70 years. Who said we ought to have all this? Is it ordained?

We've only been wealthy in this country for 70 years. Who said we ought to have all this? Is it ordained?

Jack Welch
The Internet is the Viagra of big business.

The Internet is the Viagra of big business.

Jack Welch

There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization's overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow...It goes without saying that 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...

Jack Welch
I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all.

I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all.

Jack Welch
Short cycle business are being impacted by credit, and are being impacted by gasoline prices, food, distribution businesses, chemical business.

Short cycle business are being impacted by credit, and are being impacted by gasoline prices, food, distribution businesses, chemical business.

Jack Welch
In my lifetime, Mitt Romney is the most qualified leader I've ever seen run for the presidency of the United States.

In my lifetime, Mitt Romney is the most qualified leader I've ever seen run for the presidency of the United States.

Jack Welch

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.

Jack Welch
There are only two sources of competitive advantage: the ability to learn more about our customers faster than the competition and the ability to turn that learning into action faster than the competition.

There are only two sources of competitive advantage: the ability to learn more about our customers faster than the competition and the ability to turn that learning into action faster than the competition.

Jack Welch

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.

Jack Welch
Great leaders love to see people grow. The day you are afraid of them being better than you is the day you fail as a leader.

Great leaders love to see people grow. The day you are afraid of them being better than you is the day you fail as a leader.

Jack Welch
The secret of success is changing the way you think.

The secret of success is changing the way you think.

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

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

Jack Welch
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. It's that simple.

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. It's that simple.

Jack Welch
A leader's job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be

A leader's job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be

Jack Welch
The 3Ss of Winning in business are speed, simplicity, and self-confidence.

The 3Ss of Winning in business are speed, simplicity, and self-confidence.

Jack Welch
Companies don't give job security. Only satisfied customers do.

Companies don't give job security. Only satisfied customers do.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch
Protecting underperformers always backfires.

Protecting underperformers always backfires.

Jack Welch
The hero is the one with ideas.

The hero is the one with ideas.

Jack Welch
All of management is about self-confidence

All of management is about self-confidence

Jack Welch
Trust happens when leaders are transparent.

Trust happens when leaders are transparent.

Jack Welch
Every employee, not just the senior people, should know how a company is doing.

Every employee, not just the senior people, should know how a company is doing.

Jack Welch
Nothing of any importance has ever been accomplished by a pessimist.

Nothing of any importance has ever been accomplished by a pessimist.

Jack Welch
You are not a leader to win a popularity contest-you are a leader to lead.

You are not a leader to win a popularity contest-you are a leader to lead.

Jack Welch
The best thing workers can bring to their jobs is a lifelong thirst for learning.

The best thing workers can bring to their jobs is a lifelong thirst for learning.

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

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

Jack Welch
Any company trying to compete...must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee.

Any company trying to compete...must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee.

Jack Welch
A leader's role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite.

A leader's role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite.

Jack Welch
Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy . . . Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.

Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy . . . Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch

Strategy is simply resource allocation. When you strip away all the noise, that's what it comes down to. Strategy means making clear cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to everybody, no matter what the size of your business or how deep its pockets.

Jack Welch
Number one, cash is king... number two, communicate... number three, buy or bury the competition.

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

Jack Welch
An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

Jack Welch
Be candid with everyone.

Be candid with everyone.

Jack Welch
The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.

The biggest cowards are managers who don't let people know where they stand.

Jack Welch

A strategy is something like, an innovative new product; globalization, taking your products around the world; be the low-cost producer. A strategy is something you can touch; you can motivate people with; be number one and number two in every business. You can energize people around the message.

Jack Welch
Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital - the world's best talents and greatest ideas.

Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital - the world's best talents and greatest ideas.

Jack Welch

I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that's a big deal. And if you're going to be a leader - if you're a leader and you're the smartest guy in the world - in the room, you've got real problems.

Jack Welch
There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.

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

Jack Welch
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 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.

Jack Welch

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.

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

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

Jack Welch
The team with the best players wins.

The team with the best players wins.

Jack Welch
One of the jobs of a manager is to instill confidence, pump confidence into your people. And when you've got somebody who's raring to go and you can smell it and feel it, give 'em that shot.

One of the jobs of a manager is to instill confidence, pump confidence into your people. And when you've got somebody who's raring to go and you can smell it and feel it, give 'em that shot.

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

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

Jack Welch

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.

Jack Welch

Out-innovating them is the way to beat China. And to do everything that we do in this country to support innovative policy, that drives innovation and new products and more jobs and creates jobs. You can't - you can't put a wall up around here. We tried that in the '30s. It didn't work.

Jack Welch
Management is all about managing in the short term, while developing the plans for the long term.

Management is all about managing in the short term, while developing the plans for the long term.

Jack Welch
Don't manage - lead change before you have to.

Don't manage - lead change before you have to.

Jack Welch
Culture drives great results.

Culture drives great results.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

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

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

Jack Welch
You measure your people and you take action on those that don't measure up.

You measure your people and you take action on those that don't measure up.

Jack Welch
When you were made a leader you weren't given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.

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

Jack Welch
Strong managers who make tough decisions to cut jobs provide the only true job security in today's world. Weak managers are the problem. Weak managers destroy jobs.

Strong managers who make tough decisions to cut jobs provide the only true job security in today's world. Weak managers are the problem. Weak managers destroy jobs.

Jack Welch
I actually think that the economy has got some positives. It's got the market. It's got consumer confidence and it's got banks throwing - I mean central bankers throwing money at it around the world.

I actually think that the economy has got some positives. It's got the market. It's got consumer confidence and it's got banks throwing - I mean central bankers throwing money at it around the world.

Jack Welch
The story about GE that hasn't been told is the value of an informal place. I think it's a big thought. I don't think people have ever figured out that being informal is a big deal.

The story about GE that hasn't been told is the value of an informal place. I think it's a big thought. I don't think people have ever figured out that being informal is a big deal.

Jack Welch
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 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.

Jack Welch
If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.

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

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

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

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch
When you become a leader success is all about growing others.

When you become a leader success is all about growing others.

Jack Welch
Change before you have to.

Change before you have to.

Jack Welch
Control your own Destiny or somebody else will

Control your own Destiny or somebody else will

Jack Welch
Common mission trap for companies: trying to be all things to all people at all times.

Common mission trap for companies: trying to be all things to all people at all times.

Jack Welch
If you are not confused, you dont know what is going on.

If you are not confused, you dont know what is going on.

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

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

Jack Welch
No vision is worth the paper it's printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards.

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

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch
Don't lose youself on the way to the top.

Don't lose youself on the way to the top.

Jack Welch
Every job you take is a gamble that could increase your options or shut them down.

Every job you take is a gamble that could increase your options or shut them down.

Jack Welch
If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.

If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.

Jack Welch
It is better to act too quickly than it is to wait too long.

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

Jack Welch
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.

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.

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

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

Jack Welch
When launching something new, you have to go for it—“playing not to lose” can never be an option.

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

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

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

Jack Welch
IT’S SAID that you can only live life forward and understand it backward.

IT’S SAID that you can only live life forward and understand it backward.

Jack Welch
We've all been guilty at one point or another in our careers of boasting of perfect hindsight. 

It's a terrible sin.

If you don't make sure your questions and concerns are acted upon, it doesn't count.

We've all been guilty at one point or another in our careers of boasting of perfect hindsight. It's a terrible sin. If you don't make sure your questions and concerns are acted upon, it doesn't count.

Jack Welch
Take time to get to know people. Understand where they are coming from, what is important to them. Make sure they are with you.

Take time to get to know people. Understand where they are coming from, what is important to them. Make sure they are with you.

Jack Welch
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.

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.

Jack Welch
Excellence and competitiveness aren't incompatible with honesty and integrity.

Excellence and competitiveness aren't incompatible with honesty and integrity.

Jack Welch
The world belongs to passionate driven people.

The world belongs to passionate driven people.

Jack Welch
Strategy is not a lengthy action plan. It is the evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances.

Strategy is not a lengthy action plan. It is the evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances.

Jack Welch
Someone, somewhere has a better idea.

Someone, somewhere has a better idea.

Jack Welch
As a leader, your job is to energize people around the mission and vision you've articulated.

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

Jack Welch
Never miss out on an opportunity like a good recession.

Never miss out on an opportunity like a good recession.

Jack Welch