Jack Welsh’s “Lebensweisheit” : The 10 Leadership Principles

MIAMI - JANUARY 16: Jack Welch, President, Ja...

I read an interesting, short article that Peter Isackson wrote for the Intercultural Insights Group, he brought up the simple yet profound leadership principles that Jack Welsh developed in his time as CEO at GE. Are they as relevant today as they were when he wrote them?

*1.* There is only one way ˆ the straight way. It sets the tone of the

*2.* Be open to the best of what everyone, everywhere, has to offer;
transfer learning across your organization.
*3.* Get the right people in the right jobs ˆ it is more important than
developing a strategy.
*4.* An informal atmosphere is a competitive advantage.
*5.* Make sure everybody counts and everybody knows they count.
*6.* Legitimate self-confidence is a winner ˆ the true test of
self-confidence is the courage to be open.
*7.* Business has to be fun ˆ celebrations energise an organisation.
*8.* Never underestimate the other guy.

*9.* Understand where real value is added and put your best people there.
*10.* Know when to meddle and when to let go ˆ this is pure instinct.

I think that #4 is a point that would be debatable in Europe and Asia – what do you think, is the business trend toward informality or do these societies still want the hierarchic distance?
And, the notion of having fun [#7] when working as a prerequisite to working creatively and energetically still has not penetrated the minds of the many of the older kinds of organizations, but I think that without fun, why would people want to do their best work for a company?

When I present to foreign companies, and I mention that in the US, having fun is often a goal, I frequently get dismissive looks and comments that this is not something serious and as such isn’t important. Too bad, for as long as the notion of fun is still considered frivolous, it won’t happen.

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