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Every Leader should Learn the Leadership Attributes of a Titan CEO



Unfortunately I did not get to meet the late Jack Welch, but many have documented publicly why they believe he is one of the best CEOs of our generation.


This short review previews some of the key leadership attributes that has defined Jack Welch's career and thinking.

Jack Welch was heralded by many as the greatest leader of his era. As CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, he transformed it from a company known for appliances and lightbulbs to a multinational corporation that stretched into financial services and media as well as industrial products.

There are 10 leadership attributes that I would like to review, that characterised the life of Jack Welch as a CEO. My belief is that they will help you to cement your standing and leadership credentials during these turbulent times.


1. MAINTAIN YOUR INTEGRITY


Establish your integrity and never waver from it. Integrity forms the bedrock and foundation of 'TRUST'. If you kill or damage your integrity your trust with your colleagues and key stakeholders will go out of the window.


2. SET THE TONE FOR THE COMPANY


The organization takes its cue from the person at the top. Be clear about the vision and direction of the business. Set clear expectation of the values and culture that you want from those around you and the wider staff. Capture and measure culture.


3. PEOPLE FIRST, STRATEGY SECOND


Getting the right people in the right jobs is a lot more important than developing a strategy. As a top CEO or business leader you should be able to quickly know the type of person that is required to drive your strategy forward.

Get them quickly, and of course, that sometimes means moving others to a better place outside of the organization!


4. STRESS INFORMITY


Bureaucracy strangles; informality liberates!


Creating an informal 'can-do' atmosphere is a competitive advantage. The ability to 'break' things to innovate and so create better products, processes and systems that benefit the customer is an essential culture that dominates the best companies.


5. CULTURE OF LEARNING TOGETHER


Taking everyone's best ideas and transferring them to others is the 'secret sauce' of team collaboration. There is nothing more important.


Fostering a learning culture in the organisation is the foundation for innovation and creativity.


6. BE SELF-CONFIDENT


True self confidence is the courage to be open to welcome change and new ideas, regardless of the source.


This is where the maturity of the leader comes into play. Many CEO's are sometimes reticent to foster ideas and views on strategy as they do not want to be undermined. However this self awareness of not shirking away from this type of conversation is essential is you truly want to create a collaborative approach and inclusive atmosphere for ideas and discussion.


7. APPRAISE ALL THE TIME


Whether you are giving a raise, or simply bumping into someone in the hallway, always let people know where they stand.


The best leaders are very good at being aware of the performance of their people and go out of their way to find out individual successes to 'brag' about, not only to the business but to the person face to face.


8. GUARD THE CULTURE


Peter Drucker the famous management thinker and writer said 'Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast'!!


If your company carries out a M&A, then it is critical to establish the new entity's culture from day one, to minimize confusion and to root out resistance.


As mentioned before, once a culture is set in place then guard the culture by putting in place processes and systems to measure it over time.


9. CREATE SMALL PROJECT/ BREAKTHROUGH TEAMS


As the company and business grows it is very easy to lose track on the areas that could create breakthrough profits and growth in the company. Invariably the system is bogged down in bureaucracy, silo mentality of departments and 'computer says no' of key individuals and divisions.


The way around this is to create breakthrough projects, led by smaller multi-functional teams. This smaller focussed group not only can work on key projects at speed but are the best people to champion and execute those changes or practices into their departments.


10. RECOGNIZE AGILITY AND SPEED


By acting decisively on people, plants and investments, Jack Welch never regretted taking quick action, as he knew that his people were able to furnish him with the RIGHT data to make those decisions. This was a competitive advantage that served him well in giving GE consistent growth during his tenure.


If you want to know more, as well as help in transforming your business, then reach out. Over 26 industry business awards have been won by our clients for growth, so find out how we have helped them to do this by reaching out on the link HERE.

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