Jack Welch, the Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001, the most lauded CEO in the world, and the best CEO in America, built GE in to the most successful American corporation of the late twentieth century by his unique management strategies.
To evaluate what Jack Welch has done and judge his achievement is not so simple, moreover, it is complicated. No one is perfect leader, since Chinese people regard Mao to be the most respectful leader in history even though he made some big wrong decisions which indeed affected the history a lot. And in my opinion, a leader/manager can be described as the good leader/manager by excellent performance in following 3 aspects: make profit, make loyalty employees and make growth. Now I will talk about Jack Welch through these 3 aspects.
First of all, make profit. Profit is the core goal of a company. No company could survival with loss in this fierce competition environment. In this point of view, Jack Welch did an extraordinary good job by increasing the net earning of GE from 1.7 billion to 12.7 billion between 1981 and 2000. What’s more, most of the index including market value, ROS and ROE were showing the great performance of the company’s profit growth. Not to mention whether the management style is bad or not, the profit growth could convince the broad to keep you in.
Secondly, make employees loyalty. Unwilling to promise employees a job for life, convinced as he was that the job-for –life commitment that GE had made in the past had kept too much deadwood around, Welch understand that he had to provide new motivation to employees to work harder and to trust the company.
The way to do is to give workers a sense of empowerment, a kind of the feeling that they are the “owners” of their businesses, not just simply sitting in front of the faceless machine. Believing so, Jack Welch began to take some measures to maintain the loyalty of employees and most important, to motivate them to establish a sense of “involvement” in GE. By motivation program and award system, Jack Welch succeeded to form a talent, loyalty and creative team contributing for the continuous growth of GE.
The last but not the least, make growth. At the beginning of taking charge of GE, Jack Welch broadened the business concentration of GE and separated it into three parts. Although under the great pressure from the broad, Jack Welch still put a series of measures into practice to reorganize the whole company. After these efforts, not only the business range of GE was tremendously enriched and condensed, but also the business activities were extended into disparate fields. That really made the company growth, not only the profit growth, but the whole corporation matured in a great extent.
“History will reveal Welch to be exactly the right leader at exactly the right time.”(Jeffrey A.Krames, “The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership”, 2001) Although GE might be continuously grow and prosper without Jack Welch, it is the truth that exactly Jack Welch made such a huge change to GE and push it to climb up the high hill. In a word, Jack Welch definitely is a great leader in management history, a model to follow and worth to respect.