What Makes Jack Welch an Effective Leader?
---ideas from the article “Will Legacy Live On?”
Before I talk about what makes Jack an effective leader, I want to explain briefly why I chose him as my study subject.
Why do I like him?
Jack Welch created a new model for business leaders everywhere. His genius leadership and management techniques are an example to anyone aspiring to a successful career. Why is he so famous?
He became the youngest CEO and Chairman of one of America's biggest and most respected companies (General Electric) at age 44, and successfully rewrote the rules of what an incredibly profitable and successful company should be, and had fun in the process.
What is leadership?
To know what makes an effective leader, one must know what leadership is. According to our textbook, the definition of leadership is the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals. In this case, the group is General Electronic Corporation. For a big business empire like GE, obviously, the final goal is to make as much profit as it can to please its shareholders. Let’s see what the article describes about how Jack influences his team to achieve this goal: “Growing a company that was valued by the market at $13 billion when he took it over in 1981 to a behemoth worth more than $400 billion when he retired last year is what is called wealth creation – big time.” Without Jack, GE couldn’t have today’s accomplishment.
What makes Jack be a leader?
According to the “trait theories of leadership” in the textbook, six traits have been identified as being consistently associated with leadership: 1) ambition and energy; 2) the desire to lead; 3) honesty and integrity; 4) self-confidence; 5) intelligence; and job-relevant knowledge. Let’s look at Jack now. In the article, the author mentions that what he remembered most about those two interviews has nothing to do with Welch’s strategy or business ideas, though they were all clearly present. What stays with him was the personality of the man: his passion, his intensity, his energy, his need to engage. It’s not hard for us to find out that Welch has most of the personality which are included in the trait theories of leadership. What we should notice is that the author strongly emphasizes one of his characteristics---his extraordinary passion. It’s what has animated and motivated hundreds of thousands of workers across one of the most complex portfolios of business and engaged them in constructive activity. Jack didn’t use his tremendous passion to control his employees to get things done. Instead, he motivated them and empowered them to achieve the goals of the entire organization. Again, according to the textbook, this is one of the major distinguishing factors between managers and leaders.
• Management Skills
The author of the article describes the “Welch Management Religion” through what he calls “two...