Three Lessons to climb corporate ladder from Jack Welch – the Legendary CEO of GE


Recent surge of Entrepreneurship allures a lot of young employees to quit their job and start their own startup. But its not necessary that everyone is interested in entrepreneurship. Jack is one among those leaders who proved that you can be a successful person even working in a 9 to 5 corporate job.

While reading Welch’s Autobiography Jack: Straight from the Gut I learned three valuable lessons which enabled Jack to become the Youngest CEO of GE. Here are those lessons to climb the Corporate Ladder at speed of Jack Welch.

Don’t settle for Average

This is about the time when young Jack just completed his first year at GE, it was time of appraisal. Jack observed he got the same average raise as everyone around him got and decided to leave GE and get another job. His immediate boss Coplan didn’t reacted much, but Jack got a call from Coplan’s boss Reubes Gutoff asking to join for a dinner. Gutoff asked him to stay.

After a lot of discussion over the dinner and many negotiation attempts Gutoff finally agreed to give him additional raise. See how great persons don’t settle for average.

“It’s a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” -W. Somerset Maugham

Give more than Expected

When Jack decided to leave his job after the very first year of his career at GE, Gutoff who was not even his immediate boss insisted so much to make him stay. Even agreed to give additional raise. Wonder why Gutoff made so much effort to keep Jack on the Job?

You can’t expect more than average if your work is just average. Jack got Gutoff’s attention when he used to deliver extra analysis reports that was not expected from some one at Jack’s position that time. Jack mentions that those reports were not something earthshaking but those definitely added up and made him above the average employee.

So, always deliver 110%. That extra 10% one time may not count much but over a period of time those extra 10% adds up.

Seize Opportunity at First Sight

Jack was climbing the corporate ladders at a a good pace but made his first long jump in 1964. Bob Finholt then General Manager of the department where Jack was working, got promoted, leaving the spot for GM of that department open. Jack immediately grabbed the opportunity and approached Gutoff for this job.

The thing to notice here is this job needed good marketing experience while Jack was from an engineering background with very thin marketing experience. Regardless of his weak points for the job, he followed up with Gutoff for about a week until Gutoff finally offered him the job.

Great leaders don’t wait for the right moment or right situation to grab an opportunity. They grab it at first sight. They don’t settle for average and don’t deliver the average.

Stay motivated.

Keep Rocking \m/

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