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TECH TALK: Good Books: Welch on Winning

April 27th, 2005 · No Comments

Continuing with our management theme, there is another book from a practitioner: Winning by Jack Welch, with Suzy Welch as co-author. Newsweek did a cover story on the book and Welch recently, and carried an excerpt:

LEADERS RELENTLESSLY UPGRADE THEIR TEAM, USING EVERY ENCOUNTER AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE, COACH AND BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE.

The team with the best players usually does win. And that is why, very simply, you need to invest the vast majority of your time and energy as a leader in three activities.

You have to evaluatemaking sure the right people are in the right jobs, supporting and advancing those who are, and moving out those who are not.
You have to coachguiding, critiquing and helping people to improve their performance in every way.

And finally, you have to build self-confidencepouring out encouragement, caring and recognition. Self-confidence energizes, and it gives your people the courage to stretch, take risks and achieve beyond their dreams. It is the fuel of winning teams.

Too often, managers think that people development occurs once a year in performance reviews. That’s not even close. It should be a daily event, integrated into every aspect of your regular goings-on. Customer visits are a chance to evaluate your sales force. Plant tours are an opportunity to meet promising new line managers. A coffee break at a meeting is an opening to coach a team member about to give his first major presentation. Think of yourself as a gardener, with a watering can in one hand and a can of fertilizer in the other. Occasionally you have to pull some weeds, but most of the time, you just nurture and tend. Then watch everything bloom.

This is what Jack Welch has to say on hiring people:

Before you even think about assessing people for a job, they have to pass through three screens. The first test is for integrity. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. The second test is for intelligence. The candidate has a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world. The third ticket to the game is maturitythe ability to handle stress and setbacks, and enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility.

I then apply the “4-E (And 1-P) Framework” for hiring that I’ve found consistently effective, year after year, across businesses and borders. The first E is positive energy. It means the ability to go go goto thrive on action and relish change. The second E is the ability to energize others, and inspire them to take on the impossible. The third is edge, the courage to make tough yes-or-no decisions. The fourth E is executethe ability to get the job done. Then I look for that final P, passiona heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work.

Tomorrow: Welch on Winning (continued)


TECH TALK Good Books+T

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