(By Buzz Knight) I never met Jack Welch but I miss him already for his legacy of great management and leadership. In an era of tremendous challenges and frequent chaos, I believe considering what his brilliant mind brought to the business world is more important than ever to evaluate and learn from.
Some of his key lessons were:
Managers have to stop muddling and lead.
It’s important to be a leader who lays out the clear vision and doesn’t squeeze the joy out of a situation by exercising control.
Managers have to figure out the proper balance that allows them to manage less.
Managers can tend to feel that close control is better management, and in fact at times it can be the worst form of management. Every situation is different but the manager who can figure out how to manage less is the one who will ultimately benefit from the internal competitive spirit and the positive benefit that is produced.
Managers of all types need to seek ways to better articulate the vision to their respective teams.
A leader’s job is to inspire, and those who lay out a clear vision stand a greater likelihood for creative ideas to be generated by their team.
Managers need to make simplification one of the greatest strengths they possess.
Refining any process with an eye on simplicity isn’t as easy as it looks, but the benefits to any team are massive. Simplify so decisions can be made quicker.
Managers need to always find an opportunity to energize their team members.
Times are challenging today but energizing is a leadership priority that can’t be pushed to the bottom of the inbox.
Managers shouldn’t be afraid to get good ideas from everywhere.
Great leadership understands that the best idea wins and it doesn’t matter who it comes from.
No matter what side of our business you occupy, leadership skills are a critical component of continuous improvement in an organization. Let’s learn from the wealth of knowledge the great Mr. Welch brought to the world.