Friday, August 6, 2010

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--Jack Welch CEO of General Electric

At Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit this afternoon listening to an interview with Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, by Bill Hybels. Hoping to get some tips for leading with Operation Christmas Child.

Leaders have to be authentic. Don't portray yourself as something other than what you are. Be someone they can count on for the truth, for support. Some people come out of the womb with a vest on and try to behave a certain way. People should be comfortable and speak the truth with each other.

(WOW, Willow Creek just had to bleep Jack Welch)--lol

Anyone can be a whirling dervish but you need to learn to energize and excite people about your mission and vision. Don't hustle people to join. Tell them the story. Energizing people is not hyping them; it's getting them to feel this vision. Of course you have to believe it. (Jack says, "If you don't believe in it, why the h--- would you do it?")

Jack met for 10 hours with a group of call center workers. He had no plan for the meeting but had to get them to talk and express themselves. "When you start to see 2 or 3 buy in you keep going..."

Huge emphasis about candor--gives the organization a huge advantage.

Concept of differentiation--ranking of staff where top 20% were identified, then the vital 70% and then the 10% of the lowest performers that were compensated accordingly. Mr. Welch says business is competitive, just like sports and this differentiation is an extension of his candor principle.

No leader should go to work and not have his staff know where he stands. In every organization people know who are performing well. We spend too much time trying to fix the people at the bottom. Don't waste your time on them--try to help them move on to a place that suits them better.

The top people are filled with energy, likable, have good values, and they have a gene that makes them love to see people grow and be rewarded. They're not mean-spirited or stingy. They're not afraid to have great people around them. The mean-spirited leader hides good people.

The vital 70% (V people)--are hard-working but maybe not as gifted as the top group. Identifying the top 20% runs the risk of demoralizing those who are very near to making it into that group.

The bottom 10% are low-energy, acidic, not team-players. Nothing is worse than taking the energy from an organization. They can be disrupters.

Boss-haters may have brains and should be listened to sometimes. The hallway whisperer is more dangerous than the one who disagrees openly.

Do everything you can to stop the meeting after the meeting. Talk about it at the meeting instead of griping about it afterwards.

Top 20% need to be rewarded in any way possible. If you can't do this you'll lose your best people. In regard to churches, people CHOOSE to join for the work. But they still need to be rewarded. Sometimes non-profit means non-performance.

Jack says "You never move fast enough. You might make some mistakes but go. Do. Don't ponder." Have the confidence to do it (act) when you think you have the answer and that builds more confidence to do it the next time.

How do you pass the baton on to the next leadership generation? Jack started planning 8 years before his retirement. The last 3 in the running for the position had been longshots 8 years before. You don't always know how someone will behave at the next level.

If a leader isn't celebrating even small victories they're missing opportunities.

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