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Additional info for Business the Jack Welch Way: 10 Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Turnaround King (Bigshots)
Mere mortals have to guard constantly against becoming out of touch. This is the antithesis of the traditional notion of the "great man" school of leadership in which the leader is, by necessity, an isolated and indomitable figure. Today's leaders are skeptical of retaining an objective distance believing that objectivity runs the risk of aloofness. Instead, they place emphasis on their humanity and accessibility. Leaders are also human and, of course, along with this comes the realization that they are fallible.
Indeed, he began thinking about his successor in 1974 and came up with an initial shortlist of nearly 100 top-performing GE executives. This was reduced to six who reported directly to the Corporate Executive Office. The six included Welch. "The management-succession process that placed venerable General Electric in Welch's hands exemplifies the best and most vital aspects of the old GE culture," say Noel Tichy and Stratford Sherman in Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will. "Jones insisted on a long, laborious, exactingly thorough process that would carefully consider every eligible candidate, then rely on reason alone to select the best qualified.
Some were cast out and hundreds of new businesses acquired. " GE's workforce bore the brunt of Welch's quest for competitiveness. GE virtually invented downsizing. Nearly 200,000 GE employees left the company. Over $6 billion was saved. Welch on the early years at the top: "I didn't start with a morale problem. " Welch was reincarnated in the media at least, as Neutron Jack. He was the man who swept away people while leaving the buildings intact. Not surprisingly, he wasn't the most popular man in GE or the wider corporate world.