Managing Up by Rosanne Badowski (Jack Welch's secretary)
Badowski had to deal with Welch's frenetic work-pace for 13 years. She got to keep a tiara in her desk. I guess it had to have been worth it all. I just wish that she had spent less time on GE kiss and tell and more on what it means to work for someone without it being your existence.
- At times we are all managers, and we are all support staff; managers have to roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches.
- A good manager is a student of cause and effect.
- It's not good enough to be aware of what's happening around you; you have to know why it's happening
- If you're not helping, you're hindering
- Ask yourself: did the work I performed today help achieve a goal?
A Jack Welch business meeting or briefing is best measure not by elapsed time but by QPM -- questions per minute.
Jack Welch's preferred means of checking out the length and breadth of his and others' capacity to care was done verbally. He vented, ranted, badgered, and cajoled. And all of it was a sign of how deeply and passionately he cared.
The Welch style was totally infectious.
Instead of thinking "that's bullshit!" or just rolling our eyes and going along when we encountered a stupid policy or decision, we would shout, "Work-Out" (an externally mediated struggle session focusing on process improvement at GE) It became a code for "this is a stupid procedure that has no value, and I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it or because someone asked for it." Work-Out gave everyone the right, the duty, and the confidence to challenge just about anything from anybody that appeared to be a waste of time or energy.
Jack Welch rarely got riled up about mistakes, at least those that weren't repeated. Doing business is an extremely imperfect process. Jack knew that mistakes would be made and that it's a lot smarter to learn from them instead of penalizing people for owning up to their errors or for having the guts to take chances that backfire.
Jack was a serial caller when he phoned in from the road and I was in the office. It made sense for me to just stay on the line and dial into the next call, and the next. As a result, I learned directly from the master just what I should be asking his executives about ...
The object is to force the receiving call's assistant to put his or her boss on the line before the incoming party is connected. There's status to be won if you get to hand off a call to your boss without having him sullied by exposure to the other guy's assistant.
Treating all employees equally is unfair when some are making a significantly greater effort and impact on a company's success. It is a sure way to demoralize your stars and drive them to look for a different place to work.
Keeping the call list short had three purposes: One, it served as an early warning system. As it got longer, it told me that our response time was lagging. Two, it spared me from having to prioritize calls into A, B, and C categories. With a short list, he could quickly run his eyes down the page and pick out the most important ones that required immediate callbacks. And three, it was one less thing that I needed to hassle him about...