Notes on "Winning" by Jack Welch

I taught seven students yesterday morning, then I watched the movie "The Professor" starring Johnny Depp, I went for a couple hour motorcycle ride, took a nap, wrote a political article including a resolution of support, wrote an article with a poem, and read a chapter from Anne Rice's "Sleeping Beauty". Somewhere in there I also skimmed through Jack Welch's entire book "Winning".

Jack Welch was the CEO of GE for many years. He worked his way up through the company. So, his skillset is not starting companies, or running small companies, it's how to operate in large companies. I wrote down exactly 42 words of notes as I was going through it. (42 is also the answer to the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it's serendipitous that the numbers align here.)

- - - - - - -

cut your losses
give credit
unpopular decisions
risk taking



see around corners
surround, good people

HR is core of business

find your people

- - - - - - -

There is obviously more substance behind all of these things than just the word. But it helps to just have the single words and phrases to keep certain things in focus.

Notice how almost everything is focused on personality. I can look through this and see where I might be faltering at the moment. I don't have to worry about being curious or having transparency, I'm already on the extreme end of both of those. Confidence and celebrating on the other hand are things that I sometimes forget.

Courage might be the greatest of human heroic traits, and therefore can never be ignored.

Integrity, intelligence, and maturity are all deal breakers for someone to run a major project or to take a leadership role. So, if you want to do that you need to be focused on filling in any weaknesses in all three areas. Maturity is my weak spot here, at times. I have a tendency to be a bit neotenous, or child-like. That means I'm creative and playful. But, I try to balance that with seriousness. I think everything you do matters, and play is serious. I seem to swing a bit between the two, and maybe that's right. Adjusting correctly to the situation rather than being consistent.

Also important for having any kind of important leadership role is energy, energize, edge, execute, and passion. By energize he means to energize other people. Edge means to be able to make tough decisions and choices. There are times that I'm weak on every single one of these. That's rough. There are also times that I'm strong on all of these. I have to learn how to be a bit more consistent here.

I try to be as authentic and resilient as possible. Those are both things that are just a daily struggle, for everyone I think.

Find your people. The older I get the more I understand how important that one is. From a societal, legal, political perspective it's important that all people matter. From a personal perspective, some people matter and others don't. You realize that quickly when you start writing because of the hate mail that you receive.

Good things to keep in mind whatever your path in life.


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