Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lessons for Leaders at Forum in Tulsa: Former GE Exec Offers Advice on Business

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lessons for Leaders at Forum in Tulsa: Former GE Exec Offers Advice on Business

Article excerpt

Business leaders should always celebrate victories - even the smallest ones - and their words should always match their actions, said Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric.

Welch, the author of a No. 1 Wall Street Journal and international best-seller, addressed an audience of several thousand people at the Mabee Center in Tulsa. Welch was in Tulsa as part of the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business Tulsa Business Forum series, which is marking its 25th anniversary.

Welch covered a number of topics during an hour-long question- and-answer session.

"There is a gene in good leaders - a gene of generosity," Welch said. "These leaders are excited to see people grow, see them rise to the top."

Welch began his career with the General Electric Co. in 1960. Thinking he had no chance to rise in the organization, he resigned after his first year with the company. But he was talked into returning and in 1981 he became the company's eighth chairman and CEO.

During his more than 20-year tenure as CEO, the company's market capitalization rose from $13 billion to $400 billion.

In 2000, he was named "Manager of the Century" by Fortune magazine. He is the head of Jack Welch LLC, where he serves as special partner with the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and is a consultant to IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Welch received applause twice from the audience when talking about politics and bureaucratic regulation.

Welch, when asked what business lesson he would apply to the current federal budget deficit, said the principle was the same whether operating a nation, a company or a home.

"Look at your own home: When you are broke, you stop spending," Welch said. "You do what you can to hold things together."

Welch believes in lower taxes and less government, and said he does not like the direction the country is going. …

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