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Jack Welch Quotes on Business and Success

There’s a lot we can learn about business and success from these Jack Welch quotes.

Jack Welch was the Chairman and CEO of General Electric for twenty years. He was highly successful at growing the business during that time and retired with what was estimated as an approximately $420 million severance package.

Not only was he highly successful at business, but he was also a high achiever from a young age, playing multiple sports in school.

Welch was a hard worker who was able to see what needed to be done in order to achieve results. He wrote a book in his later years sharing his knowledge, which is also covered in these Jack Welch quotes.

Don’t forget to also check out these Iyanla Vanzant quotes from the best selling author.

Wise Jack Welch quotes

1. “Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.” – Jack Welch

2. “When the rate of change inside an institution becomes slower than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. The only question is when.” – Jack Welch

3. “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” – Jack Welch

4. “Leadership, very simply, is about two things: 1. Truth and trust. 2. Ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter.” – Jack Welch

5. “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

6. “People development should be a daily event, integrated into every aspect of your regular goings-on.” – Jack Welch

7. “Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch

8. “Every job you take is a gamble that could increase your options or shut them down.” – Jack Welch

9. “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.” – Jack Welch

10. “Life is too short to spend every day doing something you don’t love.” – Jack Welch

Inspiring Jack Welch quotes

11. “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be.” – Jack Welch

12. “Take every opportunity to inject self-confidence into those who have earned it. Use ample praise, the more specific the better.” – Jack Welch

13. “Indeed, the biggest winners in the world are those who answer yes to the question, Am I living the life I choose?” – Jack Welch

14. “Look, winning and losing can’t be quantified. They are states of mind, and losing happens only when you give up. Seen that way, then, the world can be filled with winners, and there is room for them all.” – Jack Welch

15. “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch

16. “Effective people know when to stop assessing and make a tough call, even without total information. Little is worse than a manager who can’t cut bait.” – Jack Welch

17. “When you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.” – Jack Welch

18. “Arrogance is a killer and wearing ambition on one’s sleeve can have the same effect. There is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence.” – Jack Welch

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19. “Don’t lose yourself on the way to the top.” – Jack Welch

20. “The team with the best players wins.” – Jack Welch

Jack Welch quotes from his book Winning

21. “You can look at the situation and feel victimized. Or you can look at it and be excited about conquering the challenges and opportunities it presents.” – Jack Welch

22. “The mission announces exactly where you are going, and the values describe the behaviors that will get you there.” – Jack Welch

23. “IT’S SAID that you can only live life forward and understand it backward.” – Jack Welch

24. “Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.” – Jack Welch

25. “In my experience, an effective mission statement basically answers one question: How do we intend to win in this business?” – Jack Welch

26. “That’s more easily said than done.” – Jack Welch

27. “RULE 3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism. You know that old saying “The fish rots from the head.” It’s mainly used to refer to how politics and corruption filter down into an organization, but it could just as easily be used to describe the effect of a bad attitude at the top of any team, large or small. Eventually, everyone’s infected. The leader’s mood is, for lack of a better word, catching. You’ve seen the dynamic a hundred times. An upbeat manager who goes through the day with a positive outlook somehow ends up running a team or organization filled with…well, upbeat people with positive outlooks. A pessimistic sourpuss somehow ends up with an unhappy tribe all his own. Unhappy tribes have a tough time winning. Of course, sometimes there are good reasons to be down. The economy is bad, competition is brutal—whatever. Work can be hard. But your job as a leader is to fight the gravitational pull of negativism. That doesn’t mean you sugarcoat the challenges your team faces. It does mean you display an energizing, can-do attitude about overcoming them. It means you get out of your office and into everyone’s skin, really caring about what they’re doing and how they’re faring as you take the hill together.” – Jack Welch

28. “It sounds awful, but a crisis rarely ends without blood on the floor. That’s not easy or pleasant. But sadly, it is often necessary so the company can move forward again.” – Jack Welch

29. “Achieving work-life balance is a process. Getting it right is iterative. You get better at it with experience and observation, and eventually, after some time passes, you notice it’s not getting harder anymore. It’s just what you do.” – Jack Welch

30. “Forget the arduous, intellectualized number crunching and data grinding that gurus say you have to go through to get strategy right. Forget the scenario planning, yearlong studies, and hundred-plus-page reports. They’re time-consuming and expensive, and you just don’t need them. In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward.” – Jack Welch

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Jack Welch quotes about leadership

31. “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.” – Jack Welch

32. “CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It’s just cultural. People just don’t want to do it.” – Jack Welch

33. “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow…It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it…” – Jack Welch

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of engagement quotes about the power of commitment and love.

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of motivational quotes for employees about the power of a great team.

34. “Too often we measure everything and understand nothing. The three most important things you need to measure in a business are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and cash flow. If you’re growing customer satisfaction, your global market share is sure to grow, too. Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride, and creativity. And cash flow is the pulse—the key vital sign of a company.” – Jack Welch

35. “Business is a game, and as with all games, the team that puts the best people on the field and gets them playing together wins. It’s that simple.” – Jack Welch
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of team quotes that will inspire you and your teammates to collectively meet your goals.

36. “Great leaders love to see people grow. The day you are afraid of them being better than you is the day you fail as a leader.” – Jack Welch

37. “The most important job you have is growing your people, giving them a chance to reach their dreams.” – Jack Welch

38. “The hero is the one with ideas.” – Jack Welch

39. “You are not a leader to win a popularity contest-you are a leader to lead.” – Jack Welch

40. “The team with the best players wins.” – Jack Welch
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of team building quotes that promote working together.

Jack Welch quotes that will make your day

41. “Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital – the world’s best talents and greatest ideas.” – Jack Welch

42. “I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that’s a big deal. And if you’re going to be a leader – if you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the world – in the room, you’ve got real problems.” – Jack Welch

43. “The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.” – Jack Welch

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44. “Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.” – Jack Welch

45. “Be candid with everyone.” – Jack Welch

46. “Culture drives great results.” – Jack Welch

47. “I was afraid of the internet… because I couldn’t type.” – Jack Welch

48. “The 1980s will seem like a walk in the park when compared to new global challenges, where annual productivity increases of 6% may not be enough. A combination of software, brains, and running harder will be needed to bring that percentage up to 8% or 9%.” – Jack Welch

49. “If you have a reputation as a big, stiff bureaucracy, you’re stuck.” – Jack Welch

50. “Give me a highly successful unionized industry.” – Jack Welch

More Jack Welch quotes

51. “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them.” – Jack Welch

52. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

53. “If you are not confused, you don´t know what is going on.” – Jack Welch

54. “Common mission trap for companies: trying to be all things to all people at all times.” – Jack Welch

55. “It is better to act too quickly than it is to wait too long.” – Jack Welch

56. “No vision is worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is communicated constantly and reinforced with rewards.” – Jack Welch

57. “When you own your choices, you own their consequences.” – Jack Welch

58. “Differentiation favors people who are energetic and extroverted and undervalues people who are shy and introverted, even if they are talented.” – Jack Welch

59. “The only career worth pursuing is the one that turns your crank.” – Jack Welch

60. “There are no finite answers to many questions. What really counted was your thought process.” – Jack Welch

What did you learn from these Jack Welch quotes?

When you want to succeed at a higher level than where you currently are, it’s wise to learn from those who have been where you want to go.

People like Jack Welch have excelled at some of the highest levels. It’s much easier to learn from their mistakes and messages than it is to go through all of it on your own.

Choose a few quotes that speak to you and then surround yourself with daily reminders of them. You can also read Welch’s book to learn more about his story and leadership tips.

Make sure you’re always looking for ways to take control of your future and set yourself up for success. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Jack Welch quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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