I thought I would share with you all an article Jack Welch sent to me the other day, check it out and make sure to leave any comments you have in the comment section below!
Brad Smart helped create talent processes at General Electric when it was the most respected company in the world. CEO Jack Welch drove talent to amazing heights and has written books about his methods, but he never revealed one of his “secret weapons” that helped propel his success. Now you can learn it and begin using it today.
During my many years of consulting with General Electric, it was the most respected company — and Jack Welch the most respected CEO in the world. Welch continues to be tapped by the press about his secrets to running a successful business. He often implores leaders to raise the talent bar and hold their managers more accountable for maintaining teams of all high performers. But he rarely discloses one of his “secret weapons”, perhaps the most important lever he had for improving talent at G.E. Not only can you learn it – you can use it, starting today.
Why Do Managers Protect Chronic Underperformers?
Welch says that he spent 50% of his time on talent issues. Why so much time? Because so many leaders would hide their low performers. And even still today, every day, in millions of companies, managers hold operations reviews, performance appraisals, and talent reviews where they:
Implicit in “protecting” low performers is the correct assumption that most of the time, replacements turn out to be underperformers.
Welch’s frequently articulated, recommended approach is to be a tough leader — to sit in on those meetings and when you see managers covering for mediocre performers, not tolerate it. Welch would encourage you to NOT wimp out, but instead insist that chronic low performers be replaced, because these tough steps are necessary in order to maintain an A Player standard.
Jack Welch’s Secret Weapon: Topgrading
Managers who had the guts to push back against Welch’s admonitions might have said, “I know Pat is not up to par, but replacing her would be distracting and time consuming, and generally a replacement is no better.” Is this a legitimate reason to keep low performers, or a feeble excuse?