Jack Welch visits HBS

One of the most extraordinary things about HBS is its ability to attract and bring some of the most brilliant business leaders to campus to interact with and guide students toward success in their careers. A prime example: Jack Welch visiting the RC classrooms yesterday morning.

If you don't know who Jack Welch is, you need to look him up. For ~20 years, Jack was the CEO of General Electric, and he completely revolutionized the company through innovative, radical management changes. He grew the company to extraordinary heights and it is the successful conglomerate that it is today partly due to his leadership.

I actually met Jack and his wife Suzy briefly 3 years ago when I was an intern at Motorola. His wife was speaking at the marketing division's annual management seminar, and because I had helped organize part of the event, I was invited to attend. I don't remember much from the speech, except that Suzy Welch had perhaps the largest, most sparkly diamond ring that I've ever seen, but I do remember not knowing much about Jack at that time, and therefore not truly being able to appreciate his presence. I received a signed copy of his book, Winning, and read it at the time, but think I may need to crack it open again now that my knowledge of the business world is broader.

Apparently Jack makes an appearance on the HBS campus once every five years on the day his case (a Leadership & Organizational Behavior case on his tenure at General Electric) is taught. I feel so fortunate to have hit the jackpot and have been an RC during one of the years he made an appearance. After our typical case discussion, Jack spoke for about 35 minutes on everything from managerial lessons learned from the election to what he would have done differently if he could have reprised his time at GE. Let me tell you, he is one inspirational guy and although I may never be as great a change agent as he was, hearing his story sure makes you want to reach for the stars.


Renji John responded on November 17, 2008 at 2:14 PM #

Hi Gabrielle

Great blog! Do keep it coming...