Would You Want to Work for... You

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Text of Would You Want to Work for... You

  • By Jack Welch

    Over the past 15 years, Ive held Q&A sessions with over a million people at more

    than a thousand events around the world. In all but a handful of these events,

    people bring up their bosses and vent about them. This topic comes up without

    fail, no matter where I am, or what industry or company Im speaking to.

    The troubles range from, My boss is too difficult and demanding to My boss

    doesnt really care about me, its all about her to Ive been busting my butt and

    my boss just doesnt recognize my performance -- he feels that everyone is

    equally wonderful to Theres no focus on how much you do, its who you

    know. I cant think of a lament I havent heard.

    The basic question is the same People want to know what they should do in

    these situations. I just cant stand it. Do I quit? Do I ask for a transfer?...Do I

    go above the boss to his or her boss? Or Am I just plain stuck with this guy?


    Pulse Publish a post


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    1 of 20 25/11/2015 5:04 PM

  • for a defined period of time before you jump to Going to the bosss boss is

    almost always a fast way to lose to Try to open up a good, candid but

    non-incriminating conversation with your boss . . . Coming in from the side

    not head on. Despite having offered just about every possible answer for relief,

    more often than not, I havent satisfied the unhappy employee.

    Several months ago, I came up with what I think is the better answer, as far as

    career development is concerned. Ive turned the question back on the

    questioner, by asking a new question that might prove helpful, not only in their

    current situation but going forward a question, I hope, will help more people

    become better bosses in the process:


    Yes, it takes a certain threshold of self-awareness to recognize your own flaws,

    but you should see the look on peoples faces when they stop to honestly think

    through their own leadership characteristics. The self-confident, self-aware

    person, upon reflection, seems to really respond to this question. The follow up

    reception I have received has been incredibly positive, demonstrated by the

    emails and letters from people in the audiences who found this exercise really

    useful. Many of them had taken the chance to spend some quiet time reflecting

    on both their strengths and their flaws -- and, from their notes, appeared open to

    dealing with their weaknesses in order to become stronger, more effective

    leaders. Leaders who people want to follow.

    I was hoping that maybe the LinkedIn audience would benefit from wrestling

    with that same introspective question.


    If not, why not, and what are you going to do about it?

    Jack is Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch

    Management Institute. Through its online MBA program,

    the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the

    lives of its students by providing them with the tools to

    become better leaders, build great teams, and help their

    organizations win. He is co-author, with Suzy Welch, of

    the new book, The Real-Life MBA -- Your No-BS Guide to


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  • Written by

    as a #1 Wall Street Journal and Washington Post best-seller.

    For a generation of CEOs, Clayton Christensens The Innovators Dilemma was a

    guiding light on how to survive industry disruptions. His book educated


    What the legendary Clayton Christensen gets wrong about Uber, Tesla and disruptive innovation



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    3 of 20 25/11/2015 5:04 PM

  • respond to the threats. Of late, however, journalists and academics have

    questioned the accuracy of Christensens industry analyses and challenged his

    broad generalizations. His response, in a new Harvard Business Review article,

    is that his theories have been misunderstood and their basic tenets misapplied.

    He posits that his prescriptions have been a victim of their own successes.

    Regardless of whether the criticisms are valid, Christensens ideas have had a

    positive impact on industry. Companies such as Proctor and Gamble, GE, and

    Salesforce credit them with having helped them stay ahead. They provided an

    excellent way of thinking about innovation.

    But Christensens theories are now outdated, and there is little to be gained by

    arguing about the accuracy of the case studies on which they were based. The

    harm is in continuing to be guided by them because they teach companies to

    look in the wrong places for competitive threats and encourage them to separate

    the innovative disruptors from the core businesses; to put them in new company

    divisions. We are now in an era in which technologies such as computing,

    networks, sensors, artificial intelligence, and robotics are advancing

    exponentially and converging, thereby allowing industries to encroach on and

    disrupt one another.

    Christensen says that Uber and Tesla Motors arent genuinely disruptive, not

    fitting the tenets of his theory of disruptive innovation. In that, the competition

    comes from the lower end or an unserved part of a market and then migrates

    upward to the mainstream market. He says that Uber has gone in exactly the

    opposite direction by building a position in the mainstream market and then

    addressing historically overlooked segments. And Tesla Motors cant be

    disruptive because it is tackling the high end of the car market. If disruption

    theory is correct, Teslas future holds either acquisition by a much larger

    incumbent or a years-long and hard-fought battle for market significance, say

    Christensen and his co-authors in the paper.

    Christensens disruption theory is not correct. The competition no longer comes

    from the lower end of a market; it comes from other, completely different,

    industries. For the taxi industry, Uber came out of nowhere. At first Uber tried

    competing with high-end limousines. Then it launched UberX to offer cheap taxi

    service. Now it wants it all. Through UberFresh, it is piloting same-day grocery

    delivery; through UberEats, it promises lunch in 10 minutes. Uber is challenging

    supermarkets, Amazon.com, and the catering industry all at the same time.


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    4 of 20 25/11/2015 5:04 PM

  • finishes writing the software for its self-driving cars, it will create a genuine

    tsunami of disruption in every industry that depends upon transportation.

    Tesla has already proven the superiority of its electric cars. Now it is changing

    their economics. With its Gigafactory, which is expected to come online in 2017,

    it will halve the cost of batteries and increase their range. These will keep getting

    better and cheaper. Tesla is talking about releasing a $35,000 car in 2017. I

    wont be surprised if it delivers a version in the early 2020s that travels more

    than 500 miles on a single charge and costs $25,000. And it plans to use the

    same battery technology, in Powerwall to provide affordable storage to solar

    homes so that they can be disconnected from the grid and be energy

    independent. This cross-industry focus will lead to economies of scale that will

    disrupt both the transportation and energy industries. Tesla is more likely to

    acquire General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen than to have to battle them.

    Apple, which has already disrupted the computing and music industries, now

    has its eye on health care and finance. The Apple watch functions as a medical

    device; its artificial intelligence will monitor us 247 and begin to take the role of

    our personal physicians. Apples ResearchKit has already started gathering

    clinical-trial data and will upend the pharmaceutical industry by keeping track of

    the effectiveness and side effects of the medications we take. ApplePay, Apples

    first entrant into the finance industry, will start doing the job of credit-card

    processors and will disrupt the finance industry over the next decade as it

    becomes a platform on which we transact commerce.

    Google, Facebook, SpaceX, and Oneweb are in a race to provide Wi-Fi Internet

    access everywhere through drones, microsatellites, and balloons. At first, they

    will provide their services through the telecom companies; then they will eat

    their lunch. The motivation of the technology industry is, after all, to have

    everyone online all the time. Their business models are to monetize data rather

    than to charge cell, data, or access fees. They will also end up disrupting the

    cable industry, entertainment, and every industry that deals with information.

    Disruption is no longer a narrow field that can be handled by a new division or

    department of a company. It is happening wherever technology can be applied.

    Companies need all hands on board with all divisions working together to find

    ways to reinvent themselves and defend themselves from the onslaught