“With typical candor and color, Jack Welch said, ‘We always had one hell-of-ah gossip session after every meeting.’ I’ve heard of the meeting before the meeting to organize and plan outcomes. But I’d never heard of the meeting after the meeting; at least not like the one Jack described.” LeadershipFreak
Unlike most gossip sessions, Welch wanted a different kind of juice. He asked and opined on some of the same observations we’ve often had of our own colleagues:
- Who exceeded expectations?
- Who made excuses?
- Who was b.s-ing?
- Who offered creative ideas?
- Who led/followed?
Just think if you knew your boss was going to be asking these questions at the end of a ‘management meeting.’ How would you act differently? What about your next meeting with your direct reports?
Welch was known for listening and spending 55% of his time on HR issues. He actively culled and worked on perfecting his teams. As tough as that sounds, he compares it to a sport he loves: baseball.
“How can you have differentiation between the top 20 and the middle 70 and throw out the bottom 10 and have team work? Teams do that every day! A 20 game winner, a 50 home run hitter, they get more money than the other players on the team and the bottom 10 get traded or thrown out. And, yet, they’re still a team. That’s what business is.” Wisdom of Team Building Video
So the underlying message of all this is not to put fear and loathing into management. It’s for leaders to focus on people and teams because they are the ones who will move the needle and the organization forward.
The key takeaway: What can you do to support your team, help them excel and make them the topic of one heck of a leadership gossip session?