June 1, 2012

Ideas for Impact: 4 Types of Managers

Ideas for Impact #28: Jack Welch's Four Types of Managers

Four Types of Managers

Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, described four categories of managers in General Electric's year 2000 annual report. You can read the full article here

Type 1: shares our values; makes the numbers- sky's the limit!

Type 2: shares the values; misses the numbers- typically another chance, or two.

Type 3: doesn't share the values; doesn't make the numbers- gone.

Type 4 is the toughest case of all: the manager who doesn't share the values, but delivers the numbers. This type is the toughest to part with because organizations always want to deliver and to let someone go who gets the job done is yet another unnatural act. But we have to remove these Type 4s because they have the power, by themselves, to destroy the open, informal, trust-based culture we need to win today and tomorrow.

We made our leap forward when we began removing our Type 4 managers and making it clear to the entire company why they were asked to leave- not for the usual "personal reasons" or "to pursue other opportunities", but for not sharing our values. Until an organization develops the courage to do this, people will never have full confidence that these soft values are truly real.