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‘Best Advice I Ever Got’ Series 07 - Jack Welch, Former CEO, General Electric

--> 28 01 2007

Jack Welch

“It was 1979 or 1980. I was on the board of GE for the first time. And I was in Seattle for one of those three-day director outings. I had just gone to my first or second board meeting, and at a party for the directors afterwards, Paul

“Be yourself.” Jack Welch, 69 - Former chairman and CEO of General Electric

Austin, the former chairman of Coke, came up to me. He was a reserved, formal man. Anyway, he must have noticed my starched shirt and how quiet I was in the meeting. I was all prim and proper.

He said to me, ‘Jack, don’t forget who you are and how you got here.’ I gave him an embarrassed ‘Thanks.’ But I knew what he meant. I had always been myself except in this instance. I had never been quiet. He hit me in the nose with it, and it was startling. Next meeting, I think I spoke up a bit.”

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