I’ve learned a lot from Jack Welch, especially during my tenure at GE when I first heard him say: “Deal with the world as it is, not how you’d like it to be.” Once again he’s said something that every executive should hear:
On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy… Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.
Welch’s words are consistent with one of my key themes: “Don’t let profits replace purpose.” This misplaced focus on shareholder value is one of the main reasons for my new mini-book: The 6 New Management Imperatives: Leadership Skills For A Radically Changed Business Environment.
The bottom line: Make shareholders happy by ignoring them