Opinion

Jack and Suzy Welch

Jeremy Lin: Lessons from the Lin-sanity

Jack and Suzy Welch
Feb 24, 2012 13:00 UTC

Can you stand to read one more thing about the lin-credible, lin-tense, lin-probable Jeremy Lin without going totally lin-sane?

Yes, we’re going there.

Not just because we’re crazy about Lin’s on-court heroics for the New York Knicks (although we are) or his off-court humility (which we also love.)

But because when you manage to put aside all hootin’-and-hollerin’ about Jeremy Lin, his nation-gripping story just so happens to offer an important lesson for business leaders.

Give your bench a chance.

That’s right, your bench. Those twenty- and early thirty-somethings in your place who you think need a little more exposure outside their functional area, or a few more years of people management, or maybe just plain more life experience before they move up a small rung to the next, wholly predictable level. Them. The ones you’ve got in a holding pattern because the company Establishment — which might very well include you, if you can bring yourself to admit it — has deemed they’re “not ready yet.”

Jeremy Lin is a reminder that one, two or even more of them might be ready for their own hoop dreams, if you’d only have the guts to take them off the bench.

Facebook: The IPO hangover that could change it forever

Jack and Suzy Welch
Feb 10, 2012 13:00 UTC

Coming up any day now, there’s going to be one helluva party at Facebook. Champagne, confetti, speechifying, really loud music — you name the hoopla. And why not? Companies don’t go public for a gazillion dollars very often.

So party on, Facebook.

Just beware the day after. Actually, beware the year after and the year after that.

Because once Facebook has its massive new liquidity infusion, the company stands to get nailed by something that can hurt a lot more, and last a lot longer, than a hangover: a changed culture. That is, a culture of diminished urgency, of game-over-we-won, of not-invented-here conceit.

Mitt Romney’s Kodak moment

Jack and Suzy Welch
Feb 3, 2012 13:00 UTC

If there’s one concept we preach that everyone seems to agree on it’s the following: You have to face reality the way it is, not the way you want it to be.

True, right?

So why is it that so many organizations do the exact opposite? Why do they think technology will evolve at a manageable pace or that a competitor’s products will never be able to capture the hearts of their customers? Why do they say things like, “Prices will hold because costs are as rock-bottom as they’ll ever be,” or buy into notions like, “We can’t go any faster and maintain our quality”?

Such questions are rhetorical, of course. People don’t face reality the way it is because, well, because they’re people. Change – especially change that will require upending “how things are done around here” – can make us cranky, dismissive, mocking or all of the above.

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