Opinion

Jack and Suzy Welch

Today vs. GMA: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Jack and Suzy Welch
Apr 27, 2012 12:06 UTC

Pick any hot topic over the past decade or two – tax policy, Social Security, nuclear power, American Idol, you name it – and if you put a dozen people in a room, you’d get a cacophony of opinions.

But ask those same people, “So, what morning show do you watch?” and you’d just as likely get one big chorus back, saying, “Today, of course!”

The Today Show’s ratings domination is legendary.

Actually, make that “was” legendary. During the week of Apr. 9, the program drew 13,000 fewer viewers than its longtime (and formerly distant) rival Good Morning America. The loss, as was so gaspingly reported, broke Today’s epic 852-week winning streak.

To which we say, “What a lucky break!”

No – not for GMA, but for Today, because its loss means something very exciting is about to happen. The show is about to start experiencing business as it should always be experienced by every organization: as if each and every day were the last quarter of the Super Bowl.

Gordon Gekko famously proclaimed greed to be the central tenet of business. What tripe. The real, galvanizing truism about business is that competition is good. In fact, it’s great.

Romney vs. Obama: Leadership and the enemies list

Jack and Suzy Welch
Apr 11, 2012 16:52 UTC

Remember that incompetent boss you used to have? He was a good guy and all, but he just couldn’t make decisions or prioritize. Perhaps worst of all, he tried to make everyone happy, resulting in almost everyone being angry or confused or both. And remember how long it took management to move him out – and how aggravating that was?

Of course, at the time, you sort of understood why the Bigs had promoted the guy in the first place, and why they held out hope for so long. He’d been a superstar salesman. Best the company had seen in ages. But in the end, it turned out that all the things that made him great as an individual performer made him lousy as a people manager.

It happens all the time at work. A brilliant engineer promoted to run R&D. A gifted reporter elevated to editor. A cutting-edge scientist made head of the lab. First cheers. Then, after a bit, confusion about organizational direction, mixed signals about values, hurt feelings left and right and, eventually, chaos.

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