welch-ge.jpgJack Welch, the former CEO of GE, likes to slap people around, metaphorically speaking.

Welch was the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. (I know an odd choice to have a man as the headline act, but he did have his wife there.)

The women in the audience really responded to Welch, and I think many of them felt motivated by him.

“If you want to get ahead, it isn’t about saying ‘hi’ to your boss, it’s about over-delivering,” he says. “That is the game. When you learn that game that will do more for you than anything else you can do.”

It’s about going above and beyond what you’re asked to do. That’s how Welch sees it, and I suppose his ideas worked because GE’s growth exploded under his direction.

When asked about work life balance — Welch scoffed.

“This is about work life choices, not balance. Get rid of that word. You will make choices and the balance will change at any point in time. It is a choice that people make.”

Coming from a successful, charismatic man like Welch these words were easily digested by the women in the audience. (He could make paint drying seem interesting.) He was pretty much blowing out of the water all this bull about work life balance.

There’s been this growing tide among women that we can climb the ladder of success with flexible, or scaled-back schedules at work so we have time to make cookies for our kid’s kindergarten class. But that’s just not the way it typically works in the business world.

Welsh conveyed that pretty succinctly.

It’s all about the bottom line stupid.

Your employer will let you telecommute, job share, have flexible hours if you can still “over-deliver”.

All of you have to figure out if that’s indeed possible.

“If you can deliver in four hours because you’re so damn smart and efficient then god bless you,” Welch bellowed.

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