ATLC #20 – Write a Leader’s Note

At that time, Jack was famous for his personal leader’s notes. In business, Jack Welch was the most famous advocate of cvs2bvs in the US.

Jack used cvs2bvs at GE to help him change the culture of a 100-year-old manufacturer to the most valuable company (at the time he left it) in the history of the world!

I was invited to GE soon after he became chairman and CEO. In the 1980s I spent several years, at his request, installing the cvs2bvs brain software at GE. He wrote to me saying,

“I would love to have a management team that really understood the cvs2bvs algorithm. It’s the ‘value-added’ role in the management process”.

In his book about his time at GE called, Jack (Warner Books 2001), he wrote, “It would make each of us wake up with the goal of “Finding a Better Way Every Day”. It was a phrase that became a slogan, put up on the walls of GE factories and offices around the world”.

Jack also used cvs2bvs in crisis management situations and on one very serious occasion involving a crisis between GE and President Reagan’s Defense Secretary, Caspar Weinberger, Jack asked me to meet with him privately, in Manhattan, to apply cvs2bvs to finding a solution.

He also told me that it helped him design new concepts like ‘Boundarylessness’ and ‘Work-Out’. He wrote, “Suddenly, “Finding a Better Way Every Day” wasn’t just a slogan. It was the essence of boundaryless behaviour, and it defined our expectations”.

As my Dad used to say, “Nobody’s perfect!” and Jack had his share of setbacks but he was a genuine strategic thinker and one of the most accomplished business leaders of his time.

Jack was famous for the little hand-written notes he would send to people. He sent me several and the one I prized the most was, “Michael, you are a friend of our company”.

Hand-written notes are a very personal and powerful communication. I have known several leaders who use handwritten notes with great effect.

I first was taught to use ‘The Leader’s Note’ in the Army and I saw recently where the Duchess of Cornwall (who is Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion The Rifles) sent handwritten notes to all the soldiers in her regiment who were wounded in Iraq.


Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Sanders, commander of 4 Rifles, said,

She bled with us throughout the tour. She wrote by hand to all the wounded and the families of those killed. She gave each of the wounded presents – whisky or hampers. We feel incredibly lucky to have her as our Royal Colonel. At a time when people in England did not really know what we were going through, she did.

entrepreneurs-writing-handwritten-thank-you-notesDFQ #20:

PTO: Write a Leader’s Note!

On a postcard, engraved writing paper or special paper for the purpose (not email), write a short personal note of encouragement (around 10 to 100 words) to someone who sees you as their leader or mentor.

Post that you have completed this PTO within the next 24 hours saying who, when, where etc:

251 thoughts on “ATLC #20 – Write a Leader’s Note

  1. 3 notes – one each to my daughter & son to let them know how proud I am to be their father – one to my wife acknowledging the courage effort she puts into her business.

  2. who – my younger brother
    when – after visiting him and discussing scenario of his career
    D you are an amazing person who is self-less in giving your time and efforts to all of us. I would like you to give yourself permission to lead, confidence to believe in your ideas and be the decision maker to lead the business forward. You can do it ! and I am always there as a member of your board 🙂

  3. To My Team,
    Don’t forget that our aim is to establish some new social language and concepts that aid women understanding of how they can develop their abilities to live happily, helping them to identify areas for good opportunities and for future good guidance.
    We believe that the need to better understand life is not an academic exercise; real success is crucially important to the future of those who want to take a right way of living. Don’t for get that we provide clear ways for women to understand the thoughts that drive their success.
    We also believe that looking more closely at things allows us to consider underlying realities, putting social, economic and political views into a new context. We are very confident that our on-going projects could shape the fabric of our society. I think that we have the right to invite our ladies to bring about various educational and training activities. With this we intend to join hands with some of the best NGOs to bring about a difference.

  4. I am writing a letter to my children to explain to them that how grateful and happy I am to have them in my life. They are the greatest joy in my life.
    Why I wrote this is to leave them a legacy that they can refer back to when I am not here anymore and realize that their father loved them greatly.
    What did I write: I told them about my experience growing up without a father and how that effected me. I am hoping to be able to give them some words of wisdom that they can hopefully use to make their lives better.

  5. Who: My operations team

    When: Today

    Where: In my office

    What: Inspiring and encouraging them to pursue despite the difficulties

    Why: Sometimes they feel that they do not have enough inspiration and guidance from me, their leader

  6. To my daughter for when she is older, last night. I wrote the note and put it in a book that hopefully she will one day look in and find the note. I wonder if I’ll remember.

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