Jack’s dad was a train conductor who work fourteen hours a day. So, Grace had to be both mother and father to her boy. Jack was quick to admit he became the man he became because of her. The life lessons he learned from his mom have transformed America.
Jack was known for having an uncompromising toughness that reduced corporate heads to Jell-O, but he softened when he spoke about how his mom saved him from a childhood disability. Jack was a stutter. That impediment rendered him insecure and shy. Yet his stuttering did not keep him from becoming a titan of corporate America.
Jack said that the secret to overcoming his disability was his mother assuring him that his stuttering was a sure sign of his superior intellect. He smiled when he remembered her words: “No one’s tongue could keep up with a brain like yours." His optimistic mom showed him that disabilities don’t have to debilitate.
Perhaps that’s why Grace Welch gave America an exceptional son who became CEO of General Electric. Along the way, Jack Welch mentored and launched some of the world’s greatest CEOs.
We all need encourager's who will tell us our limitations don’t have to limit us. It may be as simple as telling a stuttering child that his extraordinary brain is too fast for his tongue. Children especially need to be affirmed. A word of encouragement may not produce the Manager of the Centry, but it could make a bigger difference then you think. Jack Welch would have probably agreed with this: Your Greatest Success is in Making Others Successful.
Jack Welch died on March 1, 2020 at the age of 84 in New York City.
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