How New Graduates
Can Succeed in American Companies
Dr. Bill Belew
Issue III - June 22, 2006
Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov:
General Electric's CEO Jack Welch has some advice for American college
graduates on what companies expect; Dr. Belew relays this advice. A
company employee, according to Welch, will be successful if he exceeds
his bosses' expectations and continues to work industriously to improve
the company and help it meet goals and challenges. Quiet but persistent
hard work is indeed the key to success.
Jack Welch gives advice on how the new graduate can succeed in
American companies. It seems to be good advice to succeed in any company
His number one piece of advice:
OVERDELIVER - This is very un-American -- and very
In school, students learn to meet certain objectives -- answer
certain questions within certain time parameters.
In the workforce -- it's not that way anymore.
To get an A+ in business, Welch says, a person -- 22 years old or 62
years old -- needs to:
1. Expand the organization's expectations of what you can do -- tell
them you can do more than what they expect.
2. Then exceed those expectations -- tell them you can do more, and
when your bosses begin to expect that, deliver beyond that.
In America, the idea is one of efficiency: get as much as possible
for as little effort as possible. This is not bad.
But to succeed, one must give more and produce more than what is
The goals, Welch says, is to make:
1. your bosses smarter
2. your team more effective
3. the whole company more effective because of your energy, creativity,
Be willing to do the extra work to answer the yet-asked questions --
how your company can meet expectations three years from now, what new
products might emerge, what technologies can change the game, and how
things could be done better if production went to China.
Abe Lincoln once said, "What kills a skunk is the publicity it brings
So, when you are working your heart out, don't worry about who knows
-- your bosses will recognize it soon enough. Start blowing your own
horn, and your co-workers will begin to doubt your motives.
In short, set the standard high -- and then work hard and quietly to
Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence
Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he
started a language school for Japanese
Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a
See Dr. Belew's blog,
for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and
for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China,
on business in Japan, and
TheBizofKnowledge on business education.
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