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I used to admire Jack Welsh, that is until I found out last week that he thought I was stupid, lazy, didn’t make the right choices and/or was just not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed in business.

I remember Jack from the 80’s, when after becoming the youngest Chairman and CEO of General Electric at 46, he was credited with turning around the company due to his management philosophy known as “performance culture”.

I recall being intrigued, but shocked, to learn that every year, Jack Welsh fired the bottom performing 10% of his employees.  For a company with over 400,000 employees (eventually whittled down to 300,000 but still…), that was huge.  It seemed to me to be a tremendous waste — of resources, training, time, and a bit of shirking of responsibility (why were they the bottom performers and what were the criteria?).  That’s a lot of scapegoats.

I wonder how many of those people were valid contributors who may have held a different philosophy than that held by the company.  Those that tried to achieve work-life balance, raise a family, give to their community, or even, on occasion, chose to put personal before business?  I wonder how many of the 10% of under-performers were women?

I find the comments reportedly made by Mr. Welsh during his talk to women at the Wall Street Journal-sponsored conference offensive.  I can just imagine how his audience felt.  Did he not realize how insulting, condescending and paternal (in the worst sense of the word) and objectionable his message was?  Did the sponsor?  In future, perhaps it’s not a good fit to have Jack speak to the “little ladies” of business.

I would love the opportunity to ask Mr. Welsh just how he many tough choices he had to make to work his 50+ hour week, play golf, go the gym, watch his beloved Red Sox?  I would like to know how involved he was in the raising of his 4 children, if he ever took his own shirts to be laundered and how many meals he cooked?

I must say that his wives fared worse than the GE employee pool. He replaced 66% of marriage partners.

Speaking of wives I’ve always said I’d have advanced a lot further in my career and at a much faster rate if I’d had a wife.

Hey, Jack if the cosmos works as it should, sweet irony would be for you to come back as a woman in your next life.

Immaculate Conception

On another note, I today I finally came to understand immaculate conception.  I was raised in a Catholic household and as a child I never understood the awe and wonder inspired by the concept of a Virgin birth.  Once I learned about the birds and the bees, I was just puzzled.

Apparently, just being a fertile women means that you are pregnant.  As I understand it, as long as one is ovulating, according to Arizona House Bill 2036, you are potentially pregnant.  I guess that from the onset of puberty to menopause, a woman can be considered with fetus, therefore, gestating.  This thinking leads us to believe that procreation no longer needs a man.

Which is sort of how I feel after reading this article, “5 Terrifying Ways the US is Trying to Control Women”, given that the ranks of clergy and politics, responsible for such legislation, are overwhelming male.

What also makes me despair is the evidence that the issue of a woman’s control over how body is moving from a private matter to a public forum with some very talented spin doctors providing the communications script.  Could the resources being put against these efforts be put to solving some really important issues?  The economy?  Job creation?  Education?

Oh, I know! I know! The healthcare system!!