This week we lost a corporate icon with the passing of Jack Welch, former CEO of GE. I had the privilege of working at the great company he led and with many of the high impact leaders he advanced for the last decade of his time there. Several of my roles gave me a front row seat to his energy, style, boldness, care and magnetic vision. It changed me and the trajectory of my career. He wasn’t perfect, his candor often shocked you and during his tenure he made some difficult and often controversial decisions to advance and grow the Firm and its global components and employees, but he did it in a way that made us better, energized us and rewarded us for success. He captained the kind of company I was glad to invest my time and earnings in.
Almost every day, I still use or translate a “Jackism” or a lesson I learned from Jack. One indelible mantra was that “Data is your friend”. In a world where the generation of data continues to be explosive this mindset is even more important. As we navigate through the current market volatility, relying on good data almost exclusively, rather than emotion, will serve us well. It is human nature to want to retrench, but history and data show us that thoughtfully staying the course, and even increasing our investment in solid asset classes will serve us well. I am a fiscally conservative person so during the past two weeks I have chanted “Data is your friend” and through our investment team put more money to work in the market and in some alternative investment opportunities. The market is resetting but everything will be ok.