Jack and Suzy Welch on Marriage and Career

“Where marriages go off the rails is where you get married to your job and you start making decisions with your boss first, and then you come home and inform your spouse.” Suzy Welch

the most imortant person in the world

Marriage first – Career Second:

The most important person in the world is your spouse.

It’s easy to get lost in career. But, your spouse is more important than power, position, prestige, or money.

Nothing is more beautiful than loving marriage.

“When you have a strong marriage, almost anything is possible in your career because your spouse will support you…” Suzy Welch

Partner:

Think of marriage as partnership.

  1. Protect each other’s interests.
  2. Make choices that strengthen the relationship. “How can we grow closer together?”
  3. Choose transparency.
  4. Express personal desires. But keep saying, “I want what’s best for us.”
  5. Speak with kindness and compassion.
  6. Embrace, don’t minimize, another’s struggles or stresses.
  7. Have fun together.

Bonus: Realize there will be times when you sacrifice personal preferences for the good of the marriage.

When making decisions, Jack said, “I think Suzy captured it when she talked about, ‘Together you make the call,’ … In my day, it was much more, the guy decided everything. That’s yesterday.”

10 ways to reconnect:

Trivialities replace priorities when you’re pressured or overworked. Take a moment to reconnect to the priority of your spouse.

  1. Call and say, “Just wanted to let you know that I love you.”
  2. Apologize.
  3. Express positive intention. “I want to feel close.”
  4. Go for a walk and hold hands.
  5. Bring a surprise home.
  6. Send a love note.
  7. Establish a “Let’s talk things over,” time.
  8. Listen until they feel heard.
  9. Hug and kiss.
  10. Give your undivided attention. Turn off the cell phone, for example.

Jack and Suzy Welch in their own words (3:37):

How might married people build strong relationships while navigating the world of work?

What dangers do leaders face that threaten a strong marriage?

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Special thanks to Dr. James L. Davis, President of World LEADERS Conference and Ben Lichtenwalner owner of Modern Servant Leader, for making this conversation possible.

Suzy and Jack Welch at WLC2015