Summary and book reviews of Winning by Jack Welch

Winning
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2006, 272 pages

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Book Summary

Mr. Welch offers knowing descriptions of dilemmas and problems that are all too common in American business life, and he proposes a few ideas for solving them.

Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. His honest, be-the-best style of management became the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits.

Since Welch retired in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of GE, he has traveled the world, speaking to more than 250,000 people and answering their questions on dozens of wide-ranging topics.

Inspired by his audiences and their hunger for straightforward guidance, Welch has written both a philosophical and pragmatic book, which is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job.

Welch's objective is to speak to people at every level of an organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from line workers to MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. His goal is to help everyone who has a passion for success.

Welch begins Winning with an introductory section called "Underneath It All," which describes his business philosophy. He explores the importance of values, candor, differentiation, and voice and dignity for all.

The core of Winning is devoted to the real "stuff" of work. This main part of the book is split into three sections. The first looks inside the company, from leadership to picking winners to making change happen. The second section looks outside, at the competition, with chapters on strategy, mergers, and Six Sigma, to name just three. The next section of the book is about managing your career -- from finding the right job to achieving work-life balance.

Welch's optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind-set is riveting. Packed with personal anecdotes and written in Jack's distinctive no b.s. voice, Winning offers deep insights, original thinking, and solutions to nuts-and-bolts problems that will change the way people think about work.

Chapter One
Mission and Values
So Much Hot Air About Something So Real

Bear with me, if you will, while I talk about mission and values.

I say that because these two terms have got to be among the most abstract, overused, misunderstood words in business. When I speak with audiences, I’m asked about them frequently, usually with some level of panic over their actual meaning and relevance. (In New York, I once got the question “Can you please define the difference between a mission and a value, and also tell us what difference that difference makes?”) Business schools add to the confusion by having their students regularly write mission statements and debate values, a practice made even more futile for being carried out in a vacuum. Lots of companies do the same to their senior executives, usually in an attempt to create a noble-sounding plaque to hang in the company lobby.

Too often, these exercises end with a set of generic platitudes that do ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today

Welch dispense the sharp-edged business acumen...He is giving back what he learned, and not just to fellow CEO's. He is able to write a book that might just reach the rest of us.

Newsweek

..smart, practical and not afraid to address tough subjects.

The Wall Street Journal

The right stuff -- Mr. Welch offers knowing descriptions of dilemmas and problems that are all too common in American business life, and he proposes a few ideas for solving them.

Business Week

...candid and accessible...insights and wisdom to share.

Author Blurb Bill Gates
A candid and comprehensive look at how to succeed in business-for everyone from college graduates to CEOs.

Author Blurb Rudy Guilliani
Jack Welch lays out a readable, detailed, step-by-step plan that anyone can use to become a true winner. Using real-life examples and the same tell-it-like-it-is style that helped reinvigorate General Electric, Welch describes how Americans can succeed in both their careers and in their personal lives

Author Blurb Tom Brokaw
Reading Jack Welch's plain-language, high-energy book Winning is like getting the playbook of the Super Bowl champions before the game. It's a big head start on how to master the corporate game from the entry level to the corporate suites. He is the master.

Author Blurb Warren Buffett
When you talk with Jack about management, his energy and passion fill the room. You get a similar experience with this book-the same qualities jump at you from every page.

Reader Reviews

Shekhar

A must read for every Corporate person ...
Excellent book with frank, open views. Lots to learn from this book.

Sadjia Lassami

Highly recommed any talent to read
This is an excellent book, I have attended many international programs and most of them if not all refer as best practice to what Jack Welch did in GE.

Sonali

Excellent read and learnings
Winning by Jack and Suzy Welch is an excellent book to read and learn from. It is studded with several pertinent and practical issues of organisational life. The best part was to see applicability for organizations, teams and individuals all in one ...   Read More

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