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Jack: Straight from the Gut Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 11, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Golf and tennis fans will also find the book fascinating for its endless catalog of golf and tennis resorts nationwide. Apparently being anywhere near the top at GE requires moving to Fairfield, Connecticut and aping the Lifestyles of the Bland and WASPy.
One interesting thing I learned is that GE went from 0 percent employee ownership to 31 percent during Jack Welch's tenure as CEO, primarily through granting of stock options to top managers such as Jack himself. Jack doesn't talk about this except to say that he's proud of the number. He doesn't get into the question of whether the investors from 1980 are happy now that they own less than 70 percent of the company. Nor does he talk about what would have happened to GE's earnings if they'd accounted for all of these stock options at time of issue.
The useful and interesting content in this book could have been presented in 75 pages if the editors and ghostwriter had been doing their jobs. But they weren't doing their jobs. So the readers all have to "give 110 percent" or "give 1000 percent". Maybe this is what Jack Welch wanted because he uses these expressions numerous times throughout Straight from the Gut.
The management insights that Jack does reveal seem to me to be generally built on fairly well established (but poorly executed) management practices. Jack has just embraced them and used focussed passion coupled with an obsession on people to execute superbly and produce great results. For example, some of his major initiatives could be said to have been derived from existing management principles: 1) "No. 1 or 2" Jack admits is derived from Peter Drucker, 2)I believe six sigma is derived in part from Motorola, 3) "Boundaryless behaviour" can said to be based on Peter Drucker's observation that there are no profit centers inside an organization, and 4) Jack was clearly not an early pioneer on "E-business". Yet he recognized the opportunities and produced results from them. The book probably won't become a classic, but it is still recommended reading for today's and tomorrow's managers and especially those interest in the man himself.
STRENGTHS: The book is a fairly easy and interesting read full of anecdotes and insites. It does a great job of showing the management task as art and discipline that can be learned, improved, and mastered rather than as personal charisma or other common stereotypes of leadership.
WEAKNESSES: The minor weaknesses of the book relate to Jack's strong, competitive personality (and maybe ego) that show through in his writing.Read more ›
There's some business wisdom in the book, but one must slog through a lot to get it.
Welch reminds me very much of the Frederic March character in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (based on Sloan Wilson's novel). Yes, he built a great business, but realized too late that he had lost much more than he had gained. This was a common profile in the post World War II American economy. Welch fits it to a T (or a W). And while his devotion to his mother's memory and teachings is touching, Freud would have had a field day with this book.
The book is not horrible by any means. But I could have done without the golf stuff. There are about half a dozen photos of Jack golfing in one place or another (including with that great American, Bill Clinton). It all comes off like a twenty-year-old's showing off (he has reproduced a score card from a golf round with Greg Norman!) than the reflections of a mature business leader.
There's a touch of this throughout, such as when he divorces wife #1, and suddenly observes: "Being single and having money was like standing six feet four with a full head of hair." As Chris Farley might have said when he played the motivational speaker: "Well Lah-De-Freakin'-Dah!"
I can see a whole new generation of baby MBA's lugging this book around like the Bible.Read more ›
The dilemma you face now is: Do I buy 'Jack' or 'Who moved my Cheese". it's a difficult choice which one will offer more jokes at parties ? Which is better when you run out of toilet paper ? Jack welch came to be known as Neutron Jack this book is 'electron Crap'. You want success in business? Be greedy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite books. If you are an entrepreneur or striving intrepreneur, you will enjoy hearing Jack's story to be the top dog.Published 22 days ago by bdG103
Good book for organizational leadership! Jack is very relatable and as a student felt that I learned much from his book.Published 24 days ago by MusicMonster2014
I expected more from the book and was disappointed. There was too much insignificant detail about the deals. Didn't finish the book.Published 1 month ago by Jonathan Chantler