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Winning Hardcover – April 1, 2005
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Welch's first book, Jack: Straight from the Gut, was structured more as a conventional CEO memoir, with stories of early career adventures, deals won and lost, boardroom encounters, and Welch's process and philosophy that helped propel his success as a manager. In Winning, Welch focuses on his actual management techniques. He starts with an overview of cultural values such as candor, differentiation among employees, and inclusion of all voices in decision-making. In the second section he covers issues around one's own company or organization: the importance of hiring, firing, the people management in between, and a few other juicy topics like crisis management. From there, Welch moves into a discussion of competition, and the external factors that can influence a company's success: strategy, budgeting, and mergers and acquisitions. Welch takes a more personal turn later with a focus on individual career issues--how to find the right job, get promoted, and deal with a bad boss--and then a final section on what he calls "Tying Up Loose Ends." Those interested in the human side of great leaders will find this last section especially appealing. In it, Welch answers the most interesting questions that he's received in the last several years while traveling the globe addressing audiences of executives and business-school students. Perhaps the funniest question in this section comes at the very end, posed originally by a businessman in Frankfurt, who queried Welch on whether he thought he'd go to heaven (we won't give away the ending).
While different from the steadier stream of war stories and real-life examples of Welch's first book, Winning is a very worthwhile addition to any management bookshelf. It's not often that a CEO described as the century's best retires, and then chooses to expound on such a wide range of management topics. Also, aside from the commentary on always-relevant issues like employee performance reviews and quality control, Welch suffuses this book with his pugnacious spirit. The Massachusetts native who fought his way to the top of the world's most valuable company was in many ways the embodiment of "Winning," and this spirit alone will provide readers an enjoyable read. --Peter Han
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- ASIN : 0060753943
- Publisher : Harper Business; 1st edition (April 1, 2005)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780060753948
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.21 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #49,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Rule by fear and negativity.
Zero long term investment in ppl.
Instead workers are pushed hard to cheat and show results which is not sustainable.
Any manager who still uses this book deserve to be sacked
However, one insight Welch makes in this book which I thought was hugely illimunating is the notion that mission statements, rather than being wishy-washy, should be tied to concrete, explicitly defined goals--ideally which possess metrics against which success can be measured. Welch has a background in science, and it wouldn't surprise me if the idea arose from that experience.
I'd very highly recommend this book for anyone thinking of taking on some kind of role in management, no matter at what level of business. Even if you don't agree with everything, Welch's frankness and wealth of experience provide some very stimulating material to pore over.
What makes this book unique is the breadth of topics discussed. It really serves as a primer for anyone looking to navigate his way through the corporate world. While it is hard to summarize the many learnings contained within this book, below are some excerpts which I found particularly profound:
-"When you are an individual contributor, you try to have all the answers. That's your job...When you are a leader, your job is to have all the questions."
-On Change " 1- Attach very change initiative to a clear purpose or goal. Change for change's sake is stupid and enervating. 2- Hire and promote only true believers and get-on-with-it types. 3- Ferret out and get rid of resisters, even if their performance is satisfactory. 4- Look at car wrecks."
-" The 4-E (And 1-P) Framework - The first E is positive energy. -The second E is the ability to energize others. - The third E is edge, the courage to make tough yes-or-no decisions. - Which leads us to the fourth E - execute - the ability to get the job done. - If a candidate has the four Es, then you look for that final P - passion.
Given the scope of the book, one can't expect that it covers each of the topics in depth. What it does though, is server as an eye openers on areas/aspects of one's career that were perhaps missed/over-looked.
If you had to read one book this year, I would recommend Winning!
Top reviews from other countries
There's a plethora of these ghostwritten celebrity-politician-or-business-man-talks-about-stuff books. Of all of these types of books that relate to business advice, this is one of the better ones. He discusses concrete concepts and gives clear positions, and there's a minimum of waffle. It gets you thinking. It's worth a read.
I ordered another copy of the book with hardcovers and hopefully bigger dimensions and better font.
I would advice the publishers to increase the price with 2-3 dollars, but produce a normal book.
As it is written by a practitioner, rather than an academic, it is right from the core of how to get results and ensure the economic security for a business. Ultimately securing employment for the people who work there, and other stakeholder in wider parts of the economy. There is much that seems tough, if you read the book completely though you realise that the objective of Welch was to provide the opportunity for people to succeed. And if they could not succeed in GEC to help them find their place elsewhere. Direct and truthful - and more copies will no doubt be purchased for future clients.
In particular I liked his idea on the importance of candour - honest communication in the workplace and the importance of avoiding superficial congeniality.
I am not certain how successful his policies of "rank and yank" were (getting rid of the lowest performing 10% of the workforce. In many workplaces this might lead to risk aversion and lots of office politics.
He often talks of "trusting your gut" and relying on your instincts but this can often lead to problems. He has an amazing amount of experience and knowledge and a history of success most of the rest of us don't and there have been numerous studies done of the problems of relying too much on intuition.
He writes Unflinchingly and without self-praise on the work-life balance and makes the very good point that you always have to see things from the point of view of your employers.
This is a very useful book as long as you remember that you probably aren't a Jack Welsh.