Winning, Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Winning, Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

Synopsis of Content:

Jack Welch was the CEO at General Electric from 1981 to 2001. He did more than usher the large corporation into the 21st century – he transformed it.

In Winning, a book he wrote four years after retiring from GE Welch and his wife discuss the transformation at GE and how he engaged in the transformation that modernized GE and made it more nimble and responsive. In the process he answers some basic questions about winning including why it is important to win, why companies should win and how to win.

In some ways the themes and principles Welch covers are all too familiar to anyone who has read about or worked with corporate management and strategy. He discusses the need for mission and values; the importance of candor and integrity in business, the value of differentiation and the need for dignity.

He provides his formulas for leadership, hiring, firing, personnel management, change management and crisis management. He addresses strategies to deal with the competition, budgeting, organic growth, mergers and acquisitions and Six Sigma.

Welch winds up with your career – the importance of finding the right job, getting promoted, and work life balance.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This is an easy read. It can be a bit detailed at times but is never ponderous. This is worth the read whether or not you plan to dwell in corporate America. 

Notes on Author:

Jack Welch began his career at GE in 1961 and worked his way up the ranks to the top. He faced his share of failures, including being in charge of a chemical plant that exploded and burned. During his 20 years at the helm GE became the most valuable corporation in the world with a capitalization increase of $400 billion. He now serves as head of Jack Welch, LLC, a consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 CEO’s and speaks to business people and students around the world.

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

There are many great ideas and lessons here, three of them are:

  1. The biggest dirty little secret in business is the absolute necessity for candor. Tell it like it is, whether the story is going to be well received or not. Candor breeds trust and credibility. The lack of it is toxic to the individual and the organization. Trust happens when leaders are transparent, candid and keep their word – it is that simple.
  1. An upbeat manager who goes about his day with a positive attitude ends up with an upbeat and positive organization filled with positive people. Nothing succeeds like positive. Unhappy people have a tough time winning.
  1. A leader’s job is to have all the right questions and to know where to look for all the right answers. 

Publication Information:  Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch © 2005 by Jack Welch, LLC. Published by Harper Collins.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.