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by Jack Welch
Publisher: HarperAudio
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Editorial Reviews:
If you judge books by their covers, Jack Welch's Winning certainly grabs your attention. Testimonials on the back come from none other than Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rudy Giuliani, and Tom Brokaw, and other praise comes from Fortune, Business Week, and Financial Times. As the legendary retired CEO of General Electric, Welch has won many friends and admirers in high places. In this latest book, he strives to show why. Winning describes the management wisdom that Welch built up through four and a half decades of work at GE, as he transformed the industrial giant from a sleepy "Old Economy" company with a market capitalization of $4 billion to a dynamic new one worth nearly half a trillion dollars.

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

Book Description

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.

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 is a great read and a great business book. It offers deep insights, original thinking, and nuts-and-bolts advice that are bound to change the way people think about work.

Read by Jack Welch

Download Description

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.


Product Details
  • Audio CD: pages
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; edition (Apr 1, 2023)
  • ISBN: 0060785683
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 Based on 100 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 1562

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

3Insightful At Times, but Mostly Superficial, Aug 31, 2023
Jack Welch clearly is a legendary business leader; however, a great writer he is not. The book offers a few insights - eg. the power of corporate vision and value, budgeting and rewarding performance in the real (dynamic) world - but his book is not nearly as specific and helpful as Larry Bossidy's (Welch's former #2) "Confronting Reality," and "Execution." Sadly, the book also does not reference how Welch greatly simplified planning and accountability by getting rid of the planners, and instead focusing on fast reaction - a lesson that some firms, government and public education still need to learn.

In addition, Welch does not address most of the vast changes simplifying much of management in the last few years - even though he pioneered much of their use. The job has become primarily one of reducing costs - especially by shifting work away from Americans. This is accomplished by:

1)Maximizing outsourcing (eg. to Canada - primarily to avoid U.S. healthcare costs; to China and India - primarily to greatly reduce production labor, call-center, and design and programming costs,

2)Maximizing use of illegal immigrants within the U.S. - eg. in the meatpacking, construction, and other food-processing and food-serving areas,

3)Maximizing use of legal temporary immigrants within the U.S. - eg. Indian citizens with H-1B and L1 visas in areas such as electronics design and manufacturing, and computer programming.

4)Maximizing use of aggressive accounting - eg. capitalizing expenses, pre-booking revenues, optimistic assumptions about corporate pension fund growth, creating new entities to "hide" excess debt etc., and taking "special write-offs" wherever possible.

5)Minimizing exposure to risk of major commodity price increases - eg. large-scale futures buying of aviation fuel.

Further American worker head-count reductions are accomplished by implementing new IT systems, process improvements (eg. Six Sigma, cycle-time reductions), "rank and yank" personnel evaluations (Welch does reference this topic, but sugar-coats it to seem beneficial to all), improved quality (eg. NYC subway cars now require much fewer inspections), and divesting or consolidating companies (mergers and acquisitions), divisions, functions (eg. personnel, IT, procurement), products, components, and suppliers. Cost reductions for those remaining American employees can be achieved by reducing salaries (eg. competitive contracting out "non-core" functions - defined as broadly as possible), infrastructure (eg. work-at-home, "owner-operator" truckers), health-care benefits (through increasing worker contributions) and pensions (eg. via canceling, or switching from "defined benefit" to "defined contribution" plans. And then all the preceding measures are forced through the supply chain by requesting price reductions and/or the "China price."

Finally, leveraging tax reductions, abatements, pension plan takeovers, exemptions from lawsuit liability and various regulations (eg. EPA, OSHA. zoning) and various other "freebies" from government has also become another major modern "management skill" (eg. via threatening or actually moving production and/or headquarters; promising to create new jobs, threatening lawsuits, making large campaign donations) that Welch fails to reference in "Winning."

In summary, "Winning" is somewhat interesting, but mostly superficial and irrelevant. And overall, "winning" is no longer a skill to be proud of, worth multi-million dollar payouts to CEOs, or necessarily good for America.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

4Simple messages with perhaps powerful effects, Aug 28, 2023
In a very simplistic conversational style, Welch outlines critical issues on a wide variety of leadership issues - dealing with personnel management, candor in management, supporting organic growth, growth by acquisitions/mergers, etc. While the message he wants to present are clearly articulated, direct-to-the-point, the examples he has chosen are very superficial and typically doesn't add much to the points he wants to make. While the elaboration of his main points seem sometimes superficial, the essense of each chapter is well presented both at the outset and end of each chapter. There is no doubt that the book is going to be quoted ad nauseum in almost all leadership books/seminars/courses, and not without ample reason. A very good read. As is typical of most books in this 'genre', it is unrealistic to expect a thorough analysis of any particular point; but an excellent "big picture" viewpoint, or as the author puts it a "20000 feet view". While the book could be construed for leaders, it still has useful pointers for any reader irrespective of his/her academic/industry background.

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

5A good read, Aug 28, 2023
Excellent audio book! I would definitely recommend it to all aspiring managers and students of business.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

4Picking the right people, getting rid of the wrong ones, Aug 25, 2023
In his years as CEO of GE, Jack Welch brought the company to new heights but also became known for what some called his ruthless personnel policies. In this business advice book, the now-retired Welch explains why picking the right people contributes more to a company's success than costly consultants or high-concept strategies.

Some of his advice is fairly obvious, but many of his thoughts about personnel issues will resonate with me for a long time: The head of human resources is at least as important as the CFO and should have similar status. Even in the era of the "virtual office," face time remains essential. There are good ways and bad ways of firing people, and most executives don't do it well. Most introverts don't do well in corporate life. And so on. Welch writes in an informal, chatty style and stays away from consultant-speak.

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

5Fantastic Book!, Aug 20, 2023
This book talks about Jack Welch the business leader. "The Wal-Mart Way" is another fantastic book where Don Soderquist outlines the trials and tribulations of running and growing such a large company.


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