Bill Lane is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and has degrees from Niagara University and Northern Arizona University. He served as a Green Beret officer in Vietnam in 1968-69 and later worked as a congressional liaison officer and speechwriter at the Pentagon for seven years. He was appointed Manager of Executive Communications at General Electric and spent nearly 20 years as Jack Welch’s speechwriter; he retired in 2002. Bill’s first book, Jacked Up: How Jack Welch Talked GE into Becoming the World’s Greatest Company, was named one of the “Best Business Books of the Year” by Strategy+Business. He writes and lives in Easton, Connecticut.
Losing It! Behaviors and Mindsets that Ruin Careers: Lessons on Protecting Yourself from Avoidable Mistakesby Bill Lane
Why do otherwise brilliant and successful leaders fail – and often do so dramatically? How can you prevent your own career “train wreck” by learning from their experiences? This book distills the core causes of executive failure, demonstrates how to identify them in your own behavior – and helps you to eliminate or avoid them. Bill/i>… See more details below
Why do otherwise brilliant and successful leaders fail – and often do so dramatically? How can you prevent your own career “train wreck” by learning from their experiences? This book distills the core causes of executive failure, demonstrates how to identify them in your own behavior – and helps you to eliminate or avoid them. Bill Lane, Jack Welch’s long-time colleague draws on his own experience as a GE insider as well as from extensive interviews with former GE executives now running their own companies, including Dave Calhoun (CEO, Nielsen); Jim McNerney (CEO, Boeing); Lloyd Trotter (retired Vice-Chairman of GE), Frank Doyle (ex-Executive VP at GE), Kip Condron (ex-CEO, Americas, AXA Equitable); Andrew McMahon (President, AXA Equitable), and many others. Together with these elite executives, Lane demonstrates how to avoid arrogance, recognize when you must micromanage, learn how to communicate far more effectively, maintain a relentless focus on what matters most, and avoid the temptations to sacrifice your #1 leadership asset: your integrity. Along the way, he offers hard-hitting insights on everything from choosing your battles to cultivating the “right” forms of paranoia. Losing It will be an indispensable resource for everyone aspiring to become a more effective leader, including managers at all levels, and all MBA candidates and executive education students.
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Lane observed much of what finds its way into his book taking a different look at business as speechwriter for the legendary Jack Welch of General Electric. His background for the book is much broader than this however. After serving in Vietnam, he worked at the Pentagon as a civilian congressional liaison. Teaching and consulting are also elements of his long diverse and interesting career at higher levels of American business and government. Ranging over a broad field of American business in an entertaining and insightful popular style, the book has timeless lessons, but it is also notably timely especially considering the national economic problems and unethical or reckless business practices giving rise to these. Lane's depictions and lessons regarding how ambitious, talented, and promising business people casually or purposely slip into the Gray Zone of questionable, possibly illegal, and usually eventually self-destructive behavior have obvious relevance to current concerns and questions. Most self-help books relate what to do. Losing It however relates what not to do. Much of the advice and engaging anecdotes concern maintaining integrity. Lane also delves into strategic comprehension of one's field, management decisions and activity, reading subtleties in one's working environment and interactions with others, and other factors in career growth. With its engaging style, timeliness, and instructive anecdotes and analyses, Losing It is not only a useful guide for business people, but also a inside view of scenarios, pressures, activities, relationships, etc., within varied contemporary organizations.
Concise, well written, entertaining—these are qualities rarely found in a “business book.” Luckily Losing It! Behaviors and Mindsets that Ruin Careers is anything but typical. As with his previous work Jacked Up, which imparted the secrets to Jack Welch’s unparalleled success at the helm of General Electric, Bill Lane offers the reader a fast paced, easily accessible read that is a must for the aspiring business leader. Masterfully employing both personal experience (at GE and in the military) as well as advice from top business executives, Lane’s brief 176-page work serves as a guide to avoiding common self-destructive tendencies such as arrogance, poor communication skills, and the inability to adapt to new realities. Integrity is emphasized most, as Lane analyzes the “gray areas” where business leaders often find themselves. While Lane artfully employs humor throughout, the overarching message is a sober one: if you don’t heed these warnings, you risk destroying your career. Though much of the advice may seem self-evident, as Lane demonstrates, far too many leaders fail to notice that they have fallen victim to these common faults until it is too late. If you hope to achieve a successful career in business or elsewhere, Losing It! is required reading.
This book was a good, quick read. Lane did seemed to jump around a bit, which made it a little hard to follow. I also thought it wouldnt be so GE-centric because he said he interviewed other CEOs. This would be a decent read for a new grad, but most mid-career level people should know this stuff.