The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership: Over 250 Terms, Concepts, Strategies and Initiatives of the Legendary Leader / Edition 1

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Jack Welch is the most admired, copied, and studied CEO of the 20th century. His visionary initiatives and concepts­­and adaptive management strategies­­earned him the title of the most effective CEO in history. This alphabetically arranged, encyclopedic reference, The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership, provides an in-depth look at the methods that Welch used to turn GE into the world's most valuable corporation.

More than just a simple reference, however, this one-of-a-kind book traces the evolution of Welch's key ideas and innovations and provides analysis and perspective on Welch's historic­­and immensely successful­­career. Comprehensive and compelling in its no-nonsense examination of all things Welch, The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership:

  • Provides a guided tour of the language and strategies of Jack Welch­­Each of Welch's key management ideas­­and their significance in GE's rebirth­­is given in-depth treatment and evaluation
  • Highlights breakthrough concepts for easy access and cross-reference­­To help readers in their exploration of Welch, key concepts and ideas are designated by the "Six Sigma"
  • Applies Welch's prescient wisdom to today's demanding global environment­­Examples reveal how Welch's insights can be used to address new problems in any organization, regardless of its size
  • Chronicles the evolution of Welch's leadership thinking­­Wherever possible, dates and chronology help trace Welch's evolution as a leader­­and his strategies which transformed grass-roots ideas into companywide innovations

By adding speed, simplifying the complex, and cutting straight to the heart of the matter, Jack Welch was able to find workable solutions for virtually every challenge. The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership follows Welch's example. It defines and organizes the terms and programs that Welch used to rewrite the language of leadership, then creates a roadmap you can use to create Welch magic of your own­­regardless of your organization's industry or competitive position.

The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership organizes more than 250 of Welch's most popular concepts and tools into an accessible and ultimately indispensable look into the mind and methods of Jack Welch. Never before have all the ideas and strategies of the world's most effective CEO been assembled in one comprehensive volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
General Electric CEO Jack Welch, one of the world's most influential and consistently successful businesspeople, has been hailed as a leader who both developed new concepts and revised existing procedures to meet evolving needs. Anyone who is eager to understand the full nature of Welch's achievement will be grateful to Jeffrey Krames, who has compiled a well-organized, easy-to-use, and comprehensive A-Z guide to Welch's business vocabulary and ideas.

Encyclopedic in scope, The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership provides more than mere definitions: It details the evolution of such signature programs as Six Sigma, articulates the lessons GE learned while implementing these programs, and serves as an anthology of business practices that have impacted almost every facet of corporate America. As a veteran editor of books about GE and its charismatic CEO, Krames is scrupulous about explaining all of Welch's core doctrines in depth and with thoughtful supporting examples.

While reading Krames's piece on Six Sigma, I was surprised to learn that Motorola first developed the famous quality concept program so deeply associated with Welch's tenure at GE. In fact, Welch had to be persuaded of the worthiness of the program by his friend Larry Bossidy, a former GE vice chairman and now Allied Signal's CEO. However, once Welch became convinced of Six Sigma's value, he implemented it with such effectiveness that he was often looked upon as the spokesperson for Six Sigma. Any manager who is struggling to introduce new ideas into the workplace will benefit from the understanding of Welch's methods that Krames provides.

While readers could go through the book from cover to cover, it's much easier to use it as a reference tool (or as a companion to Welch's Jack: Straight from the Gut since there is some repetition of ideas and themes. However, The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership is definitely worthwhile for curious readers looking to master the essentials of Welch's business practices and leadership philosophy. (Kathleen M. Purcell)

Library Journal
Having studied Jack Welch for nearly two decades and authored four books on him, business journalist Krames argues that Welch should win the prize (if such a prize were offered) for the corporate leader of the century. As the title indicates, this is a compendium of the key elements of Welch's thinking on business, presented in an A-to-Z format. Given General Electric's ability to enter new markets and sustain growth, there is a lot to be learned from Welch. The book, however, does contain a number of flaws. With respect to Welch's philosophy of Six Sigma, key concepts such as root cause analysis, control charts, and Pareto analysis are mistakenly presented as if they are new and developed though Six Sigma. Overall, though, the book provides the most concise and complete rendering of Jack Welch's business initiatives. Recommended for general audiences and business collections. Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071381406
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 8/17/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Welch received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1957 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. He joined GE in 1960 and was elected vice president in 1972 and vice-chairman in 1979. In 1981, he became the eighth chairman and CEO in the company's 121-year history.
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Interviews & Essays

Author Essay
It is likely that 50 years from now, most business textbooks will contain more listings under the name "Welch, John Francis" than under the name of any other CEO. In his 21 years at the helm of GE, Welch did more to advance the body of leadership knowledge than perhaps any business leader in history. While other extraordinary leaders are remembered for mastering one or two aspects of leadership, no CEO has proved as adept in mastering all four dimensions of the leadership agenda: people, process, strategy, and structure. Welch's record is chock-full of examples of how he mastered each in launching his many revolutions, and The Lexicon is intended to provide a guided tour of each of Welch's crusades.

One of the advantages I had in writing The Lexicon was the benefit of the full Welch record (he was at GE from pre-Camelot 1960 through September 2001). While other books have covered various aspects of the Welch years, this book is a complete, yet concise, examination of the Welch accomplishments. It includes references from the pre-Welch CEO through the second week of July 2001, and it even includes a detailed post-mortem on the ill-fated Honeywell acquisition.

Having spent more than a decade chronicling the GE chairman (I edited four books on this celebrated leader), I was well positioned to put his strategies and signature concepts in perspective. The Lexicon was crafted for business enthusiasts, irregardless of their particular knowledge of Welch's record and terminology. My book provides an ideal platform for learning about Welch or for gaining a fresh perspective on his accomplishments. For example, "Boundaryless," Welch's term for an open, learning organization, free of bureaucracy and turf wars, is described in depth, as is "the significance of Boundaryless," "the road to Boundaryless" and "Boundaryless lessons." All of Welch's seminal concepts, which are marked with the "Six Sigmas" icon, are given a similiar level of in-depth treatment.

I believe one of the more valuable contributions of The Lexicon is that it chronicles the evolution of Welch as a leader. For managers who want to implement the Welch initiatives, this is a critical element. Welch launched five companywide initiatives between 1987 and 1999, and each built on the initiative that preceded it. For example, Welch said he could not have implemented Six Sigma without Work-Out, the cultural revolution that he waged in 1989. ("As boundaryless has defined how we behave, Six Sigma quality will...define how we work," declared Welch). Similarly, digitization, Welch's fourth and final growth initiative, would not have been possible without the lessons gleaned from Six Sigma.

The Lexicon is intended to be a hands-on reference book that can be read cover to cover (as in a mystery novel), or simply kept and referred to when the need arises (e.g., turn to "acquisition strategy" to understand Welch's four criteria for buying a company). (Jeffrey A. Krames)

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