Winning
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Winning

4.3 39
by Jack Welch, Suzy Welch
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

WARREN E. BUFFETT
“When you talk with Jack about management, his energy and passion fill the room.”
Warren E. Buffett
"When you talk with Jack about management, his energy and passion fill the room."
New York Times
“Now is the time.”
Fortune
“Manager of the Century”
Newsweek
"..smart, practical and not afraid to address tough subjects"
BusinessWeek
"...candid and accessible...insights and wisdom to share."
The Wall Street Journal
"The right stuff -- Mr. Welch offers knowing descriptions of dilemmas and problems that are all too common in American business life, and he proposes a few ideas for solving them.."
USA Today
"Welch dispense the sharp-edged business acumen...He is giving back what he learned, and not just to fellow CEO's. He is able to write a book that might just reach the rest of us."
Library Journal
Welch (Jack: Straight from the Gut) follows up his successful and frank autobiography with his equally straight-shooting insights on winning that focuses more on business and management. The now legendary retired CEO of General Electric presents management wisdom he learned in his 40 years with GE that culminated with growing the company from a market capitalization of $4 billion to nearly half a trillion dollars. Since his retirement in 2001, Welch has been on a whirlwind tour of speaking engagements tied to his first book and Q&A sessions with managers from all levels, and this work summarizes his beliefs that were covered in these appearances. Written with his wife, a former editor of the Harvard Business Review, the book is organized into four parts, including management principles and concepts; managing people, processes, and culture; and managing the art and quality of a professional life. Welch's personality and ideas are soundly evident, although his distinctly New England accent and raspy narration may send some listeners to the hard copy. Highly recommended for larger public libraries and university libraries supporting a business curriculum.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries

What does it take to win? According to Jack Welch, winning in business is great because when companies win, people thrive and grow. There are more jobs and more opportunities everywhere and for everyone. But even the most talented businessperson with the best intentions will get nowhere unless he or she knows HOW to win in today’s complex business world. Business is a game, and winning that game is a total blast!

Mission and Values
Mission and values are two terms that have got to be among the most abstract, overused, misunderstood words in business. By contrast, a good mission statement and a good set of values are so real they smack you in the face with their concreteness. The mission announces exactly where you are going, and the values describe the behaviors that will get you there.

Effective mission statements balance the possible and the impossible. They give people a clear sense of the direction to profitability and the inspiration to feel they are part of something big and important. A mission cannot, and must not, be delegated to anyone except the people ultimately held accountable for it.

In contrast to the creation of a mission, everyone in a company should have something to say about values. You can use company-wide meetings, training sessions, and the like, for as much personal discussion as possible, and the intranet for broader input. The executive team has to go out of their way to be sure they’ve created an atmosphere where people feel it is their obligation to contribute.

Candor: The Biggest Dirty Little Secret in Business
Lack of candor blocks smart ideas, fast action and good people contributing all the stuff they’ve got. It’s a killer. When you’ve got candor, everything just operates faster and better.

First you get idea-rich. Second, candor generates speed. Third, candor cuts costs. Put all of its benefits and efficiencies together and you realize you just can’t afford not to have candor. Given the advantages of candor, you have to wonder why we don’t have more of it.

To get candor, you reward it, praise it and talk about it. You make public heroes out of people who demonstrate it. Most of all, you yourself demonstrate it in an exuberant and even exaggerated way - even when you’re not the boss.

Differentiation: Cruel and Darwinian? Try Fair and Effective
Companies win when their managers make a clear and meaningful distinction between top- and bottom-performing businesses and people, when they cultivate the strong and cull the weak. Companies suffer when every business and person is treated equally.

Differentiation is just resource allocation. Along with being the most efficient and most effective way to run your company, differentiation also happens to be the fairest and the kindest. Ultimately, it makes winners out of everyone. However, differentiation cannot - and must not - be implemented quickly. At GE, it took about a decade to install the kind of candor and trust that makes differentiation possible.

Hiring: What Winners Are Made Of
Hiring good people is hard. Hiring great people is brutally hard. Nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field. However, before you think about assessing people for a job, they have to pass through three screens.

The first test is for integrity. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. They take responsibility for past actions, admit mistakes, and fix them. The second test is for intelligence. The candidate has a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world. The third ticket to the game is maturity. Mature individuals can withstand heat, handle stress and setbacks, and alternatively - when those moments arise - enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility.

Change: Mountains Do Move
Change is a critical part of business. You need to change, preferably before you have to. Most people hate it; they love familiarity and patterns, and cling to them. But attributing a behavior to human nature doesn’t mean you have to be controlled by it. Instead, it comes down to embracing four practices:

  1. Attach every 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. Remove the resisters, even if their performance is satisfactory.
  4. Look at car wrecks.

Crisis Management
As long as companies are made up of human beings, there will be mistakes, controversies and blowups. The cold truth is that some degree of unwanted and unacceptable behavior is inevitable.

You can be proactive in preventing some crisis in three main ways: tight controls, good internal processes and a culture of integrity.

Strategy: It’s All in the Sauce
In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. Strategy means making clear-cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to everybody.

Six Sigma: Better than a Trip to the Dentist
Nothing compares to the effectiveness of Six Sigma when it comes to improving a company’s operational efficiency, raising its productivity and lowering its costs. Six Sigma has two primary applications. First, it can be used to remove the variation in routine, relatively simple, repetitive tasks. And second, it can be used to make sure large, complex projects go right the first time.

Six Sigma is meant for and has its most meaningful impact on repetitive internal processes and complex product designs. Once you understand the simple maxim "variation is evil," you’re 60 percent of the way to becoming a Six Sigma expert. The other 40 percent is getting the evil out. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
—Soundview Summary

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060753948
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/05/2005
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
79,336
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Bill Gates
"A candid and comprehensive look at how to succeed in business-for everyone from college graduates to CEOs."
chairman, Microsoft Corporation
Warren E. Buffett
"When you talk with Jack about management, his energy and passion fill the room. You get a similar experience with this book-the same qualities jump at you from every page."
chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
Rudy Guilliani
"Jack Welch lays out a readable, detailed, step-by-step plan that anyone can use to become a true winner. Using real-life examples and the same tell-it-like-it-is style that helped reinvigorate General Electric, Welch describes how Americans can succeed in both their careers and in their personal lives."
former mayor of New York City
Tom Brokaw
"Reading Jack Welch's plain-language, high-energy book Winning is like getting the playbook of the Super Bowl champions before the game. It's a big head start on how to master the corporate game from the entry level to the corporate suites. He is the master."
former anchor and managing editor, NBC Nightly News

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