Winning by Jack Welch
As the name itself suggests, the book is all about winning. Winning as a business, winning as a manager, winning as an employee and also winning in the personal life. The book is written in a way that is now popularly known as ‘blog-speak’.
There are no jargons used and it’s a typical CEO type of writing. In the book, Welch touches a range of issues ranging from mission and values to Six Sigma in a very lucid manner. The book is a treat for anyone who really wants to know what it takes to make a great company and a great manager as it is written by a man who is known as the best CEO of America.
The book starts with explaining foundation stones that an organization must have in order to become a winning company under the section ‘Underneath It All’. These are mission and values, candor, differentiation, voice and dignity. Welch explains all these requirements in detail, giving first hand examples from GE and other real life stories. The section gives fair and actual understanding of the cliched words like mission and values and methods of instilling them in the company firmly.
After explaining about foundations Jack Welch turns the discussion to leadership in the Your Company part. He explains things needed in a strong leader. The leader should be able to convert organization’s mission into actions. He needs to instil values in the culture of the company.
A leader should be able to appreciate and be adeptable to change. A function of the leader also includes picking winners for the company. The leader should be able to take tough decisions and manage crisis. The most important thing for a leader is to gain trust of the team. He should lead by setting examples and ‘leading from the front’. From the section, I gained a good amount of understanding about leadership qualities and how to actually get things done.
After developing a strong leadership, the next step Welch suggests is knowing your competition. You must know what your competitors are doing, how they are doing it, and how to counter the attack. When you know what others are doing or are going to do, it
will help you in developing your own strategies, which shall, in turn, translate into your budgeting for execution of those strategies. If you want to grow your company, there are
two ways in which it can be done: organic growth i.e starting something new afreash and Mergers and Acquisitions. The company needs to utilize both in order to grow. Both methods require different but clear stategies. This section gave insight into the real running of a company.
In the next section: Your Career, Jack Welch explains how companies recruit best employees. Its chapters talk about how to get the right job for you, how to get promoted and the likes. Welch also talks about work-life balance.
The last part is about questions and answers that were discussed in a number of sessions that Jack Welch attended throughout the world.
WINNING is a must read for anyone who loves business whether he is a CEO or a management student. The talk is quite straightforward, full of insights gained from first hand experience of running GE successfully for twenty years. The reader would find the quality that is emphasised by Welch himself – ‘candor’ in his writings throughout the book.