Winning by Jack Welsh

5 02 2010

To break up the travel blog I have decided to write about the books that I read during the trip.

I just finished listening to Winning by Jack Welsh on my iPod.  The audio book comes on 9 discs and is read by the author, which is always nice.

Winning is about how to win in business and as a CEO of GE or General Electric for twenty years, Jack should know a trick or two.  The book is divided into four sections, each with its own focus.

The first section is called Underneath it all and talks about Jack’s fundamental believes in how to conduct business, manage people and run a business.  He talks about the importance of a strong mission and concrete values in a company, the absolute necessity of XXXX when working with people, the power of differentiation where people are valued for what they contribute and compensated accordingly and the value of each individual receiving voice and dignity

The second is called Your company and talks about people, processes and management within companies.  It goes over leadership, hiring, people management, letting people go, managing change and crisis management.

The third section is called Your competition and goes through the strategic side of companies.  The author goes over his views on how you create strategic advantages, how to device meaningful budgets, how to grow, both organically and through M&A and he also throws in a talk about Six sigma, which he has a special interest in.

The fourth section is about Your career and talks about career management.  It goes through finding the right job, what it takes to get promoted, what to do if you are working for a bad boss and the big question of life/work balance.

Finally there is a section called Tying up loose ends where Jack goes over a few topics that he couldn’t fit into the other sections and he also answers a few personal questions.

You can say that this book is like a mini MBA, first laying the groundwork then something about management, next comes strategy and finally career management.  At least that sounds very familiar to me.

Obviously Jack Welsh is one of the heavyweights in this game with well over forty years of experience so his advice should be sound.  The book was very interesting to me and quite entertaining.  Jack has examples of everything he talks about and that makes the book very practical and at the same time a very easy read.  I mostly listened to it before going to sleep and I have to admit that I fell asleep a few times without turning off the iPod but in other chapters I was so interested that I listened for more than an hour.

I would recommend this book to anyone in business and especially to people working for big companies, where it has the most applicability.  As I said it is an easy read (or listen) and approachable to anyone interested in winning in business.