Book Review: Winning, by Jack Welch

Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, was inspired to write a book following his autobiography mainly due to the many questions he received at symposiums and meetings. As Welch stated, “Most of the questions came down to: What does it take to win?” Throughout “Winning,” Welch supports his philosophy using personal experiences as case studies or other examples. These case studies and examples show the observance of his winning philosophy or transgressions of his philosophy that result in an illustration of poor judgement calls. He will also discuss his personal mistakes as illustrations of transgressions to which he learned and made corrections. The book is divided into five parts.

Part 1 – Underneath it All – This part discusses the mindset and philosophy of what makes a successful persona and organization. It establishes the foundation of a winning organization and what makes a winning leader and manager.

Part 2 – Your Company – Discusses the actual foundation of an organization. This part discusses creating an organization with the appropriate group of qualified staff and then managing your team. A major resource in any organization is the human resource department and this part discusses why HR is so critical to your future success.

Part 3 — Your Competition – This part discusses business strategies. GE attributes the Six Sigma Quality Assurance model to its success. A key component of this philosophy is the design and implantation into a company’s operations Six Sigma.

Part 4 – Your Career – This part helps the reader know if they are in the right organization or even the right career path.  Again through the perspective of Welch, this part discusses the hard questions of promotion, pay, dealing with difficult people and difficult bosses.

Part 5 – Tying Up Loose Ends – Goes through some frequently asked questions which pertaining to the subjects in his previous book.

Discussion

            Welch does a great job organizing this book and directing it to the business professional who aspires to become upper management or run their business. New business leaders will gain significant insights while even the most seasoned professionals can use this book as reference.  Although Welch brings up valid points, they are only through his perspective from experience gained in working in one conglomerate organization. 

References: Welch, J. (2005) Winning. New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc.

Author: Edmund J. Martinez, MBA, MPH, PMP