Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch with John A. Byrne
Follow the career of General Electric CEO Jack Welch from his beginnings as a stuttering, competitive kid from working-class Salem, Mass., to his early days as a GE engineer, to his ascension to CEO and a 20-year reign at the top. In his own words, Welch stresses the importance of people, originality, creativity, and common sense while sharing his thoughts on what it takes to be a great leader.
- It’s best to be small, no matter how big you are. By slashing unneeded bureaucracy and insisting that GE’s businesses be in the top two positions in their respective fields, Welch instilled an entrepreneurial spirit and a quick-thinking, quick-moving approach to competition and constant improvement. It was a small-company approach to running an enormous, multi-billion-dollar organization, and it worked marvelously.
- It’s all about people. Jack Welch’s passion was making people GE’s core competency, and he saw to it that the company found and developed great people.
- Companies must be boundary less to unlock their potential. Insular thinking results in stale ideas and, consequently, stale organizations. By breaking down the walls and borders that separated various departmental and functional areas at GE, Welch was able to unlock the full creativity of his people, propelling the company forward with fresh, creative approaches to problems.
- Quality is nothing without efficiency. GE’s Six Sigma initiatives replaced sloganeering quality strategies with ones that brought about measurable results in increased efficiency, reduced defects and satisfied customers.