Winning: The Answers - Confronting 74 of the Toughest Questions in Business Today
By Jack and Suzy Welch
In Winning, their 2005 international bestseller, Jack and Suzy Welch created a rare document, both a philosophical treatise on fundamental business practices and a gritty how-to manual, all of it delivered with Jack's trademark candor and can-do optimism. It seemed as if "no other management book," in the words of legendary investor Warren E. Buffett, would "ever be needed."
Instead, Winning uncovered an insatiable thirst to talk about work. Since the book's publication, the Welches have received literally thousands of questions from college students and seasoned professionals alike, on subjects ranging from leadership and global competition to tough bosses and building teamwork. Indeed, questions about virtually every business and career challenge have poured in-some familiar, others surprising, many urgent and probing, and all of them powerfully real.
Winning: The Answers takes on the most relevant of these questions, and in doing so, its candid, hard-hitting responses expand and extend the conversation Jack and Suzy Welch began with Winning. It is a dialogue that is sure to be both compelling and immensely useful to anyone and everyone engaged in the vital work of helping an organization grow and thrive.
Here are some of tips from the book:
Careers are best pursued "iteratively", gradually increasing focus on progressively more rewarding jobs. Thomas Schweich has said the same thing. Many very successful executives have avoided micromanaging their life plans, since people's abilities, personal gifts, and interests often change and grow over time.
Life is not business school. In school, you deliver what is asked. In life, new benchmarks such as over delivering, taking initiative, and ability to work as part of a team often trump the individualistic skills learned for success in an academic setting.
Take risks while you're young. If building a startup is of interest, there is no better time to do it than before you have the house, the family, and the other burdens of life. Well worth delaying that "big company" job.
Don't worry about the "bad boss". If you're right, the bad boss will eventually disappear. If you're wrong, you will. So be a team player.
Business as a force for good. Business has raised millions out of poverty, allowed them to educate their children, build wealth and dream big dreams. No other engine on earth has done as much. Short-term ethical failures (Enron, etc) notwithstanding, business has done far more good than harm for people. Businesses, not government, create jobs. Businesses, not governments reduce inflation by building better, cheaper products. And, in business, the consumer is king. If the value is not there, the consumer will not buy.
About the Authors
Jack Welch began his career with the General Electric Company in 1960, and in 1981 became the company's eighth Chairman and CEO. During his tenure, GE's market capitalization increased by $400 billion, making it the world's most valuable corporation. Upon retiring from GE in 2001, Mr. Welch published his internationally best-selling autobiography Jack: Straight from the Gut. He now teaches at MIT's Sloan School of Management and speaks to business leaders and students around the world.
Suzy Welch is the former editor of the Harvard Business Review. She attended Harvard University and Harvard Business School, and is the author of numerous articles about leadership and organizational behavior, and a contributor to several books about management. She is a columnist for Fast Company magazine.
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