Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jack: Straight from the Gut” as Want to Read:
Jack: Straight from the Gut
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jack: Straight from the Gut

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  14,553 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Nearly 20 years ago, former General Electric CEO Reg Jones walked into Jack Welch's office and wrapped him in a bear hug. "Congratulations, Mr. Chairman", said Reg. It was a defining moment for American business. So begins the story of a self-made man and a self-described rebel who thrived in one of the most volatile and economically robust eras in U.S. history, while mana ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 28th 2005 by Warner Books (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,553 ratings  ·  403 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Jack: Straight from the Gut
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a long dry and somewhat boring book, but if you can get past that, you get a great fabulous story on leadership, integrity, meritrocracy, and corporate america, at least when Welch was running his place over at GE.

The stories were very interesting. I am giving it a 3-star. The names of everyone was hard to keep up with. I enjoyed so much to hear that rewards and recognition and advancement in GE are results-oriented. I don't know if this is true for a fact. Is this still possible in larg
Abhishek Gour
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
If you have ever been a part of a multinational corporation or aspire to be one, this has to be one of the most intriguing and inspiring books ever written(On the other hand if you are not interested in businesses or corporations, move on, you won't decipher half of the stuff and hence won't appreciate the words of the great man). Before reading this book (and specially post reading Steve Jobs biography and watching 'The Facebook') I used to think that being the CEO of a company must be the cool ...more
David McClendon, Sr
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book Review: Jack Straight from the Gut

Jack Welch led General Electric for over 20 years. He was arguably one of the best CEOs in the country at that time. After literally blowing the roof off one of the factories, he went on to lead the company through some very profitable years (pp. 27-36).

This book might be seen as self-promoting and maybe it is. Then again, aren't all autobiographies a little self-promoting? Jack takes the opportunity to tell us where he made mistakes and what he wishes now
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
An excellent and candid insight into the billion dollar company and the CEO who played a huge part in it. For those who are looking for management insight to his secrets they may be disappointed because its really just a general overview.

His methods confirm my prejudices about his management style, for example, he uses an A B C D type of ranking. I highly doubt i would love to work under him, but it it is enlightening to see how he justifies his style as good and human.

However, the book was ve
Frederik Knudsen
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute favorite books of all time. Incredibly interesting to hear about all the major professional achievements and challenges that Welch faced in his 40 years with GE in great detail touching on topics such as employee training, leadership, culture, strategy, M&A, and macrotrends. The book offers a lot of key takeaways and I can definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in business and management.
Pavitra Sampath Kumar
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book will be quite inspiring for all those who are very passionate and very ambitious about their career and are too eager to bring in a change in the organization for good.

This book will take you through the tough times faced by WELCH @ GE and how boldly he managed to overcome these and brought a drastic change to the organization after he was promoted to higher position.

Though WELCH was known for being very brutal and harsh to employees, he has been praised for taking vital decisions to r
Goyam Jain
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
With dearth of activities to-do, Covid presented an opportunity to knock at covers of rusty old half-read books. Part of things ‘you always wanted to do but never had time for.’ On lighter note, I believe it is euphemism for overrated things (reading complete book, cooking meals anyone?) you would never do if life is in full swing. So, I took out this autobiography by greatest manager of last century. Jack Welch – the guy who led GE from crisis no one knew they were in and converted it into glob ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not an uninteresting book, but way too long. In my mind, taking up a reader's time by saying more than needs to be said will cost you at least 1 star. Almost every chapter can be characterized by the formula:
[magical vision + Jack Welch hammers that vision into the ground + acquire some large competitor = screaming success]
Yes, there were some good tidbits about how to dismantle bureaucracy and unlock creativity and potential. But I think Creativity Inc does a better job explaining how to achiev
Rahul Gupta
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many of the world's most renowned business leaders are founder-visionaries, when you think of Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs etc. Having grown up hearing stories of such entrepreneurs, what struck me the most about Jack Welch, is that he is not one of them. He is instead, known for his business leadership, and his management style. Jack, is straight forward, and so he is in the book too. What stands out for me is the emphasis that is laid on people and culture in his book, and less on technolog ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For CEO's who like to endlessly blabber about their "big decisions" and need to move billions. This book is for people who think "office politics" and "meetings" are invigorating. Also this book is for people who hate the government and think that big business is going to save the world. ...more
Barack Liu
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it

091-Straight from the Gut-Jack Welch-Biography-2001

"If you don't know what failure is, you never know how to succeed. If you don't know, you'd better not come to the game. ."

Jack: Straight from the Gut, first published in the United States in 2001. Autobiographical books. This book introduces Jack Welch's life experience and heart course for most of his life.

Jack Welch, born in Salem, Massachusetts, in November 1935, died in March 2020. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Ames a
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Very intersting book, for the Tiger Wood of management, Mr. Jack Welch.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
As CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001, Welch gutted the company and almost started over - focusing on key business lines, divesting less profitable or beneficial ones, exploring new areas, driving improvements and innovation. This is his own memoir of how he led the company through a period of dramatic growth and redefinition. In a mixture of personal memoir and leadership training manual, it contains good insights into his business sense, focus on quality, ability to lead and inspire, et ...more
Mark Dunn
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great autobiography of Jack's rise through GE, very open and frank, as well as insightful about what it's taken for him to succeed.

Biggest learnings are around:
- people. That's key. Honest dialog about performance and unrelenting search for the best
- ambition. Always looking for the next opportunity and always selling himself as the best person for each new role
- deep dives. Not always, but often, drilling down deep into key areas and doing whatever it takes to understand them and add value

Tadas Talaikis
Nov 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business, b-s
Downrated from 5* to 1* due to economic logic which was based on that "factories should float between countries to take advantage of lowest costs, be they due to under-valued exchange rates, low taxes, subsidies, or a surfeit of cheap labor.

Globalization has made Welch’s barge a reality. However, in doing so it has made capital mobility rather than country comparative advantage the engine of trade. And with that change, “free trade” increasingly trades jobs and promotes downward wage equalizatio
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
It had some good nuggets about corporate america...and how he ran GE. It's an autobiography, but 98% about his work at GE, so sometimes it got sloooow. And over my head when they talk about stock options and deals. And Six Sigma. A glossary in the back would have been helpful. ...more
Feb 12, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
you can see yourself growing in the pages.....
Erdenesuvd Bat-Erdene
Quotes to remember from the book:
-Business is messy and chaotic. In our kitchen, I hope you’ll find something that might be helpful to you in reading you own dreams.
-Basics: integrity, mistakes=success, no straight line to anyone’s vision or dreams
-Building self confidence: If you don’t know how to lose, you’ll never know how to win. If you don’t know this, you shouldn’t be playing.
-I have always felt that chemical engineering was the best background for a business career, because both the class
Aparajith Raghuraman
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got this book as a gift immediately after I got an offer to join General Electric (GE) from one of my friends. Jack Welch was famous for being the Chairman and CEO of GE for 20 years presiding over the conglomerate's dramatic rise to being the most valued company in America in 2000. Naturally, I was intrigued to hear the story from the horse's mouth and this book sums up the leadership style of Jack Welch and his insider view of how the company progressed.

1) The best part of this book is
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: critiqued, favorites
Jack Welch in the book titled Jack: Straight from the Gut has put forth core business ideologies, values, and principles which triggered phenomenal exponential growth, enormous profit-driven margins, and ensured the celebrated success for employees at General Electric (GE). The author's dynamic leadership and innovative skills earned him the stature of a top-notch management mainstay at GE and his astute hiring skill facilitated inflow of talented, skilled human resource which bore an impeccable ...more
Kuang Ting
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my first master program's courses for international business, my professor started by quoting Mr. Jack Welch. I didn't pay close attention to these CEOs before, because there were just so many to remember. However, I started to change my ideas during my courses. Gradually, I realize there must be something I could learn from them. I am just still a young bloke who doesn't know the true meaning of leadership, management, corporate strategy, etc. These fancy business terms do not resonate with ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jack Welch : Straight from the Gut

Coming from a moderate background, brought up by a dutiful father and a strong mother, Jack Welch grows up as a Mamma boy. How he grows up and puts the loss of parents behind him forms the first part. Nothing special till now.

Then he finds entry in 100+ years old Corp in US and how he transforms himself from a salary negotiator into an exciting leader who literally blows off the roof, thankfully not resulting in any fatal losses, and faces an enquiry. And the re
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Welch is a smart driven dynamic guy. He worked for GE for probably 35 years. He was the CEO from 1980 to 2001 implementing and overseeing major changes and record profits. This book is basically his memoir.

GE was started by Thomas Edison to sell his lightbulbs. By the time Welch retired, GE was making turbines, airplane engines, major appliances, providing financial services, providing major equipment repair services, medical equipment manufacturing, chemical production, owned RCA and NBC, and m
Steven Kaminski
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I try to learn from business leaders when they do write books. And in the big picture one of the greatest has to be Jack Welch who ran General Electric for almost 20 years as the CEO...that's unheard of. He wrote this book right as he was retiring from General Electric and he is very open about where he screwed up, what has worked and the struggles he has had with the company.
But his real passion has always been teaching and you can learn a lot from this book. Welch in essence created the found
Richard Rhodes
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a well written and engaging book that covered the career of one of America's most studied CEO's. Mr. Welch has been the topic of many business editorials, reports, and MBA programs. His management style and GE's adaptation of Six Sigma really propelled Six Sigma into notoriety. It is very telling to see the amount of time, energy, and life that being the CEO of a company as large as GE consumes. It is no small wonder that marriages do not work out.

I did find the compensation piece inte
Hunter Daniels
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Main Takeaways
1. Passion is the most important quality to have as a leader. You obviously need so many other things but passion can make up for weaknesses.
2. If you spend your life always focused on work then you will lose your family.
3. Integrity is a necessity.
4. The role of a CEO is to set the cultural direction and drill your message into everyone's head. Everyone needs to be on the same page, even in a 300,000 people company.
5. Once you are no 1 or no 2 in your industry, change the paramete
Timeo Williams
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, biographies
Jack Welch's approach to business embodies much of the thinking of corporate America in the late 20th century.

Much of it has valid principles to it. The ideas of finding actualizable goals to accomplish and test rather than attempt it under theoretical premises is a solid recommendation to businesses.

Keeping integrity as a value is super important.

Finding and retaining the best people certainly helps.

The idea of cutting the lowest 10% of the work force, "rank and yank", may not be the best ide
Satya Jugran
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hien Lu
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book indicates true adventure of maverick Jack Welch, from being unknown to one of the most notorious business man in America. It describes doubts initially in his decision and methodologies to cope with. Although all his solutions does not always gain support from public media, aggregated corporate value matters as the advancement in productivity and efficiency strives unprecedented. Additionally, the process of anti-bureaucracy is viable throughout the book as he explicitly opposed such ex ...more
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Welch found great people, in many ways, and he felt everyone you meet is an interview. He characterized the traits that made him successful and that he sought in others as "The Four E's": 1. Energy of personality, 2. the Enthusiasm to communicate that energy to others, 3. the Edge to make tough decisions, and 4. the Execution to see those decisions implemented. The Four E's were connected by the "Big P: Passion".

Welch's integrity to this vision of employee excellence is seen repeatedly in the b
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Зүгээр л суралц... 1 2 Jan 24, 2017 09:29AM  
Jack Welch performed a MIRACLE turn around at GE. 1 31 Aug 15, 2007 06:48PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Iacocca: An Autobiography
  • Sam Walton: Made In America
  • Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround
  • Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
  • Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony
  • The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life
  • Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy
  • Only the Paranoid Survive. Lessons from the CEO of INTEL Corporation
  • American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company
  • The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
  • Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary
  • Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
  • Where Are the Customers' Yachts?: Or a Good Hard Look at Wall Street
  • In Search Of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies
  • Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
See similar books…
See top shelves…
John Francis "Jack" Welch Jr. was an American business executive, author and chemical engineer. He was chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001 presiding over a massive increase in the company's stock valuation.

He was coauthor with his wife Suzy Welch of a widely read weekly business column, The Welch Way, and launched the "Jack Welch Management Institute," an online MBA program.

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
128 likes · 46 comments
“Control your own Destiny or somebody else will” 12 likes
“There are no finite answers to many questions. What really counted was your thought process.” 4 likes
More quotes…