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 ·  13,769 ratings  ·  379 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
 ·  13,769 ratings  ·  379 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
...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
...more
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
Charlene
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
...more
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
...more
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
Graham Turk
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
...more
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
Martti
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.
Ayham
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Very intersting book, for the Tiger Wood of management, Mr. Jack Welch.
David
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

We
...more
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
...more
Abby
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.
Ghalib
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
...more
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.

Pros:
1) The best part of this book is
...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
Jeganlal
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
...more
ROBERT
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
Larisha
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
...more
Todd Benschneider
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I am beginning to suspect that the whole Jack Welch series was marketing to sell a preplanned Jack Welch consulting and speaking enterprise, there is no end to this man's ego. There should be a two book limit per egomaniac author. Very little of the content of this particular book can be translated into managing for additional profit in modern society. So read it if you happen to be a Jack Welch groupie; otherwise I think this management philosphy is no longer relevant for most industries and in ...more
Wilson Huang
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this book for hosting presentation for Management course of my MBA.
It's so sad that the real life of business world is a wasteland of such passion, grit and morality.
Mr. Jack has been a beacon for leadership. How it's like to take people forward to the light. How it's like to really make tough decisions and sit the consequences. Yes he may start by many rules and data to push and stress people but the aim is not just profitability in short term, the purpose of leadership is to respect the
...more
Bmv.Pereira
May 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Even though there are a lot of useful insights, I felt the book was way too long. There is a lot of dwelling in business details, such as acquisitions and implemented strategies (e.g. Six Sigma and e-business). Thousands of names, dates and numbers for revenues, growth, etc are thrown in up to the point that I got lost. I did enjoy the chapters of the first sections where he explains where he came from and the way leading to becoming CEO. The final three chapters, a reflection of the years as ch ...more
Shyam
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Buy, sell or merge is what I have learned through this book. Its all about what kind of deals GE made during Jack's 20 years stint at GE. You will get to know about the culture and values of GE. What kind of people they need or hire.
The most interesting chapter was the one with failed Honeywell acquisition.
He also sheds light on on the fact that as a CEO there are some decisions you have to take that are not acceptable to others but are really crucial for the company's future.
David Skinner
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Well-written, autobiographical, and engaging, "Jack" perspective on how Welch made tough decisions for the good of the organization to the fairest of his abilities. The book felt like Jack's parting words to the world whereas many other "biographies" are trying to clean up a company's reputation from a bad lawsuit (The Home Depot - Built from Scratch) or the wandering ramblings of a bored billionaire (Paul Allen - Idea Man).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 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
  • Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
  • Sam Walton: Made In America
  • Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround
  • Only the Paranoid Survive. Lessons from the CEO of INTEL Corporation
  • Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
  • Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
  • The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
  • Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
  • In Search Of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
  • Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
  • Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition
  • Steve Jobs
  • American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company
See similar books…
378 followers
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.
...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
30 likes · 21 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…