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Jack: Straight from the Gut

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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 managing to maintain a unique leadership style. In what is the most anticipated book on business management for our time, Jack Welch surveys the landscape of his career running one of the world's largest and most successful corporations.

496 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2001

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About the author

Jack Welch

75 books440 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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 430 reviews
Profile Image for Farnoosh Brock.
Author 17 books218 followers
April 14, 2013
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 large corporations? It certainly wasn't entirely this way where I worked at a Fortune 100.

Nonetheless, Jack's intolerance for bureacracy was refreshing. GE's move to six-sigma and quality was aligned with what I hoped would result with good execution. However, with as much vision and tenacity and knack for change that Jack had, I am baffled and shocked that he did not have any women on his staff, any diversity whatsoever except for the white male, and that he did not even CONSIDER women for positions, it certainly never came up in the book and he made sure to name every single person that ever worked for him.

Where are the women Jack? Where is the diversity?

Where is the TRUE rewards and recognition for everyone who works hard, delivers results and top performance that moves the company to the next level - was GE not even looking at women or promoting women or was it such a foreign concept even in the 1980s and 1990s?

Even then, I would have had higher expectations of such a visionary man.
Profile Image for Abhishek Gour.
90 reviews7 followers
December 22, 2015
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 coolest job ever. Post reading this book I'm shit scared and convinced that I'd never wish it on an enemy.

Yes, that's not the reaction that one would expect from someone who read and UNDERSTOOD the book, right?? Well, look beyond all the glitter and fame and what you are left with is an incredibly gruelling and stressful job to describe which the world 'Thankless' would be an understatement. Yes, Jack would have made tons of dollars while being the CEO and would have met loads of influential people. But imagine being the chairman of a company as complex as GE, managing the vast array of businesses (from semiconductors to a media house to financial entities), fighting litigations with the govt, negotiating with companies on M&As, overseeing the culture of the organization, fighting scandals, firing employees, hiring new employees, managing disagreements with your partners, with the board, managing the shareholder expectations, managing the media (who is out to get you the moment you make the slightest of a mistake). I'm sure there are better ways to earn money.

However, for those who do want to experience the tough lifestyle, this man is an inspiration. He took a giant company that was riddled with bureaucracy, lacking any clear direction and thriving on fractured short term strategy. He took it, turned it into a monster at least 2 times bigger, while inculcating an incredible culture that would continue to foster growth and found out new avenues of growth that would keep the company alive for at least another 100 years. If not for Jack, this company would have died or become irrelevant long back. Imagine GE today without the capital business, without the services, imagine the US based entity as opposed to the global conglomerate that it is today.

It's interesting to compare the lives of the 2 great CEOs of our generation, Jack Welch and Steve Jobs.While Jack focused on setting up processes and systems and inculcating a culture that would enable him to manage this mammoth corporation, Steve worked with a simple idea, focusing on making the lives of the consumers simpler and built a company 3 times the size of GE. While Jack's philosophy might be necessary to run large manufacturing focused entities, I can't help but feel captivated by the simplicity of Steve's sharp focus on a single idea and maximizing its potential instead of trying to grow too many tentacles and eventually getting lost in them.
Profile Image for David McClendon, Sr.
Author 1 book14 followers
November 10, 2015
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 he had done to avoid them.

This isn't exactly a "How To" book on being a CEO or leading a company. However, it does provide the reader a little insight into what went on at GE and what the upper level managers were doing to make it happen.

Welch explains some of his strategy along the way. From the very controversial Differentiation Vitality Curve to things like Six Sigma, Jack calls it like he sees it. He explains why he took the actions he did. He also expresses regret for having not made some decisions sooner.

Whether one agrees with how Jack performed in his role of CEO or not, one has to agree that General Electric did grow under Jack’s command. One thing that interests me is Jack demanded that all of the company’s businesses be number one or number two in their market; he did not see the problem. Once a military leader pointed out the problem to him, he changed the policy but still seemed to think that the number one or two concept was a good idea for the time .

I checked this book out from the Wharton County Library. Everyone should take advantage of their free public library.

Book Review Policy
My policy on book reviews is to give you my honest opinion of the book. From time to time publishers will give me a copy of their book for free for the purpose of me reading the book and writing a review. The publishers understand when they give me the book that I am under no obligation to write a positive review.

If you will look at all my reviews, you will see that there have been occasions when I have written a negative review after having been given a book.

I often provide links to books on Amazon.com where you can purchase books and help support the continued operation of this blog. However, I strongly encourage you to check out your local library. Many libraries now offer electronic borrowing for free.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

I obtained this book through the Wharton County Library. whartonco.lib.tx.us

Welch, J., & Byrne, J. A. (2001). jack: Straight From The Gut. New York, NY, USA: Warner Business Books. Retrieved from www.twbookmark.com

January 8, 2021
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.
2 reviews
April 25, 2020
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 global giants of 1990s. Sure businesses and people have changed a lot from what it was 30 years back. But I found the book to be as much a learning experience as it was engrossing.

Being autobiography, the book portrays righteous view of self, relations and businesses of Welch. But in most cases, Welch explains his side which won’t sound like defense or justification. He was not that kind of person. What world perceived as Neutron Jack (firing 10% worse performers each year), he calls it an unapologetic way of managing people (you manage your stars well and give reality check to others who can improve elsewhere).
Book covers extensively on his early days in GE, how he managed to climb ladder and how he got the ‘big job’. This is inspiring part. Then there is a lot of discussion on change. He spearheaded change in the culture (making it less bureaucratic, boundaryless, learning driven, customer centric) and businesses (famous “Be first or second in any business – if not then fix, sell or close). You get great insights into some of largest acquisitions, growth of GE Capital, NBC story (broadcasters of Seinfeld, Friends, ER among others), Honeywell story (failed merger). He also lays down four initiatives – globalization, services, 6 sigma and e-commerce. E-commerce is interesting as it brings perspective of old guard during 1990s internet revolution. Resistance to change and then emracing and then flourishing. Finally, book ends with how Jack Immelt was selected as next CEO and a great chapter on “What this CEO business is all about.” I would say this is one chapter you would want to reread.
Jack was a great leader and a great personality. Learnings from book will stay with me forever and will aid in shaping my views on leadership and organizations. Fundamentals of his style which focus of managing people and resources are relevant in any time period especially in troubled and uncertain times like these. I take away that change is not something to be afraid of, but on contrary something which one should always strive-towards and actively-seek. Leading change needs thorough understanding of ‘now’ and relevant vision for ‘now-to-come.’
Don’t laugh at our misery from up there, Jack Welch!
Profile Image for Charlene.
3 reviews7 followers
August 1, 2012
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 very dense and takes quite a while to get the mind around it. I won't say its fluff, more so that because of a man of such experience, its difficult for him to distinguish what should be put in or out of the book.
Profile Image for Rahul Gupta.
5 reviews
January 26, 2019
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 technology or customer. The importance of decisive action, even more than planning. The importance of adopting good ideas without shame, and going full throttle in selling them. I may not agree with some of his methods, but certainly got me thinking on so many others. I am glad to have read this book.
August 30, 2012
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 reach organizations goals.

Profile Image for Barack Liu.
470 reviews16 followers
August 31, 2020

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 and the University of Illinois at Champaign. In 1960, he joined GENERAL Electric's Plastics Division as soon as he graduated from Ph.D.

In 1971, Welch became the General Manager of GE's Chemical and Metallurgical Division. In August 1979, he became vice-chairman of GM. In April 1981, Welch became the youngest chairman and chief executive in GE's history. Welch officially retired in September 2001.

Part of the directory.
1. Build self-confidence.
2. Stand out.
3. Take off the roof.
4. Fly under the radar.
5. Close to the big leagues.
6. The sea is wide with the fish leaping.
7. Facing the reality
8. Vision.
9. The "middle son" years.
10. RCA trading.

Undergraduate In the course of Business Management, the teacher suggested that we compare Li Ka-Shing and Jack Welch. They do have many similarities and differences. Both are good leaders and entrepreneurs who can talk about people who have influence in a region or even around the world; The former is like water, calm and calm, while the latter is more like fire, and his passion and talent can be seen from a far away.

In business management, Welch firmly believes in the "number one, two" principle, and the rule of the people. To sell all the businesses that the company can't do in the top three in the industry, and to combat the bureaucracy of the company, a company with tens of thousands of people will inevitably encounter this problem and attract talent by the measure of competence.

Entering the 1990s, Welch was given a variety of auras by public opinion, but in the early1980s, the whole GE was full of confusion, anxiety, and confusion. Over five years, about a quarter of its employees left GE, bringing the total to 118,000, and the company was nervous up and down, wondering what would happen to them tomorrow. Welch has also been labeled a "middle-of-the-post jack" and "America's toughest boss."

The reality is often to judge a person under the principle of success or defeat. Because we can only judge a person by his actual results, not by speculation about the future. If Welch does not have the support of former chairman 的 Reggie and the board, as usual, to step down, so that the reform of the. Or that his approach, while correct, did not apply to GE in that era, leading to the company's reform without the great success of the late years. What would people say about Welch?

Bai Guyi wrote in "Speaking Five", "Give a king a law to decide the fox suspect, do not drill turtles and wish ." Test jade to burn three days full, the identification of materials to wait for seven years. Zhou Gong fears gossip day, Wang Mangqian did not usurp the time. To make the original body will die, life-long authenticity who knows."

I think that if Welch is in Li Ka-Shing's position, he may not be able to achieve such great success, and if Li , Ka-Shing is in Welch's position, he may not be able to grasp the historical opportunity. There are too many able people in this world, but only with internal advantages, even half of the conditions required for success may not be achieved. External time, land, and people are also extremely important.

What's the difference between water and fire? Water is in the dark, fire is in the light, water is not necessarily inferior to fire, but hiding very well, it is difficult to find water is the invisible champion. It is those who have lost to the sailors, far more than those who have lost to the fire.

Business is more like a world-class restaurant, and when you peek through the doors of a restaurant's kitchen, the food looks far less good than being in fine china and putting on a table. Business is chaos and chaos. In our kitchen, I hope you will find something that will help you realize your dreams. There is no absolute truth or management secret here. But there was a philosophy in my journey. I follow some of the basic ideas that work for me, and integrity is the most important of them. I always believe most simply and directly. ."

I now truly understand the meaning of "failure is the mother of success". No one's dreams and dreams develop in a straight line. I am a living example. This is the story of a lucky man. He had no plans, was different, and although he bumped into each other, he was always moving forward. In one of the world's most famous businesses, he survived and thrived. It's even the story of a small American city. I never forgot my roots, even after I had seen a world I had never heard of before. ."

"If I have any leadership style that allows everyone to play to their strengths, I think it's all down to my mother." Patience and enterprising, enthusiasm, and generosity are characteristics of the mother. She is very good at analyzing people's personality traits. She always comments on everyone she meets. She said she could "smell the crooks a mile away." She is very warm and generous to her friends. If a relative or neighbor comes to the house and praises the glass in the cupboard for its good style, the mother doesn't hesitate to take it out and give it to him.

But on the other hand, if you offend her, you have to be more careful. She resents anyone who betrays her trust. I inherited my mother's character. Also, many of my management philosophy can be seen in my mother's prototype, such as the following principles: to succeed through competition, to face reality, to use the way to motivate others, to set demanding goals, and to strictly track the progress of the work to ensure the smooth completion of the task. The insight she has cultivated in me has never gone away. Mother always insists on facing reality.

One of her famous words is: "Don't deceive yourself." That's what it is. She always warns me, "If you don't study, you'll be nothing." Nothing. There is no shortcut to learning. Don't deceive yourself! These are the hard and firm advice that haunts my mind every day. My mother's words always correct me whenever I cheat myself that a transaction or a serious problem that is about to arise in business will miraculously turn around. ."

Everyone in life needs to continue to receive positive support and teachings from the outside world. The education we receive before the age of 20 is most important to the growth of our lives. Of course, not everyone is so lucky, some people have a happy family and a healthy family, some people grow up in a malicious family and a vile and vicious family. If we live in the environment of the former, we must either cherish it. On the other, we should not give up hope, but we should continue to re-educate ourselves after I leave my native family and start living independently.

Perhaps the greatest gift my mother gave me was self-confidence. That's what I'm trying to find and build on every executive I've worked with. Self-confidence gives you courage and can fully release your energy. It allows you to take more risks and achieve more brilliant success than you think. Helping others build self-confidence is an integral part of leadership. It comes from providing opportunities and challenges for people like that to do things they never thought they could do - reward them in every way they can after each success. ."

When my father came back, he was always carrying a bundle of newspapers left behind by the passengers on the train. So from the age of six, I've been learning about current affairs and sports news every day, thanks to the abandoned Boston Globe, The Herald, and The Record. Reading these newspapers every night became a lifelong hobby. To this day I am still addicted to news. ."

There is no standard answer to this question. This is the same for most business issues. This process helps you get closer to the dark side of things. There are a few answers that are not white or black. And in more cases, the requirements for smell, sensation, and touch in business are as important as numbers, sometimes even higher than numbers. If we have to wait for the perfect answer, we will miss the whole world. ."

By the time I left Illinois in 1960, I was sure what I liked, what I wanted to do, and, equally important, what I was not good at. Although my expertise is relevant, I am not the best scientist in any case. Compared with many of my classmates, my character is more outgoing, I belong to the kind of people who like people more than books, like sports more than like the development of science and technology. I think these abilities and interests will be very applicable to a job that involves both technology and business. ."

Some people are lucky enough to realize early in life what kind of life direction they should roughly choose. Some people are bumpier, perhaps not until the age of 20 or even 30 years old to know their way to go. And more people's lives are regrettable, they may always be in an indispensable state of life, they feel that they like the current state of life, but do not want to bear change and risk, in the established 在track of life as inertia to go on. No, don't live like this. To find, to continue to find their way.

"All I want to do is "stand out." If I only answered his question, it would be hard to get noticed. Whenever bosses ask questions, they already have their answers in mind. They just want to be confirmed again. To show that it's different, I think my answer should be broader than the questions asked. I want to give more than just answers, but unexpectedly fresh ideas. ."

I was impressed by Gatos’s recognition that he thought I was different and special. Since then, differential treatment has become an essential part of my management. The standard pay increase I received 40 years ago may have pushed my actions to the extreme. But treating differences is very extreme in itself, rewarding the best talent while eliminating those who are inefficient. Strictly enforcing differentiation can produce real stars - they can create great causes. ."

Feminism may satisfy most people. But as long as we read history carefully, we will find that the number of people who play a key role in great causes is often very small. Most people are only helping them with their careers. Perhaps they provided some information and advice to these minorities, but they ended up in a collective way, rather than as a distinct, determined individual.

"Everyone has to think they have a part in the game, but that doesn't mean everyone on the team should be treated equally. Back in My time at Pittsfield, I had a deep understanding of how to effectively configure the best athletes. Whoever can best configure athletes will succeed. This is no different for business, as Ruben Gatos has repeatedly stressed. Successful teams come from differential treatment, that is, retaining the best, eliminating the weakest, and always striving to raise standards. ."

When people make mistakes, the last thing they want is punishment. What is needed most at this time is encouragement and self-confidence building. The priority is to restore self-confidence. I think when a person encounters a difficult or setback, the human cloud is also the most undesirable behavior. ."

In times of crisis, human clouds can easily plunge people into what I call the "GE vortex." This can happen everywhere. You can see that once a leader loses confidence, starts to panic, and gradually plunges into a bottomless hole of self-doubt, a so-called "GE vortex" occurs. I've seen this happen to the general managers of strong, smart, and confident multi-billion dollar companies as well.

When things go well, they usually do well, but once they've made some bad plans or a loss-making deal - not for the first time - self-doubt begins to slowly erode them. So they started to have no idea about everything, and they agreed to every proposal so that they could get out of the meeting room early or put it off until later. ."

Our success depends on a group of crazy people who believe we can do anything. We're scared, and we're dreaming - try everything crazy to make plastic products successful. ."

I long for such a passion, a passion to devote myself to a cause that I consider great. I knew before I started that I was going to have all sorts of difficulties, but it was as much fun to try to overcome it as it was to win a game.

"One beautiful spring day, after work I went to the parking lot to drive my brand new convertible. The first time I pressed the lever to put the awning down. At this time, a hydraulic pipe suddenly broke, dirty black oil sprayed on my suit, but also destroyed my beautiful new car in front of the paint. I made a fool of me at once.

I've been floating around all this time, and now the smell is pulling me back to reality. It's a good lesson that when you think you're a big guy, something happens that wakes you up. For me, this will be the last time it happens. ."

Forget when you're happy when you're down, you're depressed. This is human nature. This means that most people will do so. If you want to be different, then you must be able to resist this temptation from the depths of your soul. Be cautious at peak and optimistic at low ebb.

"Between 1965 and 1968, we developed very fast, and I took the next leap. In early June 1968, nearly eight years after joining GE, I was promoted to general manager of the $26 million plastics business. This is a top priority for me because at 32 I became the youngest general manager of the company. ."

Profile Image for Roshan.
134 reviews
July 7, 2020
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 vision of taking a firm stand on guarding employee interest during their tenure at the reputed tech corporate. This particular aspect of Jack's relentless personality allowed him to back his brilliant knack of hiring and nurturing talent up with a commendable hold over business problems hurled at him beside an incredible penchant for decision-making which supported and ensured General Electric's smooth transition from a company with thousand employees to that of a multinational with vast manpower. Jack Welch's Straight from the Gut amplifies author's views on days of his initial struggle, first major breakthrough as a young engineer, crucial contributing role in several landmark projects at General Electric, march toward glory with career-defining professional success in a very short time, early challenges and obstacles he overcame to stake claim at several top managerial designations during a career spanning over 30 years at GE, changes effected at the corporate with globalization lubricated by growing demand for fast paced, improved, exceptional services and Six Sigma, the constant desire to strive for excellence and customer satisfaction without compromising on the essentials and needs of the workforce at General Electric, and several other vast aspects of business leadership and management. If Winning was a business book which threw light on the personal and professional space of Jack Welch the business magnate; Straight from the Gut unveils a thoughtful, thought-provoking deep insight on what it took off Jack Welch the corporate tycoon to guide minimal resources at his disposal and help GE reach towering height during his stint as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the corporate. The author has exhibited keen tendency to put facts across to readers using a systematic paradigm. His efforts are laudable, for the approach adopted by him in penning the GE phenomenon yields desirable results from the perspective of reader gratification. A book enthusiast's charm. Further, the emphasis laid on analysis of corporate's annual earning and progress make it an interesting read as the author devotedly quotes profit margins and revenue earned by exploiting productive statistical outlook which render readers spellbound with its brilliant degree of prolonged sustained success. General Electric could be faintly described as a sub-brainchild of Jack Welch, for the corporate conquered new heights and assumed the stature of giant multinational during his 20 years at helm as Chairman of one of the leading companies of the world. Besides bringing to fore Jack Welch's illustrious prowess and proficiency as a business leader, the book throws light on various other aspects of his life vis-à-vis prioritized socializing, the liking he developed for sports such as hockey and baseball as a school graduate, and affection for partying with colleagues following every success accomplished at GE. The standout businessman in Jack Welch can be likened to an entrepreneur despite the known fact that he was not part of GE during its founding years. Jack Welch's rapid ascent up the corporate ladder is a testimony to the fact that he was an entrepreneurial material. The business icon's shrewdness, mind-boggling affinity toward embracing risk, promptness in devising propitious solutions to business problem, an eye for identifying right talent for the right job, willingness to hear out concerns of his employees and colleagues to arrive at desired compromises or solutions, support for innovation, and considerable level of persistence at work second the preceding opinion.

The obvious aspect of GE's long sustained growth and position at the top evident from the read is easily grasped from Jack Welch's progressive attitude and persevering focus on continual improvement of business and work ambiance at the multinational. The author's views on game changing elements of business world such as globalization, ever increasing demand for improved services, willingness to capitulate to implementation of Six Sigma and E-Business speak volumes about the in-depth mastery he enjoyed over business ideologies religiously followed at GE. The biography of General Electric co-authored by John A.Byrne includes brief autobiography of Jack Welch and is titled Early Years. In this segment Jack enlightens readers about his school life, influential aura of his mother which shaped his personality, and his unconditional love of sport. The author is quick to add that the upbringing by his mother played a key role in professional success he relished at GE. The book ought to be a fundamental guide for techpreneurs willing to pursue the path of self-improvement and impose improvisation on the same. The former CEO of GE does strike a chord with readers furnishing a lively account on corporate life and his many experiences initially as a young engineer and then in due course as CEO of General Electric. In addition to Jack's professional conduit at GE, the compilation highlights the corporate giant's march toward attaining colossal stature following successful endeavors in business of electronic components and through collaboration with various media entities which helped GE's cause to open the doors for globalization. With rapid growth witnessed in industry, Jack employed various management strategies to finalize deals and tackle production problems. The author of Winning and Straight from the Gut is the pioneer of a management concept called team leadership, for he introduced several business reforms in paradigms that focused on providing quick business resolution with improved workforce productivity and efficiency. The concluding segment in the book unravels the influence, the advent of world wide web and internet had on businesses within the GE corporation. Certain matter covered in the book exclusively conduct a thorough check on fun games employed in appointing members of the board of directors and anointing their successor, the unique culture put into practice by Jack Welch's predecessor and boss, Reg Jones. Jack Welch's association with General Electric produced phenomenal results for the company. The end of the book is marked by an interesting epilogue summarizing GE's journey under effective leadership of the author, beside explicating what he supposed the future held for General Electric and the options which beckon General Electric to function effectively. Jack Welch also dedicates substantial writing space to the love he developed for game of golf as part of routine while at GE; the Ex-CEO's way of strengthening bond with an ever prevalent facet of his life - Sport. From the reader's perspective, the book is a good medium to embark on a corporate journey alongside Jack Welch which commences as a tryst with GE and terminates with Jeff Immelt at helm of the state of affairs at GE. The book facilitates and stimulates mind travel with time travel.

Straight from the Gut authored by Jack Welch and John A.Byrne offers new reading experience for a 'New Guy'. The book in its most genuine congeniality keep readers engrossed and attentive with a striking interlaced method of writing and articulating facts. The business biography and the author's autobiography steals me of 4 points to leave me stranded with 1. Neutron Jack's written work is a very well gathered collection of corporate tales which establishes staggering input on General Electric's days of tremendous progress under definitive leadership and top level management. For geeks seeking data on challenges encountered by multinationals due to constant disruption, the business book is an apt bible which meets their need with sufficing quantity of substance on technology, business management, sales and marketing, leadership, and last but not the least the collective wisdom of many experiences of a prodigious Herculean taskmaster and colossal business figure, Mr.Jack Welch. A brilliant read which also qualifies as a good read. The 'New Guys' out there, have fun reading Straight from the Gut. Cheers!
Profile Image for Fedjablpula.
154 reviews6 followers
November 10, 2021
Zaposlivši se 1960. u General Electricu kao mladi inženjer s godišnjom plaćom od 10.500 dolara, Jack je potrebu da se “izdvoji iz gomile” spoznao onog trenutka kada mu je uručena povišica koja se nije razlikovala od povišice koju su istoga dana dobili i svi njegovi kolege. Podalje od korporativne birokracije ostao je i dok je, odjeven u traperice i pulover, iz ureda smještenog u hotelu Hilton u Pittsfieldu, rukovodio General Electricovim poslovnim divizijama čija je vrijednost dosizala 2 milijarde dolara.

Služeći se anegdotalnim pristupom i nerijetko šalama na vlastiti račun, u ovoj nas knjizi Jack upoznaje s velikom ulogom svoje majke Irkinje, s mnogim ljudima koji su oblikovali njegov život te s uspjesima i promašajima koji su obilježili njegovu karijeru. Vodi nas kroz razdoblje borbe za mjesto generalnog direktora GE-a, kroz godine tzv. Neutronskog Jacka, kada je u sklopu inicijative “Popravi, prodaj ili zatvori” otpustio više od 100.000 ljudi, kroz brojne poslovne krize, kroz proces izbora svojeg nasljednika te brojne druge poslovne i osobne uspjehe i padove.

Iz sadržaja:

Rane godine (izdvajanje iz gomile, približavanje društvu velikih) / Stvaranje vlastite filozofije (vizija, kupnja RCA-a, duboko uranjanje) / Usponi i padovi (prepun sebe, GE Capital, TV NBC i žarulje, kada se upustiti u borbu a kada uzmaknuti) / Promjena pravila igre (globalizacija, širenje uslužnih djelatnosti, inicijativa šest sigma i još bolje, elektroničko poslovanje) / Gledajući unatrag i unaprijed (što zapravo znači biti generalni direktor i u čemu je draž tog posla)
20 reviews
May 9, 2020
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 achieve those aims in practice. And the fact that GE has struggled mightily since Welch stepped down is a serious demerit against the scalability of his philosophy...especially considering the CEO succession process was reserved for the final chapter the book and had begun 7 years before Welch handed over the reigns. You can get most of the wisdom from this book just by reading the chapter, "What This CEO Thing is All About," which takes up 20 of the 480 pages. Also, this is nitpicky and might have just been the copy I read, but Welch's photocopied handwritten notes are impossible to read. I understand a desire to prove that he wasn't fabricating material just for the book, but seriously would it have been so hard to re-write those things in legible script?
Profile Image for Martti.
597 reviews
February 5, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Richard Rhodes.
32 reviews
November 12, 2020
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 interesting, even though Mr. Welch acknowledges many times over that it is/was the little man in the company that did the bulk of the work and ultimately made the company what it is that he was still perfectly comfortable with the CEO making 100x + what the average worker is making. Indeed, while one can see that a CEO deserves large compensation for the amount of time and energy that goes into it there comes a point where it is extravagant.

This book has a lot of information that can be gleaned about business from a broad context. Especially in terms of globalization and its effects on a large organization. The need to continue to grow and move into markets with significant growth opportunities.
Profile Image for Rajesh Jagtap.
31 reviews
November 21, 2021
A very aggressive book that makes sense. I was driven to this book when Simon Sinek portrayed Jack Welch as some what of an Antagonist in his own book Leaders Eat Last.
But after reading this book it makes sense of what Jack Welch did and I suppose both are different sides of the same coin.
Coming to the book as I said, an aggressive one and to the point. The derivation of metrics, the why and the how all has been laid down as concrete as generations to come and learn from it.
If every organisation had the same path as Jack Welch did the world would have been a different place right now.
Of course not all you read is sufficient. There could be things that haven’t been written or showed which are ill effects of Welch’s way.
But the book gives you tremendous pointers on how a team should be managed, how it should perform, how to safeguard ones interest along with ensuring company’s interest are guarded as well. What exactly defines growth, the strategies leaders take and why.
A must must read for every management professional or anyone who manages anything at all.
Profile Image for Alexander Ledovskiy.
22 reviews1 follower
September 11, 2011
Это прекрасная книга для руководителей. Настоящих и будущих.
Неважно, будет это собственный бизнес, огромная компания, отдел из нескольких человек, домашнее хозяйство или даже собственное тело.

Джек Уэлч - один из самых известных менеджеров 20 века. Он знаменит своей твердостью и жесткостью, однако при этом огромной креативностью, увлеченностью и, конечно, успешностью. За 20 лет работы на высшей руководящей должности компании General Electric он увеличил размеры компании в 10 раз.

Мне дал прочитать эту книгу начальник, чтобы дать мне возможность личного роста. Для меня важнее всего была психология поступков Джека. А также способность проникать в суть, без которой невозможно управиться с такой огромной компанией.

P.S. Возможно многих, как и меня, безумно раздражают книги про стартап, про то как сделать б��знес и срубать кучу бабла и прочий мусор для фантазеров из которых стоит читать 1 из 20. Эта книга не из этой серии.

Profile Image for Timeo Williams.
249 reviews6 followers
May 28, 2020
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 idea, but to each their own.

Profit sharing and rewarding employees with stock options is certainly a good thing. Southwest employed a somewhat similar strategy.

It's important to recognize where GE's business were focused on: industrials, finance, healthcare and aviation and a dabble in entertainment.

The way these companies were ran was much akin to typical industrial-revolution based methodologies, not so much for very creative industries and fields.
Profile Image for Satya Jugran.
4 reviews
January 29, 2021
There are many good things about this book and I'll try to put them in pointers:

1. The aura of Jack made him the leader of everyone. He was like super engaging in every business area GE had.
2. He believed that bureaucracy is of no use in an organization. Rather, he use to give more power the best people in business.
3. Jack was unstoppable. The hunger of growing business was never stopped and that made GE to expand globally in such a vast scale.
4. Jack endorsed and made Six sigma, technology and internet to sit at the core of GE. He kept Integrity at the top in GE's culture.
5. During his entire tenure as CEO and despite of facing some of the world's toughest situation like fighting cases with people in power and government, his attitude made him to quit no where.
6. His believed that most of his critical decisions were came out straight from the gut and that made him always get whatever he wanted for the business to rise.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kinza.
133 reviews3 followers
February 23, 2022
A boring and sordid tale about white men high-fiving each other for decades. We get it, Jack, you love golf and you worked with lots of famous people. No need to name drop every one you’ve ever known. I can see that his original rise to success was partially due to the then leaders seeing him as their son. “Way to go son!! I’m proud of you”…for the most basic ish.

It could have been interesting if he wrote more about rolling out talent management, implementing cocktail napkin strategies, and actually EXECUTING as opposed to all the buddies he called up from previous golf outings and the like to become leaders.

The book ended abruptly with him handing off to Jeff Immelt. Other abrupt mentions include the one paragraph on his divorce and the other paragraph on meeting his second wife.

Profile Image for Vishnu Ajit.
76 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2021
Good read. Similiar to reading Iacocca. Though halfway through the book found it difficult to keep proceeding, but pursued it and got it complete.

Does provide some really good ideas too.
For example, when judging a person to be hired use this - Energy, Energize, Edge and Execution.

How energetic is the person
How good is he at energizing the people around him
How good is his edge or decision making skills. Especially in tense situations.
How good is his execution skills.

Overall, its a solid book that can be used as a textbook reference to turn to whenever you need ideas or operating methods because Jack Welch does indeed talk about numerous problems and how he and his people solved them.

150 reviews1 follower
May 18, 2021
We are usually the heroes of our own stories, and Jack Welch is no different. This is a story of the rise of a man at the helm of a massive corporation, peppered with some useful perspectives on strategy and decision-making. In between the lines you can pick up hints of the tradeoffs sometimes necessary to be a captain of corporate America - 2nd wife, jetset lifestyle, intensity and passion about optimizing profit margin that keeps you up to the wee hours cutting deals, surviving quadruple bypass surgery.... he loves GE and it was obviously his life. "Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Profile Image for Greg Kopstein.
400 reviews1 follower
March 26, 2022
It’s been a while since I’ve read a business memoir, a genre I love to read because of its insights. These books are usually written by a CEO or business leader after their career, giving the reader 30,40,50 or more years of life experience. This book was about Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of GE. It’s a fascinating account of a this man and his managerial style and life lessons.

But it was written 19 years ago. And while his insights, expertise, and business acumen are noted and respected, GE has gone through a lot since he left. So my next book will be about GE’s rise and fall, a book published in the last year or so.
Profile Image for David.
193 reviews7 followers
November 22, 2008
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, etc.
Profile Image for Mark Dunn.
165 reviews3 followers
September 4, 2012
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

Well worth the read for anyone aspiring to management of large organizations.
Profile Image for Tadas Talaikis.
Author 7 books66 followers
April 5, 2020
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 equalization." T. Palley

We can do better than this sh*t.
Profile Image for Derek (FoCoBuzz).
188 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2021
Last night I finished this classic business autobiography that has been on my bookshelf for literally decades. This book was gifted to me years ago and I just never got around to cracking it open but it became one of my pandemic reads. Though GE is on its third CEO post-Jack and he sadly passed last year, Jack Welch offers relevant and timeless insights. I was struck at some of the parallels between Welch's lessons and those in "Good to Great" and "Built to Last." These include the importance of getting the best people in your organization and facing reality in your business.
Profile Image for TΞΞL❍CK Mith!lesh .
298 reviews152 followers
May 20, 2021
Straight from the Gut is an autobiography by Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE). He’s largely credited for increasing GE’s value by 4000% during his tenure.

In the book, Welch provides insights into some of the strategies he implemented at GE during his tenure, like the Six Sigma quality program and the vitality curve performance management practice. Straight from the Gut offers a candid glimpse into the leadership and management style of arguably one of the greatest business leaders of the 20th century.
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