During December I read Winning by Jack Welch. Having read Jack: Straight from the Gut previously and enjoying Jack's writing style, I figured this would be a good read whilst travelling.

His first book was more of a memoir where as Winning is more of a 'how to' guide organised as follows:

As Michael Erisman writes on his review of this book on, "The book itself is written in a conversational tone. It is easy to read, and feels as though you are in a dialog with him over a cup of coffee."

I had started out concerned that I was going to come away with stories that were really only applicable to monster-size organisations such as GE, but what really impressed me with Winning was how Jack applies universal principles that are suitable for large and small organisations alike.

A large part of this comes from Jack's distillation of topics that business schools and corporations have needlessly turned into marathon events when really all that is required is having a solid understanding of the key factors at play in both your business and the market at large, and creating a flexible operating plan to deal with them.

One of things I've discovered reading books like this is you can never have too many ideas about how to improve what you do to succeed at your own career, or how to get things done. Whether you take any of the new ideas onboard, dismiss them or simply have an existing behaviour reinforced, doesn't matter.

Three ideas I will definitely leverage;
  1. Realizing that mentors don’t always look like mentors and there isn’t one perfect mentor;

  2. Strategy is a living, breathing, dynamic game - you pick a general direction and implement like hell rather than getting bogged down in the process. Pages 173-180 of the book have "5 Slides" of strategy creation that I'm going to use in the the future; and

  3. The operating plan replacement for the budget introduced on page 198. Again, like strategy, this process at the past organisations I've worked in is all back-to-front. It's about what we can do over last year rather than looking at what the market and competitors are doing and other variables like how foreign exchange or consumer spending will impact the organisation.
In summary, this is a must-read book for everyone and I've already ear-marked a few friends that need to read certain chapters to better comprehend decisions/issues they are dealing with!

Still not convinced? Checkout this interview with Jack Welch on YouTube:

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posted by Lee Gale @ 12:19 AM,


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