Saturday, January 20, 2007

Success Books - "Winning: The Answers" Part 3

This is Part 3 of my review of Jack Welch’s Winning: The Answers: Confronting 74 of the Toughest Questions in Business Today . I have always enjoyed listening to Welch speak on TV because his thinking always seems to be several degrees further “out of the box” than anyone else on any given panel. He seems to be able to find the real nuts-and-bolts drivers behind every issue. This book is no exception. A few of my favorite areas from the last third of 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 peoples’ 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 overdelivering, 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.

Jack Welch’s intriguing book is indeed a manual for anyone seeking business success.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

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