Monday, January 15, 2007

Success Books - "Winning: The Answers" Part 1

Jack Welch’s Winning: The Answers: Confronting 74 of the Toughest Questions in Business Today is a companion book to his bestseller “Winning”. It is a concise book of answers to questions from real businesspeople with real issues. The replies are great examples of Welch’s uncompromising, reality-based management practices: the practices that made him, arguably “manager of the century”.

Here are a few of my favorite tips from the first part of the book:

Global Competition

Best practices are everywhere, to be learned and shared. Unless a company is your direct competitor, they are usually happy to share their concepts. If you don’t pick up on them, someone else will. In a global economy, there is for the most part, nowhere to hide.

China is crucial for scale in your business. If there is any possible way to benefit from the scale that China offers, your business cannot afford to ignore China

Europe’s risk averse, socialist economy cannot substitute security for growth. Real growth and real (as opposed to government-created) jobs are the only ticket to prosperity for Europe.

Outsourcing is not the danger we think it is – Welch cites 20% US growth and 7 million new jobs since 2003!!! Clearly outsourcing has not undermined our economy.


Over and over, Welch continues to stress the success factors that helped him achieve greatness: candor, differentiation, and constant personnel review.

His view is people-centered. Reward your best people, attempt to bring along your mediocre people, fire the rest. Be candid, clear, and stay on-message.

Another great point, particularly applicable in overly touchy-feely situations: remember “they work for you, you don’t work for them”.

He also mentions good communications about why people are fired: make sure your employees know that there are values-based reasons why termination takes place: never paper it over with stock phrases like “family reasons/personal reasons, etc”. Use the event as a teaching experience.

More to follow on other high points in this great book.
Go to Part 2
Go to Part 3

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Enhance Life said...

Your post was very useful to me. I like reading books of this nature.

Thank you
Enhance Life

Manny said...

Hi Sham

Thanks for your comment. I hope you will check out the other book reviews on the site. I think you will find many useful books.