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. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Now I may be slightly biased because my boyfriend works for GE, but I found this book fascinating. What is particularly interesting is stepping back and realizing how much of a visionary Welch really was. Reading the book 14 years after he retired, many of the ideas he proposed are common or at least more main-stream. It was also intriguing for me to get a glimpse of what kinds of decisions the folks are the top are faced with. Reading the book certainly gave me a good sense of the company culture within GE.
About halfway through the book I felt it started to lose a little steam. The second half got into more detail on how Welch ran the company and some examples of challenges he faced. These were relevant, but weren’t interspersed with stories like the beginning of the book was so they got a little long for me. I also believe the epilogue was a bit over-done. Despite my lagging enthusiasm at the end of the book, I think this was a fantastic and extremely well-written book for anyone interested in business. I highly recommend it.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Anyone interested in GE, how a huge corporation like GE operates or generally in business leadership.