Winning (Anglais) Poche – 6 février 2007
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
A candid and comprehensive look at how to succeed in business-for everyone from college graduates to CEOs. --BILL GATES, chairman, Microsoft Corporation
Reading Jack Welch s plain-language, high-energy book Winning is like getting the playbook of the Super Bowl champions before the game. It's a big head start on how to master the corporate game from the entry level to the corporate suites. He is the master. --TOM BROKAW, former anchor and managing editor, NBC Nightly News
Présentation de l'éditeur
Since Welch retired in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of GE, he has traveled the world, speaking to more than 250,000 people and answering their questions on dozens of wide-ranging topics.
Inspired by his audiences and their hunger for straight forward guidance, Welch has written both a philosophical and pragmatic book, which is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job.
Welch s objective is to speak to people at every level of an organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from line workers to MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. His goal is to help everyone who has a passion for success.
Welch begins Winning with an introductory section called Underneath It All, which describes his business philosophy. He explores the importance of values, candor, differentiation, and voice and dignity for all.
The core of Winning is devoted to the real stuff of work. This main part of the book is split into three sections. The first looks inside the company, from leadership to picking winners to making change happen. The second section looks outside, at the competition, with chapters on strategy, mergers, and Six Sigma, to name just three. The next section of the book is about managing your career-from finding the right job to achieving work-life balance.
Welch s optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind-set is riveting. Packed with personal anecdotes and written in Jack s distinctive no b.s. voice, Winning offers deep insights, original thinking, and solutions to nuts-and-bolts problems that will change the way people think about work.
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After I finished my autobiography - a fun but crazily intense grind that I wedged into the corners of my real job at the time - I swore I'd never write another book again. Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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I continue to be amazed at the simple clarity of his message: empower others, ask questions, tap into the potential of all of your associates, choose integrity and candor over charts, graphs, and politics, and spend more time in action instead of planning and posturing budgets. I cannot read his words, or hear him speak without feeling again as I did as a member of his team at GE. Without fail, I was inspired and honored to be at a company which really believed that bureaucracy was to be avoided, and those who could look at reality without the politics and act accordingly were highly regarded. The one aspect I did not count on was that after leaving GE due to geographical and travel demands, those simple truths which engage and inspire people to reach stretch goals would be so rare. In fact the most basic aspects of candor and open honest dialog about the business are punished in some organizations.
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. Several key themes emerge which may be surprising to others who know him by reputation only.
One, Jack holds no malice and actually celebrates those whose careers involved leaving GE for roles elsewhere. This is a rather unique view, as many organizations have a misguided loyalty requirement that actually stifles the very performance potential they seek. Second, Jack seems to be more reflective of how he missed the boat on the whole work/life balance concept. Third, his willingness to openly admit mistakes is refreshing and contrary to his criticisms by others of his ego.
I found the sections on developing people, and setting business strategy to be most helpful. He understands, where few others do, that huge PowerPoint decks and consultants will not meet the need of your clients, nor will the usual political tactics help your business move forward.
I recommend this book highly, it is much more real than anything he has written before, and his passion and energy jump off every page.
Put "Winning" on the top shelf next to "Good to Great" and "Built to Last." In fact, Welch's "Winning" is the perfect complement to Collins' two-some. Collins' work is dramatically research-based, Welch's is utterly life-based. In particular, I enjoyed his 8 leadership principles that balance soft skills (communicating vision, building trust, motivating others) and character attributes (making the tough call, being positive, being nurturing to the core). I also enjoyed how Welch answers his critics on the infamous 20-70-10 rule and his hiring frameworks.
One strength of "Winning" is in the breadth of topics covered - both in the realm of organizational leadership as well as career development. Lots of books do one well, but Welch manages to excel in both without being superficial or glossying-over (though most other books aren't 350+ pages!).
Make no mistake about it - the ideas presented are not new. For example, two of Welch's leadership principles: "exude positive energy" and "push and probe with a curiousity that borders on skepticism" sound a lot like Collin's "confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith" principle. But it's Welch's down-to-earth writing style that helps you understand these timeless principles in a fresh way. As you're reading, you can almost picture him speaking the words in some business school auditorium or some Fortune 100 management retreat. The words are deceptively simplistic, but it's Welch's wisdom at its best - boiled down to the very essence from four decades of rough-and-tumble managerial experience.
If you're still unsure, I found this excerpt in Newsweek (google "jack welch newsweek excerpt 2005") to be helpful and informative.
The parts of the book which I found interesting were creating a company's mission statement, documenting its values and coming up with a strategy. I also found Jack Welch's explanation of the value of candor convincing, and his discussion of work-life balance provocative.
His comments on differentiation (using Six Sigma to rank employees), and on the value of the business press were instructive.
In Winning, Jack Welch writes that a mission statement must answer the question, "How do we intend to win in this business?" Otherwise, he suggests that a mission statement can turn into "a set of generic platitudes that do nothing but leave employees directionless or cynical," such as "XYZ Company values quality and service" or "Such-and-Such Company is customer driven."
Using GE as an example, Jack describes an effective mission statement: "To be the most competitive enterprise in the world by being No. 1 or No. 2 in every market - fixing, selling, or closing every underperforming business that couldn't get there."
To me, this mission statement and the way he describes creating it makes sense.
Related to the mission statement are values, specific and concrete behaviors which give employees a roadmap to follow to achieve the mission statement.
Using Bank One as an example, Jack Welch describes values that are explained well.
"Never let profit center conflicts get in the way of doing what is right for the customer."
"Always look for ways to make it easier to do business with us."
"Give customers a good, fair deal. Great customer relationships take time. Do not try to maximize short-term profits at the expense of building those enduring relationships."
In my opinion, Jack Welch does a good job describing how a company should create and document its values.
Moving on to strategy, I also felt Jack described an effective way to develop a company's strategy. He describes 5 areas in which to focus when developing a strategy (in his book, he drills down into detail under each focus area):
What the Playing Field Looks Like Now
What the Competition Has Been Up To
What We've Been Up To
What's Around the Corner
What's Our Winning Move
The way he describes creating a strategy makes sense to me.
Jack also makes a compelling case on the value of candor - frank, open and direct talk - in business. In his experience, candor generates more ideas, speeds decision making and cuts costs.
In my opinion, what Jack Welch fails to address is the difference between candor and being a non-team player. If I disagree with my boss, am I being candid or a non-team player?
Relatedly, Jack also fails to address how to be candid. If I criticize my boss, perhaps I am being candid but I may make her defensive, causing her to feel she has to be candid and criticize me back. This can quickly turn into a slugfest with no winners.
These issues aside, I was helped and reminded of the importance of candor by Jack Welch's discussion of this topic.
Jack Welch spends chapter writing about work-life balance, perhaps trying to show that he has a soft side.
However, he makes so many harsh statements on this topic that I find it hard to believe that he values work-life balance. For instance, he writes, "Your boss's top priority is competitiveness. Of course, he wants you to be happy, but only inasmuch as it helps the company win."
He also writes that "the Korean grocer who just opened his shop in New York doesn't worry about whether he has time to get to the gym" and "99 per cent of the entrepreneurs in China's huge emerging competitive workforce don't wring their hands about working late at night."
He also showcases a woman named Susan whom he quotes as saying, "When I went to Japan and China, my daughter was about seven - old enough to lay a real guilt trip on me. I cried my eyes out all the way over. But I had made a conscious decision about work-life balance, and part of that decision was to travel for my career."
Susan goes on to say, "I knew I'd always have flexibility in my job when I needed it. I had earned it with commitment and performance over the years."
What I concluded from reading this chapter on work-life balance is that Jack Welch believes in work-life balance provided I have earned the right to work-life balance by superlative performance beforehand which came from working late, traveling on demand, and so on.
Thus, work-life balance is something I can earn after working for a number of years with no work-life balance.
Differentiation and Introversion
Differentiation is the topic which Jack Welch is perhaps best known for, dividing employees into the top 20% performers, middle 70%, and bottom 10%, who are let go.
What I found interesting was his almost tangential comment in discussing this topic that "the world generally favors people who are energetic and extroverted.... in business, energetic and extroverted people generally do better."
Having been in business for many years, it is obvious to me that introverts do worse in business. But this observation flies in the face of the interpretation of the Myers-Briggs test, where introverts are told that they are no worse off, "just different." In business, introverts are a lot worse off, and I am glad that Jack Welch followed his own advice on candor and stated the obvious.
Mentors and the Business Media
Jack lists many mentors in his career, from "the executive education teacher" who helped him learn to speak publicly when he was 26, to the PR woman who taught him the Internet at age 60.
A mentor which surprisingly he puts on par with the others is the business media. According to Jack, he "learned mountains about business just by reading every financial newspaper and magazine" he could get his hands on.
He goes on to say that he believes that "the business media is such a good teacher..." and that he is amazed when he meets "a young person who doesn't just consume it. Don't let that happen, this mentor is right there for the taking."
I am glad I read Winning by Jack Welch. I got useful information out of it on how to succeed or win in business. I value Jack Welch's insights about mission, values and strategy. His comments about candor are a good reminder of the importance of frankness in business. He writes that work-life balance is available but only if I earn it through good performance.
He believes that extroverts are more successful in business and he places the value he gets out of business media on par with his other mentors.
Welch is an extremely talented leader and businessman, but only a few nuggets of his wisdom fall out of this doorstop of a book. The rest really comes across as Jack writing for Jack and his new wife (For whom he dumped his old wife after praising her effusively in the aforementioned "Jack").
There are far better books out there on managment and business. Try "Good to Great;" it's a whole different format, but you'll get a lot more ideas on making yourself and your company better.
Of course he was a successful businessman, spectacularly successful in fact, and learning from that success is the whole point of the book. He is a bright man, and both from his career at GE and his business contacts elsewhere, he knows a lot about what works and what doesn't in the corporate world. His basic views on hiring, firing, and motivating employees are already widely emulated in the business world, and he explains them well here, with lots of examples. His emphasis on candor in the workplace, instead of people withholding information or criticism as the organization heads for a false and potentially disastrous consensus, was my favorite chapter. And for someone who never left the fast track to success, Welch has excellent advice on handling setbacks and dealing with bad bosses.
Considering that the book is for highly educated professionals, the style of the writing is surprisingly light and simple. Sentences are short and often end with exclamation points. Chapters are broken up into sections that are only a few pages long. I'm not complaining, mind you. I read much of the book in a noisy cafeteria during my lunch break, and it would be nice if all authors realized that reading usually isn't done in monastery-like conditions. However, some of the subjects Welch tries to address, like Six Sigma and corporate mergers, require more intellectual heft than this format is able to provide. The book's front cover blurb, "No other management book will ever be needed," is an unkept promise.
Learn from Jack Welch; there's certainly a lot of wisdom in the book. But don't be exactly like him. Pursue a hobby, volunteer in your community, and raise your children.