Think less, do more!

Winning - Jack Welch with Suzy Welch, HarperCollins Publishers

Winning – Jack Welch with Suzy Welch

Some months back I did not have much else to read and finally thought that I would give the Winning a try. I used to categorize it in to same group as books by Donald Trump – that meaning a total waste of time.

I do have to say that I had been wrong all along. Even if this little book is not the War and Peace of the business books, it is still fun and entertaining.

Book is based on most common questions presented to Jack Welch during his speeches on different occasions. They are compressed into 20 chapters mainly concentrating on the following areas:

  • Basics – About the visio, missio and values as well as well as about the importance of measuring people and how to act and speak
  • Company – Different issues related to the management of the company, human resources and crises that company can encounter in its everyday business.
  • Competitors – Not that much about the competitors as such, but about how to define strategy and grow the company to great success
  • Career – How to survive and thrive at your work

Even though the chapters concentrating on strategy and growth felt a bit incoherent at times, I found it to be the most entertaining part of the book. If I would have to lift one of the chapters above the others, it would be the chapter about mergers and takeovers.

In many cases mergers are doomed to fail. This is as Welch explains often due to the fact that we western people tend to be so damn democratic in everything what we do. When merging many companies try to adopt a sort of shared leadership. In reality this only creates confusion and lack of direction.

I have seen this problem emerge both during the group work exercises during my studies and later in work as well. People try to take every voice onto account. As illustrated in the Winning this usually does not work. It is important to listen different opinions, but there has to be someone to lead the pack and make the decisions.

Basically book bases on Welch’s own experience on business and life. Little stories and encounters during his life and time as a CEO of the General Electric illustrate his points well.

What I liked in the book was the very down to earth approach taken – no long and boring talks about the theory.  In the world where you seem to require Masters degree for almost everything you do, this is quite the refreshing attitude. It boils down well in the chapter about the strategy: “If you want to become the winner my advice about the strategy: Think less, do more”.

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