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Publisher's Summary

As CEO of General Electric for the past 20 years, Jack Welch has built its market cap by more than $450 billion and established himself as the most admired business leader in the world. His championing of initiatives like Six Sigma quality, globalization, and e-business have helped define the modern corporation. At the same time, he is a gutsy boss who has forged a unique philosophy and an operating system that relies on a "boundary-less" sharing of ideas, an intense focus on people, and an informal, give-and-take style that makes bureaucracy the enemy.


In anecdotal detail and with self-effacing humor, Jack Welch gives us the people who shaped his life (most notably his Irish mother) and the big hits and the big misses that characterized his career. Starting at GE in 1960 as an engineer earning $10,500, Jack learned the need for "getting out of the pile" when his first raise was the same as everyone else's. He stayed out of the corporate bureaucracy while running a $2 billion collection of GE businesses - in a sweater and blue jeans - out of a Hilton in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


After avoiding GE's Fairfield, Connecticut headquarters for years, Jack was eventually summoned by then-Chairman Reg Jones, who was planning his succession. There ensued one of the most painful parts of his career - Jack's dark-horse struggle, filled with political tension, to make it to the CEO's chair. A hug from Reg confirmed Jack was the new boss - and started the GE transformation. The riveting story of his last year - the elaborate process of selecting a successor and the attempt to buy Honeywell - is also told in compelling detail.


This is classic Jack Welch: down to earth, powerful, and filled with common sense.

©2001 by Jack Welch; (P)2001 by Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"As a self-portrait of one of America's most successful modern business leaders, Jack is remarkable for its candor." (Ther Economist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Performance
  • Story

Exemplifies "Level 5" leadership (Good to Great)!

If you could sum up Jack in three words, what would they be?

Strong-willed, Authentic, Bold!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jack?

A key standout was when the

Have you listened to any of Jack Welch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Did not listen to any of his other performances, however listening to him speak about his career journey in GE was a very easy and

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Be authentic! Be yourself!

Any additional comments?

Great listen in Jack's own voice, brings in the emotive experience as well!

  • Overall

Narrated with passion

I really enjoyed this book. JW narrates with passion so for those of us who have a tendency to drift off when listening to audio books it really does keep you engaged and focused. A very interesting biography of not only JW but also GE.

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Westborough, MA, USA
  • 03-24-04

Good stroll through the years of Jack Welch

A must read for anyone that appreciates a great leader. Jack does a good job of succinctly summarizing the key aspects of what made him one of the best leaders of our time. Well done.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Biskit
  • 03-27-17

Very interesting and insightful

This was a very interesting and insightful book. Many CEO's and business leaders would do well to listen and learn from Jack.

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  • Mr J
  • 10-09-15

Gotta love Jack

Well developed, insightful book. You shouldn't follow everything Jack says and indeed did, but he certainly has a view worth hearing. This is an educational and entertaining business book.