I picked this book up from the library because I love biographies and because I know very little about GE save for that they make eco-friendly lighting.
Jack: Straight From The Gut chronicles Dr. Welch’s life, from his childhood up until his retirement from GE. It’s not among my favourite books, mostly because (a) it’s geared more toward MBA types than laypeople (b) he’s a little full of himself and (c) the overly detailed golf anecdotes and the near-constant name-dropping got old after a while.
That said, I did get some good things out of it.
— Passion. Have it, or get out of the business.
— You have to always keep growing. Static companies are failing companies.
— Quality happens when great people are given the freedom to innovate.
— Results matter. Integrity matters even more.
Reading this book taught me a lot about GE, albeit from a rather biased point of view. But it’s interesting that in many companies that are widely recognized as among the best in the world — Apple, GE, Google — it’s focusing on people (whether consumers or employees) that gets the job done.
Overall, I quite liked this book, even it was in rather drastic need of an editor. Not one that’s going in my permanent collection, but an enjoyable read nevertheless.