Winning by Jack Welch: A Book Review
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Winning by Jack Welch: A Book Review
The major lesson that Welch is trying to teach to his readers is about winning. He is experienced when it comes to winning in the business world. Welch worked at the General Electric for forty years. He regarded honesty as the best style of managing the company. The strategy saw him succeed amid brutal competition in the industry (Welch & Welch, 2005). Welch focused on people, teamwork, and profit margin. He retired in 2001 as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE. Since that time, he has spoken to more than 2500000 people regarding winning and other topics. Welch uses the book to pass his central lesson on winning to all organizations. In the book, he explains one of his best management methods. The approach teaches that a manager should lead others to achieve a vision that has already been articulated (Welch & Welch, 2005). Welch also emphasis a number of management aspects. For example, he argues that the manager should be less formal and do away with bureaucracy. He also encourages leaders to face reality and stop making assumptions. They should also realize that change is an opportunity. They should not regard it as a threat (Wren & Bedeian, 2008).
Central Pillars: An Analysis of Major Learning Outcomes
An analysis of the book leads to the development of various learning outcomes. The first entails winning and profitability. Welch believes that competing and profitability highlight some of the major responsibilities of a company (Welch & Welch, 2005). He succeeded at GE by adopting a winning culture. At the beginning of his tenure as CEO, Welch laid off many employees. The move did not stop him from winning. He earned many awards as a result of his contributions to the business world. The awards include Manager of the Century and The Most Admired Company in 1996 and 1997 (Baldwin, Bommer & Rubin, 2007).
Another learning outcome is the fact that managers should lead, rather than manage. Welch discovered that managing kept people in the dark about major decisions. The move makes it hard for a firm to achieve its vision. Welch emphasizes on the need to make employees passionate about the vision of the company (Welch & Welch, 2005). He argues that every person has the potential to lead. Welch also encourages managers to be less formal. In most cases, he went to the office without a suit and a tie. Informality enhances creativity and innovativeness. Welch abolished bureaucracy. He believed that bureaucracy slows down the decision making process. It reduces the competitiveness of the company. In Winning, Welch emphasizes that a manager should work with colleagues in order to reduce formality and streamline decision making (Baldwin et al., 2007).
Welch encourages people to face reality. At a time when GE was seen by many as a success, he saw many challenges. The market value of the company was falling and a bureaucratic system was making it archaic (Welch & Welch, 2005). He made efforts to turn things around by making major decisions. As such, he argues that managers should stop assuming that things will work out by themselves. Welch made things simple. He believes that managers should embrace simplicity to ensure that procedures are fast and efficient. He eliminated the use of memos, letters, and jargon. He realized that change in an organization cannot be avoided during periods of competition. A good manager should initiate change and exploit it (Welch & Welch, 2005). Positive change means introducing new ideas, new products, or new businesses. A good manager should make the people around them realize that change may affect them.
Welch encourages managers to lead by energizing others, not by authority. The organization should be freed from bureaucracy and other things that prevent free flow of ideas and decisions. Managers should learn to appreciate their employees. They should make them feel that they add value to the organization. Leaders should not intimidate employees. On the contrary, they should motivate them to achieve the objectives of the company (Welch & Welch, 2005). Welch chose to defy tradition and seek new ways of doing things. He realized that the past is different from the future. To succeed, managers need to change the culture to beat competition (Baldwin et al., 2007).
Another learning outcome is that Welch encourages managers to replace hierarchy with intellectual rule (Welch & Welch, 2005). The move involves appreciating the intellectual capacity of employees. Welch emphasizes that employees should not obey their managers blindly. The organization must encourage the workers to articulate their ideas and suggest solutions. Under Welch, GE employees spent an hour per week learning what the competitors were doing. An organization should foster a culture of training and learning. Welch holds that in today’s world, managers should move fast due to competition. The employees should be encouraged to act fast to serve customers and exploit opportunities. In addition, Welch argues that managers should pay attention to need of value rather than numbers. Value includes pleasing customers, being open to ideas, and doing away with bureaucracy (Welch & Welch, 2005). A good manager should let value rule. Organizations should encourage employees to have their own ideas and opinions. They should be provided with tools and opportunities to train and learn (Baldwin et al., 2007).
A Reflection on the Book’s Impact on the Future Manager
For managers to get ahead, they need great ideas. To achieve this, managers should turn their organizations into idea machines. They can do this by creating a culture in which employees can freely exchange ideas and become innovative. Future managers should learn to reward employees according to their performance (Welch & Welch, 2005). If they are not performing according to the expectations of the company, they can be moved out because they will be happier somewhere else.
Welch lays down procedures relating to good leadership for the future manager. The administrator should improve the capacity of their employees by evaluating, coaching, and building self confidence. Finally future managers should not be complacent. They should make sure that questions are answered with actions. In addition, the too should learn to inspire and carry out individual practical (Welch & Welch, 2005). The move motivates employees and allays any fears among them. Organizations should celebrate the achievements made by employees.
Reading Winning will help the future manager to deal with the issue of human resource and its role. The HR department should motivate and retain employees using money, training, and recognition. Effective managers should also confront issues related to employees (Welch & Welch, 2005). The future manager should spend half of their time evaluating and coaching 70 % of the middle level employees. Finally, Welch argues that future managers should have the capacity to manage crisis effectively. They should ensure that the company survives the crisis. During start-ups, future leaders should entrust the best employees with the resources needed to succeed. Then the manager should give them time to make decisions (Baldwin et al., 2007). Future leaders should also employ the six-sigma quality improvement program to enhance the performance of their organization. The program is the best in improving efficiency. It lowers costs, minimizes defects, and promotes customer loyalty.
Baldwin, T., Bommer, B., & Rubin, R. (2007). Developing management skills: What great managers know and do. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Welch, J., & Welch, S. (2005). Winning. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Wren, D., & Bedeian, A. (2008). The evolution of management thought (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.