Winning (Jack Welch)

Jack Welch’s best seller Winning gives the renowned GE CEO’s view on what business leadership is all about. As excerpted from the book and from a subsequent article in Business Week (, I give a summary of the business leadership advice that Jack Welch offers in Winning.

  1. Leaders are always upgrading their team, using every opportunity possible to evaluate, coach and build self confidence
    1. Continue to inject self-confidence into those who have earned it
    2. Praise often, the more specific the better
    3. Build the team with the 4-E and 1-P framework
      1. Energy that is positive
      2. Ability to energize others
      3. Edge (courage for tough decisions)
      4. Execute (ability to get the job done)
      5. Passion (juice for life in their veins)
  2. Leaders make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it
    1. “There were times I talked about the company’s direction so much that I was completely sick of hearing it myself”
  3. Leaders get under everyone’s skin with optimism and positive energy
    1. A happy tribe increase your chance of winning significantly
  4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit
    1. The dirty little secret in business is lack of candor; no one is being really honest with one another, blocking
      1. Good ideas
      2. Quick action
      3. Your good people contributing all that they have
    2. Leaders accept the blame and always share the credit
  5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and tough calls
  6. Leaders are always asking why?
    1. They have a deep desire to make sure their questions are answered with action
    2. “We will look into it” means nothing to a good leader
  7. Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example
  8. Leaders celebrate
    1. Celebrating make people feel like winners
    2. It is fun

About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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