It’s hard to think of a CEO that commands as much respect as Jack Welch. In Jack: What I’ve Learned Leading a Great Company and Great People, Welch, with the help of Business Week journalist John Byrne, recounts his career and the style of management that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century. Under his leadership, General Electric reinvented itself several times over by integrating new and innovative practices into its many lines of business.
Beginning with Welch’s childhood in Salem Massachusetts, the book quickly progresses from his first job in GE’s plastics division to his ambitious rise up the GE corporate ladder, which culminated in 1981. What comes across most in this autobiography are Welch’s passion for business as well as his remarkable directness and intolerance of what he calls “superficial congeniality” – a dislike that would help earn him the nickname “Neutron Jack.”