Jacked Up: The Inside Story of How Jack Welch Talked GE into Becoming the World’s Greatest Company

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9780071544108: Jacked Up: The Inside Story of How Jack Welch Talked GE into Becoming the World’s Greatest Company

AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE GENIUS OF GE

Bill Lane was Jack Welch's speechwriter for 20 years. In the first book by a GE insider, Lane shows that the real secret to Welch's immense success as a leader was Welch's ability as a master communicator. Welch launched a communications revolution that took GE from a ponderous supertanker of a company, to what Welch called a high speed “cigarette boat” capable of radical moves and rapid learning from the best institutions in the world.

Jacked Up gives you a front row seat to Welch's twenty-year campaign to transform GE. Lane's first-hand, fly-on-the-wall account reveals some of Welch's most vivid and exciting moments, including:

  • An analyst’s presentation in Florida, where Welch’s angry remarks ignited GE’s stock growth
  • A packed GE classroom at Crotonville, N.Y., when Welch and Bob Nardelli decided to stop construction on a multimilliondollar investment based on a class presentation
  • Welch’s frank—and hilarious—explanation for financial services superstar Gary Wendt’s departure from GE
  • Meetings with his top advisors, where Welch dissed dull presenters and lavished kudos on articulate managers

You'll learn Jack's simple, often brutally enforced guidelines for “making a great pitch”, and how Welch practiced them himself in his memorable appearances before employees, financial analysts and customers--and his zero-tolerance of BS. You'll witness laugh-out-loud-funny cameo appearances from boldface names like Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher, Don Imus, Jack's ex-wife Jane Welch, Conan O'Brian, and “Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog”. And you'll understand exactly how every leader can master the art of communication, to teach and inspire, shock and provoke, all at the same time.

This is Jack at his out-and-out best. This is the only book a leader or aspiring leader will ever need on effective communications.

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From the Back Cover:

“Shockingly informative, unexpectedly funny, and a surprisingly good read about Welch’s tenure as GE’s CEO and CRO (chief rhetoric officer).” -Strategy + Business magazine

When it comes to leadership,

DO YOU KNOW JACK?

NO MORE REPORTS:

Jack got quiet for nearly a full minute, and stared down at the table with the semi-scowl that meant some kind of processing was going on. Then he said, loudly and decisively:

“No, no, no! We’re not doing this any more. No more ‘reports.’ We’re sick of reports. The only pitches that are worth anything are when you tell people what they ought to do. Otherwise it’s just a waste.”

And so it began, gradually, that GE began to move from a self-absorbed corporation to what Welch would later describe with much pride as “a real learning company.”

A SHOUT FROM THE BATHROOM:

One day Jack brought a copy of a letter he had been sent. It was written by one of our very senior business leaders “explaining” some Corporate initiative. The letter made no sense, and Jack read passages of it aloud, with inflections that emphasized the absurdities in what the man had written. Finally he stopped laughing long enough to render his final criticism.

“It’s like something he yelled out the bathroom door to his secretary while he was sitting on the can. That’s it exactly. This is a shout from the bathroom.”

THIS IS JACK: UNCENSORED, IRREPRESSIBLE, AND UNBEATABLE

About the Author:

Bill Lane joined GE as a speechwriter in 1980, after seven years at the Pentagon. From 1982 to 2001, he was Manager, Executive Communications for the Company, and Jack Welch’s speechwriter.

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