Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will
IN THIS SUMMARY
Noel Tichy and Stratford Sherman contend that Jack Welch’s successes as a leader depend less on his personality than on the quality of this thought. What makes this account of GE’s renaissance unique is that the authors do an excellent job of capturing the essence of Welch’s personality as well as the quality of his thought, for it is Welch’s style and perceptions that enrich GE’s experience and gives the company the potential to help reshape other organizations. Welch’s intensity of logic and strength of conviction comes across so powerfully as to lead the reader to an emotional, as well as intellectual understanding that "control your destiny" is not just a catchy title or a useful concept, but a philosophy of life that can be practically applied in daily life. A powerful image that Welch has created is what he calls "the business engine." This concept explains how each of GE’s businesses fits into the corporate whole by showing how different GE is from a conglomerate that buys and sells large numbers of unrelated businesses without doing much to enhance them. The GE engine is driven by individual businesses that work together like pistons, their performance carefully regulated by the allocation of capital. The authors show an authoritative command of their subject without the heavy-handedness that sometimes accompanies mastery. In fact, what is most striking about this "analysis" is its lively style and narrative, first person voice, which make the material accessible to the widest audience. No matter how intimate the writing, this is, nevertheless, a serious work-the result of extensive research, including personal interviews, diagnostic and evaluative studies, internal company documents, speeches and presentations, media sources, books, professional/academic articles, and case studies. Welch’s tangible presence throughout the work, and the authors’ subjective observations, thoughtful analyses, and overarching organizing concepts make this book substantially more than the sum of its sources.