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

Front Cover
McGraw Hill Professional, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 324 pages


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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - joecflee - LibraryThing

An inside look into how Jack Welch transformed GE's internal communication. Great lessons for business people who can't seem to finish their presentations on time. However, I don't completely buy into ... Read full review

Jacked up: the inside story of how Jack Welch talked GE into becoming the world's greatest company

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Does the world really need another book on Jack Welch? While the former GE CEO is an acknowledged superstar of the business world, he has written and been written about in so many books in this genre ... Read full review



10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

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.

Bibliographic information