The Real-Life MBA - Jack Welch, Suzy Welch

The Real-Life MBA - Jack Welch, Suzy Welch

See how to succeed in your business by discovering your purpose and developing effective leadership.

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Why are some organizations able to achieve results and others not? Do all managers have a professional life that is giving them the desired purpose and impact? These questions are the central point of the study made by the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch, in the book "The Real-Life MBA".

According to research, more than 70% of the Brazilian population would like to do something different than what they do today.

One explanation is that many people take actions based on salaries and don't consider their desire, causing their income to be minimized and not bringing good results to the business.

Now, if you want to discover your purpose, your passions, and make business achievements, come with us in this summary!

About the book "The Real-Life MBA"

Published in 2014, the book "The Real-Life MBA", by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch, seeks to present a complete handbook for team building, career growth, and "winning the game".

Divided into three parts, the work brings the current context of business in various views. It reports how to become a great leader and helps you follow a direction in your life and career, aiming at success in the organization.

Also, the book has great examples of people who have made extraordinary changes in their careers.

About the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch

Jack Welch worked as CEO of General Electric (GE) for 21 years. During that time, he applied his innovative management techniques, which later became known around the world, making GE one of the most admired and successful organizations.

Since 2001, when he retired, he has been a lecturer. On this journey, Welch has spoken to over 250, 000 people.

Suzy Welch is a writer, journalist, and Jack's wife. They wrote together the bestseller "Winning".

To whom is this book indicated?

The book "The Real-Life MBA" is ideal for those who want to follow a trajectory similar to that of Welch, following a path of leadership and success.

It can also be a guide if you are tired of working with what you don't like and want professional advice capable of generating great positive impacts on organizations.

Main ideas of the book "The Real-Life MBA"

  • "Is giving people a voice the same as giving them dignity?";
  • Confidence is a muscle strengthened by daily exercise;
  • Treat everyone around you as a mentor;
  • "Why shouldn't you retire, but reinvent yourself?";
  • "Is business the best team sport?";
  • Be generous! Reward those with above-average performance;
  • Exercise leadership based on truth and trust;
  • To hire someone, it must be clear what skills the organization needs;
  • What is better: to look for someone to blame or to solve the problem?

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[Book Summary] The Real-Life MBA - Jack Welch, Suzy Welch

Overview: The game and the team


A well-aligned team with a common goal is likely to succeed. This requires a clear and inspiring vision, making this alignment the input for growth.

All managers and leaders know how hard it is to put mission and values into practice. For this, the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch say it is crucial to define which actions are rewarding and which are unacceptable.

Thus, it is possible to make bonuses for the most committed, but also dismissals for those who don't meet the expectations.

In addition, frequently keep up with employees, defend them, listen to them, and do performance evaluations on a regular basis. As explained in the book "The Real-Life MBA", this will allow the employee to understand the reason for their dismissal if this occurs, or to raise points of improvement.


At the time of hiring, choose people who have integrity, personal motivation, and empathy. And avoid those who are arrogant and overconfident.

After hiring is the time of retention. You must make the employee happy, but how do you do that?

Simple, the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch point out it can be done through a fair remuneration, promotions for recognition, and freedom to express ideas.

If you don't have time in person, make use of technologies to stay connected to employees.

Also, leadership has to be based on two pillars: trust and truth.


In all businesses, there will always be those difficult times, but some of these situations can be predicted.

The first point is that you must accept the current situation and the accident, and think of ways to redo the strategy.

Don't look for someone to blame or something like that, it's time to solve the problem and even promote the best employees by getting them out of the comfort zone and aligning their strategies.

When resources are scarce for growth, the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch suggest in the book "The Real-Life MBA" to use innovation.

To innovate, you don't need technology and investments. If you can optimize the way you work by saving time and resources, it is already an innovation!


The financial and administration area itself is full of technical terms and numbers, and this can be very confusing. In this way, Jack and Suzy Welch separated the points that we must analyze frequently to guarantee the success of the organization:

  • Check monthly the sectors that require hiring and their real need;
  • Make employee performance reviews, assess their commitment and whether they are aligned with the company's values;
  • Evaluate the satisfaction of your customers, you can choose the NPS tool;
  • Have a cash flow report to identify how much money goes in and out;
  • Marketing planning should go through a financial sector assessment and risk analysis. Take into account the constant technological developments, and choose to be more creative and close to customers.

Crisis times

The moment of crisis will come and you should be prepared to face it. Then, follow the practices suggested in the book "The Real-Life MBA":

  • Use different forms of communication to popularize the company's culture;
  • Don't be afraid to make drastic decisions such as layoffs of employees who don't deliver results;
  • Exceed the expectations set in you, always offer more;
  • Get followers to support you on the journey of the most difficult path;
  • Don't participate in gossip and professional criticism groups;
  • Be kind and encouraging;
  • If you get fired, face this as a new step, responsible for adding new experiences and knowledge;
  • Believe and hope this turbulence will pass, but do your part.

Overview: You

Everyone dreams of working on what they really like and balancing it with pleasure. According to the book "The Real-Life MBA", many people have left their careers in large companies to do what they like.

In this part, the AOD (Area of Destiny) test is presented, where the direction between your ability and happiness is set, that is, it identifies what you love to do and also what you have the skill to do.

So that your career doesn't become stagnant, the authors Jack Welch and Suzy Welch brings some points that have great prominence and lead you to success:

Regardless of what your position is now, it is always time to reinvent yourself. Are you prepared?

What do other authors say about it?

The author of "Traction", Gino Wickman, explores how successful entrepreneurs have a compelling well-defined vision of their business. Also, they know how to communicate this message to employees. From this, a guideline is created to be followed by everyone within the organization, being always used to develop solutions and guide strategic actions.

When it comes to layoffs, Ben Horowitz, author of "The Hard Thing About Hard Things", suggests that if you need to cut staff, start layoffs as soon as possible after you decide to do so, as news of layoffs can cause additional and even bigger problems. Another advice is: get managers to deliver the news to their own people, never outsource it to human resources.

Going deeper into the question of how to motivate teams and develop leadership, the book "Start with Why" is great for those who want to inspire others and succeed at work. The author Simon Sinek highlights the importance of knowing your "why", that is, your purpose and your ultimate mission.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

As you can see, each overview already proposes a practical way of application. Start by choosing the ones that will have the most use in your routine, or that make more sense for your business.

In the book "The Real-Life MBA", it is clear how important it is for you to do what you like and have the skill, as it leads you to a happy, successful, and fulfilling life.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Real-Life MBA"?

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Book “The Real-Life MBA”