Video: Keeping jobs on U.S. soil
updated 6/9/2005 9:35:11 AM ET 2005-06-09T13:35:11

Jack Welch knows a thing or two about winning. The former head of General Electric, NBC Universal's parent company, Welch is surely one of the most successful executives ever. He details what made him so successful in a best-selling book called "Winning," which he co-wrote with his wife, Suzy Welch.

On Wednesday, Joe Scarborough talked to him about the book and asked him, what does it take to win and how do you spot a winner?

To read an excerpt continue to the text below. To watch the clip, click on the link above.

Joe Scarborough: You talked about how to win and how to get ahead in business. The first thing you say is, overachieve. Talk about that.

Jack Welch: Well, I think that, really, what I talk about it is, the kids that go into a company, I give them advice. Always over deliver. When your boss asks you to do something, Joe, he already has the answer or she already has the answer. And they just want you to confirm it.

When you give them a broader perspective, something that makes them look smarter, think beyond where they have gone, you will have added real value, and you will be recognized out of the pack. And that's a big ingredient. The second one I always say, positive attitude. The glass is always half-full. Don't be a moaner. And, finally, have lots of ambition, but don't wear it on your forehead.

Scarborough: I was just going to say, I know number three was ambition. And in our society, in our culture, sometimes, that is looked down upon, whether you are in business or whether you are in politics. How important is that, to wake up every morning knowing, I have got to achieve; I've got to do better; I've got to push myself forward?

Welch: Getting up every morning and knowing there's always a better way to do things is the greatest gift you can be given, always to be searching, always to be open, looking into other minds, knowing that you
are not doing the best job you can do, knowing that somebody out there is doing something that you can learn from. If you have that attitude, you have a gift.

Scarborough: How important is it to love what you are doing? Because, again, it seems to me, with all the successful people I have talked to, I mean, the guys that have got the most money out there are guys
and the women that will never retire. You can call them at 9:00 at night. They are at their desk. Again, you can call them on the weekend and they are working on a project.

And the ones that want to retire at 40 usually can't, because they don't work long enough hours to retire. How important is it to love what you are doing, to believe in what you are doing?

Welch: Joe, as you know in your life, when you get a job you really love, it's not a job at all. It's part of life. It's fun. I mean, I had jobs when I was a kid where I -- was mind-numbing jobs at Parker games, putting sticks into holes for games, when I would get a headache about 3 o'clock and couldn't wait to get home. I have been lucky as heck after that. I have never had a job since I was 25 or 26 that I didn't
love. And that is a gift.

And you have got to love the people you are working with and you have got to love -- the work has got to turn your crank. It's absolutely necessary. Those are two of the five things that really are critical to
finding the right job.

Scarborough: You know, as a man who was named manager of the century, I am sure a lot of people would like to know, what is the best advice you got growing up? If you can, tell me what is the best advice you got and what is the worst advice you got?

Welch: Well, the best advice I ever got was advice from my mother to face reality. Look, kid, this is the way it is. See it the way it is, not the way you wished it would be, facing that.

And, secondly, I got some great advice from a director once, who told me, when I was acting a little stiff, hey, look, dance with the girl that you brought here. You be yourself. Stop acting like a stiff in these
meetings here. Be yourself. And so both of those pieces of advice, face reality, be yourself, were great pieces of advice.

The worst I ever -- advice I ever got was from a guy, my guidance teacher in high school. He told me, don't go to college, kid. You are not good enough. Join the Army.

Watch 'Scarborough Country' each night at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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