In "The Real Life MBA," former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy, a former editor with the Harvard Business Review, explore what it takes to be a better leader. The Welchs gave "CBS This Morning" an inside look at the success of their partnership in both business and marriage.
"We have a blast every day. I mean, we, for example, read five papers in the morning. And we'll each find something in there and we'll -- 'Read this, read this,' -- and we're fighting to get the other one to read what they just read. That happens every morning," Jack said.
The best-selling authors are back on bookshelves with their second collaboration in a decade. Writing this one took them all over the place.
"We traveled around the world for the past 10, 12 years and we did a calculation of it. It came out to about a million people that we've been in front of, been meeting at companies of all different sizes," Suzy said.
There was one thing that stood out after hearing from those million people.
"The grind continues. Since 2008, business -- the fun has been sucked outta business, and people are trying to find ways to grow," Jack said. "We also continue to be shocked by the fact that people do not know where they stand at work."
For Jack, that's an important part of finding success in any arena.
"The team that fields the best players wins the game -- that's true in football, that's true in baseball, that's true in any sport. It's true in business. And so people have to know where they stand so they can be improved, so they can be coached, so they can be brought along," Jack said.
In the book they say it's okay for the employers to be friends with the employees.
"I have felt that way for 50 years," Jack said. "Why the hell would you want to go to work with people you didn't want to hang out with?"
But some say it might make things tougher, in the event that friend has to get fired.
"Now we're back to where do you stand," Jack said. "As long as people always know you've got their back, you're laying out where they stand, if they can't get over the job and they can't do it, they know it."
During his two-decade stint with General Electric, Jack became known as "Neutron Jack." Between 1981 and 1985, he cut 100,000 jobs and earned the nickname based on a nuclear bomb.
Suzy said this "love people out the door Jack" isn't new.
"I think that the people who always worked with Jack have always known this side of him... but I don't think it was a wonderful caricature of him that got out there, this sort of 'Neutron Jack,'" Suzy said. "That's a very catchy phrase. I probably, back when I was an editor and writer, probably used it myself to describe him before I knew him. But I think that this is the real Jack. I don't think he's changed."
Jack has also been described as one of the best CEOs in the world and he has no qualms about the changes happening at GE today.
"We all talk about change every day. The game changed in 2008. Dodd-Frank came in, changed the rules for financial entities, and we became a SIFI, which is Significant Issue for Financial Services companies. It became a less attractive business. Thank God they jumped on it. That's why GE is still in the Dow Jones," Jack said.
In the book, they write "Technically we both retired in 2001. Okay, one of us retired. The other got fired for running off with the one who retired." The two met when Suzy was interviewing Jack for the Harvard Business Review.
"I thought, 'no wonder everybody loves Jack Welch. He's amazing.' And I thought he seemed awfully curious about my personal life," Suzy said.
But he was married at the time.
"He was, and I was not. And I wondered why he asked if I had a boyfriend, and he, you know, we liked each other a lot. We had an immediate, I would say, immediate love connection," Suzy said.
Jack said Suzy was one of the smartest people he'd met.
"Beautiful, fun. I couldn't believe this package was there in front of me," Jack said.
While he had a wife at home at the time, he said they had grown apart.
"It just didn't work," Jack said. "And so this was just perfect."
They've been married 11 years now and despite what others said, they knew it wouldn't fail.
"We loved each other and we knew it was going to last," Suzy said.
"We have a blast together. I mean, I'm a big supporter of having similar values, similar beliefs, similar things. I think the opposites attract game, I've tried that. That didn't work so well," Jack said.