Jack Welch: 'I Fell In Love'

Jack And Suzy Welch Tell Their Story To <B>Dan Rather</B>

At times, the Welches still seem like giddy newlyweds. And they say they spend a lot of time together. They wrote most of their new book on the top floor of their rented 20,000-square-foot townhouse on Beacon Hill, one of the most elegant and expensive neighborhoods in Boston. It has stunning views of the Boston Common.

What was it like, working with Welch. Was he obsessive? "Just about as much as I am," says Suzy Welch. "We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never wanna stop working."

And they work, even when they take a stroll in the neighborhood, looking for new ideas, even analyzing neighborhood businesses to see what makes them successful.

Welch says he has an expression for it: "I'm probing and searching for the big 'Aha', the big 'Aha.' This is the way to win," he says. "Is it a new machine? Is it a faster machine? What's the big thing that gives you the edge? In any product, or any service you got, that's what you search for. … More 'Aha.'"

Jack and Suzy write about "Aha" in their book, and they even mention the local pizza parlor because they think it has great "Aha."

"The best strategy is always sauce. I mean, we would die for this sauce. You dream about it," says Suzy Welch.

"It's all in the sauce," says Welch, laughing. "Just simple as that."

Just up the street, the Welches think the successful local drug store, Gary Drug Company, has great "Aha" because it concentrates on paying close attention to its customers. So 60 Minutes Wednesday went inside to see what "Aha" looks like.

"Do you have 'Aha' here," Rather asked the pharmacist.

"We might," says the pharmacist. "I would hope so, if it's a winning enterprise."

"Service," says Suzy Welch.

"Yes," says the pharmacist. "That we have."

When Welch isn't out looking for Aha, he's talking about it before huge audiences. Even though he's been retired from GE for more than three years, he's still treated like a rock star. Yesterday, hundreds of people jammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center and paid big money to hear him talk about business and winning.

"I enjoy it. It's invigorating to me. I never know where the questions are coming from," says Welch. "What they're gonna say, how they're gonna say it. It's exciting. I like it."

Welch seems to feel just as excited about his new life, his new book, his new wife. Any thoughts about having children together?

"We thought about it. We talked about endlessly. And the answer is no," says Welch. "It's too much of an age difference. You know, if you want to talk about regrets, you can kick the can all the way down the street that we didn't meet at the same age, at the same time, 25 years ago. It really ticks you off. If you go there, it can really turn your crank the wrong way."

"We think about me being 80 and she's 55 or 56," adds Welch. "And you know, will I be a bumbling idiot someday, you know? I mean, it's a lousy thing to think about."

"Oh, I don't see you as a bumbling idiot. I could see you doing Bob Dole kind of commercials, maybe," says Rather, laughing.

There were lots of laughs the day 60 Minutes Wednesday spent with Jack and Suzy Welch, a considerable contrast to the rocky times and difficult questions they've faced since they first met.

What's the toughest question Welch has ever been asked?

"Do you think you'll go to heaven," says Welch.

His answer?

"It's a long answer, but I said that, if caring about people, if giving it your all, if being a great friend counts, despite the fact that I've been divorced a couple of times, and no one's proud of that. I haven't done everything right all the time. I think I got a shot," says Welch. "I'm in no hurry to get there, and to find out any time soon."