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THE BUSINESS WEEK BEST-SELLER LIST

FEW CHIEF EXECUTIVES HAVE BEEN AS insightful about the art of leading others as General Electric Co. Chairman and Chief Executive John F. Welch Jr. In Jack Welch Speaks, the No.12 hardback on this month's best-seller list, writer Janet Lowe collects some of the most pithy quotations from Chairman Welch, made over his nearly 17-year stint at the top.

What emerges is a far less satisfying portrait of the Welch revolution than that contained in Noel M. Tichy and Stratford Sherman's 1993 book, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will. Welch's quotations are stitched together, often awkwardly, by short descriptive passages. And some facts are just plain wrong: For instance, Welch's Salem (Mass.) boyhood home was at 15 Lovett St., not Locust St. as Lowe contends.

Yet there is something compelling about these citations. Culled largely from Welch's annual letters to shareholders, his speeches, and news clippings, his musings entertain as well as enlighten. For example, in describing the candor encouraged at GE, Welch notes: ''We strive for the antithesis of blind obedience. We want people to have the self-confidence to express opposing views, get all the facts on the table, and respect differing opinions.''

You won't find any new insights into this complex and extraordinary leader. But you will understand what he believes and champions in this compact, 232-page book.

HARDCOVER BUSINESS BOOKS


1 THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown $23) Handling money, by a Self magazine writer.

2 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Longstreet Press $22) The penny-pinchers shall inherit the earth.

3 DIE BROKE by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine (HarperBusiness $25) Forget about the will--and the conventional wisdom, says a financial adviser.

4 SELLING THE INVISIBLE by Harry Beckwith (Warner $15) A collection of bite-size lessons on marketing.

5 THE GORILLA GAME by Geoffrey A. Moore, Paul Johnson, and Tom Kippola (HarperBusiness $26) Spotting high-tech stocks that dominate their market niches.

6 CHARLES SCHWAB'S GUIDE TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE by Charles R. Schwab (Crown $23) Tips from the discount brokerage CEO.

7 FINANCIAL PEACE by Dave Ramsey (Viking $21.95) Getting out of debt--for good.

8 YOU HAVE MORE THAN YOU THINK by David and Tom Gardner (Simon & Schuster $25) Help for the investment-challenged.

9 EVERY INVESTOR'S GUIDE TO HIGH-TECH STOCKS & MUTUAL FUNDS by Michael Murphy (Broadway $27.50) Tips from the editor of the California Technology Stock Letter.

10 BUFFETTOLOGY by Mary Buffett and David Clark (Scribner $27.50) An ex-daughter-in-law's take on Buffett's techniques.

11 WALL STREET MONEY MACHINE by Wade B. Cook (Lighthouse Publishing $24.95) A former cab driver's formulas for striking it rich.

12 JACK WELCH SPEAKS by Janet Lowe (Wiley $16.95) Quotes from GE's man, culled from speeches, news stories, and his own writings.

13 THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PETER DRUCKER by Jack Beatty (Free Press $25) A survey of the management guru's thought.

14 REACH FOR THE SUMMIT by Pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins (Broadway $25) Drills for success from the coach of the University of Tennessee's Lady Vols.

15 STOCK MARKET MIRACLES by Wade B. Cook (Lighthouse Publishing $24.95) Investing fundamentals--and infomercials for the author's many wares.


PAPERBACK BUSINESS BOOKS


1 THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey (Fireside $12) Habitually popular.

2 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) The online duo puts it on paper.

3 SUCCESS IS A CHOICE by Rick Pitino with Bill Reynolds (Broadway $13) Coach says work harder, harder!

4 THE ERNST & YOUNG TAX GUIDE 1998 by the Tax Partners and Professionals of Ernst & Young LLP (Wiley $15.95) Time's up, folks.

5 THE 1998 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $16.95) The enduring job-search bible.

6 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT WORKBOOK by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) ''So, where do I find stocks?'' and other queries, asked and answered.

7 J.K. LASSER'S YOUR INCOME TAX 1998 by the J.K. Lasser Institute (Macmillan $14.95) Put down your pencils.

8 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $10.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

9 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $13.95) Concise explanations enriched with graphics.

10 GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin $11.95) A Harvard team's step-by-step guide to conflict resolution.

11 BUILT TO LAST by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (HarperBusiness $14) How 3M, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and others became standouts.

12 INVESTING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson, MBA (IDG Books $19.95) From stocks to small business--with cartoons, too.

13 YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (Penguin $11.95) To achieve financial independence, restructure your life.

14 BARRON'S DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman (Barron's $11.95) What is an oligopsony anyway?

15 PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson (IDG Books $19.95) Lighthearted primer.

BUSINESS WEEK's Best-Seller List is based on a survey of chain and independent booksellers that carry a broad selection of books on economics, management, sales and marketing, small business, investing, personal finance, and careers. Well over 1,000 retail outlets nationwide are represented. Current rankings are based on a weighted analysis of unit sales in March.

Reviews and more are available on AOL (Keyword: BW) or www.businessweek.com (Click on BW Plus!)

By John Byrne


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