The hard lesson Jack Welch's autobiography taught this CEO about success

Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp shares how Jack Welch's autobiography helped...

Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of CEO of beauty subscription service Birchbox, is a 2010 graduate of Harvard Business School. There, she studied under esteemed professors, met her co-founder and even emailed with Steve Jobs.

But one of the most important business lessons she says she learned came from "Winning," by Jack Welch, former CEO and chairman of GE.

The tell-all story goes behind the curtain of his time at GE and details his success strategies for business and career. Beauchamp calls the the autobiography, which was co-written by his wife, bestselling author and and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, "really powerful."

Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

In the book, Welch writes, "When you own your choices, you own their consequences."

Welch's experience at the helm of GE is certainly different from Beauchamp's role as co-founder and CEO of a beauty business, but she says his book taught her a crucial lesson about success.

"Get ready for what is going to be a roller coaster," Beauchamp says, "where you're going to make mistakes, but where ultimately you can still look back and say 'I did something important. I have a legacy that I'm proud of.'"

Beauchamp says that the best employees and leaders recognize when they make a mistake and think about what they can learn from it. They don't let it define them.

"It's not to let failure define you, and certainly not to let it dictate what you can do next," she tells CNBC."The best experience and the greatest growth comes from the hardest situations."

Executives and career experts agree that while failure isn't fun, it can be more important to a leader's development than success.

New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant encourages professionals to keep a resume of failures, because it reminds you of your resilience and ability to recover from setback. Billionaire Mark Cuban encourages young people to embrace mistakes, since they are great lessons moving forward.

Use failure as a way to catapult yourself into exponential development
Katia Beauchamp
Birchbox CEO and co-founder

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says that that one Thomas Edison quote perfectly describes what it's like to be an entrepreneur, and it's not about success: "I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work."

"Use [failure] as a way to catapult yourself into exponential development," Beauchamp says, "exponential growth as a human, as a leader as a contributor."

Check out bestselling author Adam Grant's take on how failure helps you get ahead

Here's the best way to stay motivated at your job, according to Wharton's No. 1 professor
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us