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Book Review: Hot Seat by Jeff Immelt

The book centers on Mr. Immelt's time as CEO of GE, told from his point of view. He positions it as a leadership book based on the fact that he has a lot of experience, but it really is a memoir.

In all, I found the book interesting, but it didn't offer any of the lessons needed by managers today. It really is a collection of stories about his time at GE. interesting to anyone who follows business, not instructive to someone looking for help as a leader.

There were a few things that I took from the book, so I can't say it was a waste of time. Again, I enjoyed reading it.

For example, at one point he told the story of a new business that GE was entering. Mr. Immelt did so with the idea that it would position GE for the future, but that it would be a difficult sell to the GE workforce - it seemed like a risk to them. What struck me was that he told the leader of the new division "you have me up to 10 weeks a year, use me how you see fit". Most leaders or managers would consider support a money thing - give me the budget I need to do things. Mr. Immelt correctly sees that support is not only money (which isn't an issue for GE), but a time thing. When you are a billion dollar company like GE, handing over money is the easy decision. But time is a resource you can't get more of.

The lesson for managers is that give your employees your time - it shows a real commitment to them.

Rating: Not Recommended

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