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57 review for Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suhas Kashyap

    If you would like to know the challenges of a CEO who has the weight of three hundred thousand people on his shoulders and asked to lead a conglomerete in the midst of great ecomnomic threats as well as opportunities, then this is the book to go. A transparent display of wins and losses of GE between 2000 to 2017 from the words of then CEO Jeff Immelt.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alok Kejriwal

    A hot new book that stunned, surprised & deeply educated me. Unlike 99% of biz books that are abt winners/winning, this book is about 'losing/being a loser' (as claimed by Jeff). I think he is too hard on himself. What's great? - The HARD, GUT wrenching story of what it takes to INHERIT a job vacated by one of the world's most respected leaders - Jack Welch. (As will be the story of successors of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs). - How horrible luck & circumstances can knock you out & what it takes to su A hot new book that stunned, surprised & deeply educated me. Unlike 99% of biz books that are abt winners/winning, this book is about 'losing/being a loser' (as claimed by Jeff). I think he is too hard on himself. What's great? - The HARD, GUT wrenching story of what it takes to INHERIT a job vacated by one of the world's most respected leaders - Jack Welch. (As will be the story of successors of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs). - How horrible luck & circumstances can knock you out & what it takes to survive. Jeff's 1st day at work was Sept 10, 2001 :( - Dealing with false expectations. "I became CEO of a Company where perception didn't equal reality". - Dealing with horrific mindsets. Jack Welch didn't let Jeff buy a Company in Silicon Valley coz 'people are crazy out there'. - The passion of a man to get the Company logo tattooed on his hip! (Would you do that?) - AMAZING chapters on operations - how Big things get done on Big companies. - A lot of self-introspection. This book takes the world record of the nos of times a writer admits he was wrong! - Deep insights on dealing with nations, nationalities, politics & decision making at the highest levels. - If nothing else, a book about PURE STAMINA! READ THIS ONE.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Esposito

    Loved reading Jeff’s telling of events and organizational change I experienced during my time at GE. This book felt like both closure for that period of my professional career paired with pointed lessons on leadership, especially in complex organizations. Jeff’s legacy with GE will always be complex and I appreciate the reflection and thoughtfulness he put into writing this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tony Pedley

    I should start by declaring a conflict of interest. I am currently a GE employee, and joined when Jeff Immelt was CEO and therefore technically my boss (although I was a long way down the food chain). However, since I joined through a company takeover and not a conscious choice in some ways, I felt I have a balanced view of Mr Immelt's tenure. OK, with that out the way what about the book? (For the rest of the review I will use JI instead Jeff Immelt) The book starts when he steps up as the CEO o I should start by declaring a conflict of interest. I am currently a GE employee, and joined when Jeff Immelt was CEO and therefore technically my boss (although I was a long way down the food chain). However, since I joined through a company takeover and not a conscious choice in some ways, I felt I have a balanced view of Mr Immelt's tenure. OK, with that out the way what about the book? (For the rest of the review I will use JI instead Jeff Immelt) The book starts when he steps up as the CEO of one of US's largest company in 2001. In some ways I would have liked a bit of back story before this point of JI's life up to that point and his career, since it would of provided context for the next part of the story. The book itself is split into the major lessons that he felt he learned as GE's CEO over the 16 years he was in charge. In many ways it is an honest book, and unlike many books of this genre, he is not selling a life philosophy, but a reflective journey. In truth, it would be difficult to sell the book as the Immelt way, since being charge while taking one of the world’s most iconic brands to near financial failure, is rarely a mark of considered a business success story. This book therefore is cast as part lessons learnt, and part an attempt to set history straight as JI sees it. At the same time JI does not hold back in putting the knife between the ribs of one or two individuals he feels let him down, although there is actually relatively little bloodletting, and he tries to be honest of his failures, but you do feel his frustration creeping through in places where he feels he was not given enough credit for the work he did. The majority of the book sets out his personal business and leadership philosophy. For example, he is proud of the way he revamped the GE corporate education program that schooled managers from around the world being in the GE business philosophy. He is also at pains to explain how he massively increased diversity in the GE boardrooms, and for that he must be applauded. He also explains he made GE a more open culture, where people could have honest discussions about issues and opportunities. While that may well have been true at the top of the tree, I have to say I saw little evidence of it from my position with little upward flow of information. Also, the GE corporate training had a tendency to create managers with a mono-culture outlook, who struggled sometimes to comprehend anything non-GE was of value. I saw this at 1st hand, when the company I worked for was taken over and it was re-modelled in the GE way, and in the process, we totally lost direction, and at the same time lost the opportunity to question management decisions. In many ways taking over one of the world’s largest multi-global conglomerate, and following on from the so called manager of the century, Jack Welch. This was always going to be a poison chalice. To use a soccer analogy (Sorry US readers), it is a like following Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. While the company from the outside seemed inherently strong, its previous incumbent had in the process of massive expansion had taken on massive hidden liabilities which would take years to reveal themselves. This was because GE at the time was actually two companies. The industrial side, risk averse with long term goals and views, and GE capital (basically a unregulated bank) high risk, with very short term outlooks. GE had grown use over the years to taking the profits from the short-term bets and used it to fund the long-term projects on the industrial side. In many ways GE capital was seen as the jewel in the crown, a resource that allowed them to take on projects and developments, others could not by giving access to huge reserves of capital. In hindsight however, as the financial crisis showed in 2009, much of the solidity was built on sand. A bit like someone continually borrowing on their credit cards on the basis their wages were always going to rise. When the financial crisis hit, GE found itself in the same position as many other lenders, struggling to cover these short-term bets. One of JI's regrets is that he did not unwind GE capital sooner. However, he also complains that after the 2009 financial crisis, the US government had the temerity to treat GE like all the other failed financial companies, and felt because of GE's industrial heritage it should have been treated differently. Well, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, basically it’s a duck. He also briefly mentions the 3rd side to GE's coin NBC, one of US's major television networks. Why an industrial conglomerate felt it needed to won such a thing was never clearly explained, but JI seems to quite enjoyed having an entertainment arm (he enjoyed the Ge management style references slipped into 30 rock, a NBC production). Coming through a sales background, I think he quite liked the marketing element of GE and the show biz and glamour element. He also in this bit explains how he was personally responsible for the rise of a Mr Donald Trump giving him the apprentice gig, and I would like to fix his fall from grace is personal penance for that :) A large part of the book is about the unwinding of GE capital. This was forced on GE when the government put more oversight on finance, and GE suddenly found it could not act in a non-transparent way. Again, he complains about the onerous conditions placed on the business by this, perhaps missing the point that the financial crisis had very much been driven by the free for all of financial markets and a correction was very much overdue. I have to say, not being anything associated with finance, this part went over my head, apart from the utter complexity that cutting that Gordian knot entailed. For me the more interesting parts were GE digital and GE power GE Digital was one of JI personal initiatives to create systems to capture the huge amount of data generated by modern industrial systems, provide analytics on it and sell it back to the companies using the kit as a service. In many ways JI's instincts were totally correct and GE were ahead of the game. However, it never worked out, and as someone who was personally involved, I can point to a few reasons why. Firstly, GE under estimated the complexity and cost. While it sounds simple, trying to tie together disparate data streams together so that they can be analysed is no mean feat, with huge differences in the way data is formatted and generated. Also, GE assumed that they could do everything, the data silos, cloud infrastructure, analytics. They found eventually that setting such systems up takes huge investment, and they would have been better off partnering with say IBM and building on their infrastructure. Secondly, they decided to create a whole new division from scratch in San Ramon, California. in order to tap onto the Silicon Valley talent. However, by doing this, they created a barrier between the companies creating the industry products and those trying to generate the digital services. When it came to combining the two, you got a culture clash and lack of coordination between the two. It would have been better to have built up the digital services within the existing divisions rather than start afresh. Finally, the GE corporate culture of process and measured advance went very much against the ethos of this kind of development, which is more chaotic and flexible. Of course, JI is not directly to blame for any of this, but I do wonder whether his lack of technical project background meant that he failed to understand the cultural issues and risks involved. In the end GE digital, after having huge amounts of money poured into it, never really fulfilled its potential. The second interesting part is about GE power. For a long time GE power was an important part of GE's industrial heritage, driving large power projects around the world. In 2014 it was announced that it would purchase the power business from Alstom, a French company. This was to be the jewel in JI's tenure, and his industrial legacy as he decided to step down from the CEO role. In the end it turned out to be anything such. JI largely blames one person for this, Steve Bolze, who he characterises as a person more interested in self publicity and promoting himself as the next GE CEO than an effective leader, and someone who failed to master the fundamentals and minutiae of the business. How much of this is true, it does feel like someone trying to justify their decisions by putting blame on someone else. The inconvenient truth was that a lot of people struggled to see the benefits of buying Alstom. I had pretty good knowledge of the company, since the part of GE I worked for was once owned by Alstom, and it was a traditional French state industry, slow, ponderous, depending on its status as a national champion rather than agility and innovation. It was also over-staffed, with the workforce protected from dismissal by French employee regulation. So, any idea of taking it over and making it lean would always be a tough order. Even today, GE is restricted to reducing the workforce in France by the nature of the buyout. Also, the nature of the Alstom business was very much dependent on coal-based power stations, an area which GE should of known was in serious decline. The idea was that they could use the Alstom service business as a leverage, but when that was taking off the table due competition concerns, GE should have pulled out then, whatever the cost. In truth GE got played by the French government to pay too much to take a failing industry of their hands, and while Steve Bolze may of been part of that, the buck stopped at the top. It was always felt, I think with some justification, that JI wanted to go out on a high, and therefore forced it through without really doing the due diligence. One other harsh words JI has is against activist investors. Individuals in charge of hedge funds, who use their share purchasing powers to get themselves on the boards of companies and then try to force share value by forcing company break ups etc. Ji brought one such individual on GE's board, and regretted it. I agree that such individuals rarely have the long-term interest of the company in their minds, but rather want to make a quick buck (or million). The rise of the activist investor has further eroded US industries ability to invest for the long term, which for a company like GE, where development of say a new jet engine can take 5 or more years is not conducive to maintaining a technological lead. So after reading this book how do I feel about Jeff, my ex-boss. Well in some ways as an individual I quite admire him. He is obviously someone who cared a lot about GE, was thoughtful and reflective about the role of a CEO and industry leader, and did a lot of good while he was there, in modernising the company. As he quite rightly states, being a successful CEO, is part talent and part luck, and it has to be said he did not have a lot of luck, weathering both 9/11 and the collapse of the banks. However, as a backgammon player knows "Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima jactura arte corrigenda est" (translation "As in life, so in a game of hazard, skill will make something of the worst of throws"). If I have issue with JI's tenure reading this book is that he comes out as a conflicted individual. A lifelong conservative republican (in the traditional sense), who was passionate about increasing diversity in GE's management. A proud American, who led the push to move production overseas, especially China. A reflective man with strong moral views, happy to deal with deal with foreign despots. Someone proud of GE's ecological record, who invested vast amounts in oil, gas and coal based power production and resisted attempts to get GE to clean up PCB pollution in the Hudson river. And maybe this was JI's biggest problem. The most iconic CEO's are the ones with a clear strategy and philosophy, and are focused in getting it done their way. They rarely second guess themselves and drag all in their wake to their clearly seen destination. I am not sure after reading this book, that JI ever had that clear purpose, or if he did whether he had the force of will and courage of convictions to meld the company to his image. Certainly GE never felt like Jeff's company, more Jack's company and that was a big shadow to have over anyone. CEO's have a tough job (but that is why they get paid the big bucks, or in JI case get two corporate aircraft), but their primary purpose is to set out a clear strategy and be ruthless in following it. I am not sure whether JI ever really achieved that. So what did I get out of this book. Well, I got a better understanding of GE and its working, and how we got to be where we are. I understand better the pressures and dilemmas of being a CEO of a large company. Certainly the pressure for quick results are more that ever, and the day of the 20 year stint for a CEO are rare (which again does not do much for long term investment and strategy). I also got to know Jeff a lot better. In the end as much I admire him, I am still not convinced that he was ever really a CEO of a company trying to remold itself to be relevant on the digital age. He was primarily a sales guy (as shown by his facination with branding and message), and probably never really had the technical knowledge to find the correct path for what he awnted to achieve. A great guy to learn from for your MBA, but perhaps not quite the right stuff to be an iconic CEO. However the most important part of the book is when Jeff, admits what I always expected. Luck is a much bigger factor in success than buisness schools, or buisness leaders are willing to accept. It is the one variable, that you cannot control, and maybe if he had more of it, we would be a bit kinder to his legacy than we are now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thomas F

    Jeff Immelt is a case study in failure. This book is a sorry excuse for those failures. When I was in Wharton Business School Jack Welch and Immelt were lionized. After a horrible run, such as effectively eliminating GE Capital, its big money maker, when he should have simply controlled it, GE is now worth a mere fraction of its market cap when Immelt took over. I am sure Thomas Edison, one of GE's founders, is rolling in his grave. GE was a major company in both 1900 and 2000. It may not be muc Jeff Immelt is a case study in failure. This book is a sorry excuse for those failures. When I was in Wharton Business School Jack Welch and Immelt were lionized. After a horrible run, such as effectively eliminating GE Capital, its big money maker, when he should have simply controlled it, GE is now worth a mere fraction of its market cap when Immelt took over. I am sure Thomas Edison, one of GE's founders, is rolling in his grave. GE was a major company in both 1900 and 2000. It may not be much longer. Immelt didn't go for organic growth, but M&A, and did an absolutely horrible job. He destroyed one of America's most successful companies by bad choices. Some reviewers have cited Immelt's humility, but with his record of failure, there is little to be proud of. According to Mike Isaac's book about Uber, Super Pumped, Immelt even had a terrible board interview in trying to get hired by Uber in 2017 and withdrew to save face. Immelt should enjoy the money he made and think about going back to Harvard B School to learn the lessons he obviously didn't his first time through. Instead of this book, Immelt should have written a graphic novel, it would have been more in keeping with his skill set, or more accurately, his total lack of judgment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Myles

    Jeff Immelt’s memoir of 16 years at the helm of General Electric “Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company” reads like an extended lecture for his Stanford business school students. What to do and what not to running a conglomerate, and GE was and still is an enormous conglomerate. It is at times a painful read as Immelt recounts what it was like to scramble after the 9/11 attacks for a company that was essentially financing the entire US airline industry to support its production Jeff Immelt’s memoir of 16 years at the helm of General Electric “Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company” reads like an extended lecture for his Stanford business school students. What to do and what not to running a conglomerate, and GE was and still is an enormous conglomerate. It is at times a painful read as Immelt recounts what it was like to scramble after the 9/11 attacks for a company that was essentially financing the entire US airline industry to support its production of jet turbines. Then there was the fallout from the 2008 financial services debacle when GE suddenly found itself not only depending on government guarantees of its assets but also found its financial services wing, GE Capital, in the crosshairs of financial regulators. In the end Immelt was turfed largely as a result of the decline value of GE shares. Immelt tells us, for example, that he - Didn’t invest in water purification because he perceived it was a universal right and therefore could never be profitable. Reading in between the lines it sounded like he was saying the company should only invest in stuff where people wouldn’t notice the company’s large profit margins. - Was leary of owning Universal Studios theme parks because you had to go back and get new customers every year and because the low wage employees were ripe for unionization. It was as if GE only wanted to own products that locked in customers and didn’t believe in a fair wage for unskilled workers. Immelt never tells why he wanted the job. Was it the millions in compensation? Was it because he wanted to be or be bigger than his legendary predecessor, Jack Welch? Was it because he knew the big moves Welch made would ultimately drag down the company? While Immelt does not shy away from some serious score-settling, he goes pretty lightly on Welch. I learned that after he helped handpick a successor Welch fired all the other candidates for the top job to prevent an Ides of March scenario. It seems a bit odd in a company that really needed endless supplies of executive leadership. Reading this book sure didn’t make me yearn for taking the job myself. In Immelt’s words volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity are all new challenges that leaders of today can expect. Then there are activist shareholders with really deep pockets, different regulatory bodies in every political jurisdiction (and there are a lot of them where GE does business), a hair-trigger business press always on the hunt for the smell of scandal, and the millions of miles of air travel to coordinate, motivate, train, and promote subordinates. He learned that GE made products that couldn’t fail; but fear of failure made creativity (and innovation) impossible under many scenarios. He asked himself if he willing to experiment, fail, pivot, refocus, realign, and learn in the name of progress. Like I say, it was a painful read. I run a much, much smaller business and the older I get the more painful the executive decisions become. I sweat over the livelihood of just a handful of people. Doing the same for 300,000 people boggles the mind. I was most intrigued by the events triggering the sell off of $300 billion in the assets of GE Capital. For years GE had fed off the benefits of its rare triple-A credit rating in the bond markets. They could always borrow at rock-bottom interest rate and loan seemingly endless amounts to industry. And it formed the majority of GE’s profits and surplus cash flow in those years. For a while — under Jack Welch — investors loved it and repaid the company with a 30x P/E, or Price-to-Earnings ratio. But massive disruptions to the economy could put GE Capital in the category of a “Too Big to Fail” company and Immelt’s top advisers realized the jig was up. Like so many of the banks, GE Capital did not keep enough equity to cover a sudden surge in bad loans. And the board hated having to hire thousands of employees just to feed the regulators with reports. So they sold off its airline fleet financing arm, and its leveraged borrowing division, and more. Whoever bought these assets — and Canadians figure big in this part of the story — didn’t have the scrutiny GE Capital was now facing and we never find out if they cleaned up the company’s lending practices. It sounded to me that GE shed the risk, but we didn’t. That ought to keep bank regulators up at night. We are also left pondering the age old business school question about the rationale of big conglomerates. Do they really add value to the businesses they occupy? What is a conglomerate? It’s a collection of unaffiliated businesses incorporated under a single owner, or single group of shareholders. They get started by trying to control the upstream or downstream businesses upon which their core business depends. Or, they figure since they do such a good job they try absorb other businesses around them that do the same or similar things. Eventually they get into businesses that have nothing to do with their core business because they can. It seems like Immelt was on a crusade to prove the GE umbrella justified its holdings, the difficulties to innovating and the difficulties in coordinating notwithstanding. While one arm of the conglomerate was innovating on energy, other parts of it were polluting the landscape or making it easier for the airlines and presumably the energy industry to ruin the planet. If I were to guess Immelt’s view it would be that the strength of the conglomerate is in its ability to feed parts of it in weak cycles. No business is always profitable, and no management team always gets it right. In a conglomerate, the businesses in the strong part of the cycle save those in a weak cycle. And those using advanced practices share with those using weak practices. This is how we keep peoples’ jobs in bad times. By sharing the wealth. One could argue that this what debt or equity is for, to help protect us when we are not capable of sustaining ourselves. Maybe the overhead of the conglomerate isn’t worth it to support weak businesses. Immelt uses a variety of justifications like we’re the people people rely on to get safely from Point A to Point B in an airplane. Or, we’re the descendants of Thomas Edison who revolutionized society with electric lights. Or we’re really good people just helping people. Or, we’re really kick-ass businessmen (and sometimes businesswomen). History teaches us that the age of conglomerates is past. Private equity, vulture funds and the like now have the upper hand “unlocking value” by selling off assets not critical to the core business. GE itself unloaded a pile of real estate and then bought back shares to gussy up its balance sheet to the shareholders. I don’t know this for sure, but my guess it leased back the real estate because it didn’t all of a sudden stop needing it. More hocus locus for the stock markets. In this environment jobs and loyalty to the company are no longer sacrosanct no matter what Immelt chooses to believe about himself. Besides, the massive fortunes that were once made by the conglomerates can now be made by the information giants like amazon, google, facebook, and dozens of others.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Collett

    4/5 – it was going to be 3/5 but the book has a really strong finish. I found this an interesting and well written book. At times is does come across as slightly defensive but that’s to be expected given the media coverage of Jeff Immelt’s time as GE CEO. My main issue with the book is that, like most business books, it misses out on some key input from other people, especially his wife and family. I appreciate that Jeff made an enormous amount of money during his time at GE, but the work commit 4/5 – it was going to be 3/5 but the book has a really strong finish. I found this an interesting and well written book. At times is does come across as slightly defensive but that’s to be expected given the media coverage of Jeff Immelt’s time as GE CEO. My main issue with the book is that, like most business books, it misses out on some key input from other people, especially his wife and family. I appreciate that Jeff made an enormous amount of money during his time at GE, but the work commitments and stress seem unbelievable so it would be interesting to get a view of how this impacted him from someone who cared for him as a person rather than as a CEO. I’d also like to see a different format to biographical, business / leadership books: · Setting the scene – how things were organised at the company. I’ve read the whole book and am none the wiser about how GE works with the management of the industry segments alongside the geographical management. · Chronological events – take periods of time and provide context for what happened in each part of the business during this period. I think this would make it easier to understand all the competing workloads than looking at leadership / management themes which then cross and re-cross different time periods so it’s harder to understand how all the anecdotes tie together. · The review – with the benefit of hindsight, what would the person have done differently and how they think this could have changed the things that happened. In summary: I think Jeff did a reasonable job based on the number of world-changing events that happened during his tenure. The things I did think after reading the book was: 1) I’m not sure being GE CEO for 16 years is good for your physical or mental health. Maybe 10 years would be a better period as it would get the balance right between knowing the business and not being exhausted by the business. 2) Having the CEO succession process run for five years is insane, in my opinion. I appreciate that they want to ensure that the candidates are properly tested but you’d think that their prior achievements would count so having the selection process last 12-24 months would give all candidates a fair chance to be exposed to other aspects of the business and Board of Directors. 3) I appreciated Jeff’s candour about how he is a stress eater. It is always good to read about ultra-successful people not being perfect. Other lessons from the book that resonated with me: · An important determinant of success can be found in how you answer: 1) How fast can you learn? 2) How much can you take? 3) And what will you give to those around you? · Here is a good rule: the quality of an asset is inversely proportional to the amount of talent it takes to sell it. · Leaders must fight for their companies’ reputation. Leaders can’t let lies and half-truths calcify, and they shouldn’t let their team’s narrative be irreversibly tarnished. · Questions to combat inefficiencies and bureaucracy: a) Who do you work for? If the answer was more than one person, it is a bad sign. b) How are you measured? If workers didn’t understand the metrics they were expected to live up to then it’s very hard for them to succeed. People should have no more than three or four clear metrics they are working on to improve. c) Where do you live? If the person lived in London but was responsible for Africa, that was a warning sign. · ‘Six simple rules’ (https://www.bcg.com/en-gb/capabilitie...) for helping to minimise organisational complexity. · The “Blueprint Review” system for the operating segments - Clear goals in four areas: i. Financial ii. Strategic iii. People iv. Risk - Achievement against these goals determined variable compensation. - Focus on exceptions. - The Blueprint Review meeting was the only place significant business decisions were made which mitigated the risk of misunderstandings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I am a long-time follower of the story of General Electric. I was impressed by Jack Welch, and I read Welch's book "Jack: Straight from the Gut" when it came out many years ago. So when Immelt, GE's CEO after Welch, wrote the book "Hot Seat", I knew I had to read it. Immelt was CEO of GE from 2001 to 2017, a very trying period for the company in which the stock plummeted precipitously. Many people believe that Immelt caused GE's implosion , and this narrative was repeated in the business press. I am a long-time follower of the story of General Electric. I was impressed by Jack Welch, and I read Welch's book "Jack: Straight from the Gut" when it came out many years ago. So when Immelt, GE's CEO after Welch, wrote the book "Hot Seat", I knew I had to read it. Immelt was CEO of GE from 2001 to 2017, a very trying period for the company in which the stock plummeted precipitously. Many people believe that Immelt caused GE's implosion , and this narrative was repeated in the business press. In the book, though, I have to say that Immelt does a good job defending his legacy and putting what happened at GE in context. Though what happened at GE was not at all pretty, Immelt was a good leader. He took what was a very complex company which he inherited, and did what he could to shape GE for the future. Yes, Immelt made mistakes, and he owns up to those mistakes in the book in a very forthright manner. He tells us that his relationship with former CEO Jack Welch crumbled, after he replaced him. But I think we need to give credit where credit is due....Immelt also did a lot of things right, including the divestment of GE Capital. For those who say that Immelt did nothing but run the company into the ground, I would encourage them to read this book, as I doubt any other CEO could have done much better, given the circumstances. This is evidenced by the fact that Immelt's successor, Flannery, was only in the job for a year, before being shown the door. I enjoyed the book and believe it is worth the read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dan Watts

    I didn't expect to like this book, or even finish reading it. Like many people, I had a low opinion about Jeff Immelt based on his time as GE's CEO. I had read various articles that blamed him for GE's series of missteps during his tenure. I was curious about what he had to say for himself, and somewhat bemused by the idea that "what he learned" would be of any value. My opinion of Immelt was completely changed by this book. First, the book itself is very readable even if, like me, you have no in I didn't expect to like this book, or even finish reading it. Like many people, I had a low opinion about Jeff Immelt based on his time as GE's CEO. I had read various articles that blamed him for GE's series of missteps during his tenure. I was curious about what he had to say for himself, and somewhat bemused by the idea that "what he learned" would be of any value. My opinion of Immelt was completely changed by this book. First, the book itself is very readable even if, like me, you have no interest in becoming a CEO. Rather than giving abstract advice on leadership, almost all of the book is a narrative of what happened at GE, and how he handled the situations, both threats and opportunities. The book is neither a defense of his leadership, nor an attempt to shift the blame to others. He admits that he made some wrong decisions, but also correctly points out that he ran the company during very challenging times, most notably 9/11 (which occurred on his 2nd day as CEO) and the "too big to fail" financial meltdown. He also mentions a lot of instances where GE continues to benefit from his decisions, like the shift into medical devices and the globalization of the company's research centers. The things he did right are rarely mentioned by the press. Immelt is an experienced salesman, and he sold me on his legacy. I now think it's fair to say that, without Immelt in charge, GE would have been in even worse shape, if not wiped out completely.

  10. 4 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    Remarkable Storytelling In the prologue to this audiobook, Jeff Immelt in his own voice tells about why he wrote HOT SEAT and it was not only his perspective but he interviewed 70 others for the contents of this book. What was it like to lead General Electric –one of the world’s largest corporations? It’s his honest perspective on his lessons learned and full of business insights—a valuable listening experience. Toward the end of HOT SEAT, for the first time Immelt gives his version of the GE Po Remarkable Storytelling In the prologue to this audiobook, Jeff Immelt in his own voice tells about why he wrote HOT SEAT and it was not only his perspective but he interviewed 70 others for the contents of this book. What was it like to lead General Electric –one of the world’s largest corporations? It’s his honest perspective on his lessons learned and full of business insights—a valuable listening experience. Toward the end of HOT SEAT, for the first time Immelt gives his version of the GE Power / Almston Energy deal (Chapter 10) with interesting details. The pages of this book combine detailed and excellent storytelling from writer Amy Wallace with distilled business principles for every leader. HOT SEAT is a standout business book and recommended. I enjoyed listening to this audiobook cover to cover. W. Terry Whalin is an editor and the author of more than 60 books including his latest 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

  11. 4 out of 5

    Suresh Nair

    People hate their bosses and there is no wonder why Jeff Immelt had issues with Jack Welch. A leader of a global giant admitting it so openly and the way he depicts the GE story is just superb. The author also narrates the psychological pressure to work under a larger-than-life hero. It makes a good read for budding managers and for the second in command.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Olivier

    Really interesting read, if you're into business bios. I love these insights on how things happened, how were decisions made. I have to also praise @jeffimmelt for his candor. Seldom do you see people of that caliber and level to wrote "I was wrong" (or variations thereof) vs. trying to explain them out. Really interesting read, if you're into business bios. I love these insights on how things happened, how were decisions made. I have to also praise @jeffimmelt for his candor. Seldom do you see people of that caliber and level to wrote "I was wrong" (or variations thereof) vs. trying to explain them out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bharath

    A much different business book than others in that this book offers lessons from failures as much as it does on successes. The end of the book offers lots of valuable advice for the reader.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kiswara Mihardja

    Inaction is bad leadership, but it can feel safer than action because to act is to open yourself up to criticism. ― Jeff Immelt, Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company

  15. 4 out of 5

    Umesh

    Honest n candid memoir,with out much of mud slinging.Really respect the way entire details been shared. Last couple of chapters are really the take aways, it also tells what one should not do n very simple n straight mammer. Lot of hype n negativity about author gets clarified aa he gives his points of view along with the situation that was prevailing. All in all a book worth reading n referring.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julia Schottenstein

  17. 4 out of 5

    Renata

  18. 5 out of 5

    Naji's

  19. 4 out of 5

    Natella

  20. 4 out of 5

    Louis M. Galasso

  21. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suraj

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dapo Fakunle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Manbir Sidhu

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mckenzie29

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shashank shekhar Jha

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Speed

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 5 out of 5

    Name

  31. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  32. 4 out of 5

    Arsentiy Shcherban

  33. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan R

  35. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Redder

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ken

  37. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

  38. 5 out of 5

    Eszter Mihalyi

  39. 4 out of 5

    Manjunath Hegde

  40. 4 out of 5

    Mehmet Demir

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  42. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  43. 4 out of 5

    Stef

  44. 5 out of 5

    Mack Brown

  45. 4 out of 5

    Zaid

  46. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  47. 5 out of 5

    Joe Caiati

  48. 4 out of 5

    Leila

  49. 4 out of 5

    M

  50. 4 out of 5

    Krishnanand

  51. 4 out of 5

    Jos Voskuil

  52. 5 out of 5

    charles

  53. 5 out of 5

    Carla Oleiro

  54. 4 out of 5

    SM

  55. 5 out of 5

    Denny Hooten

  56. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Jorge

  57. 4 out of 5

    Malek Dabbous

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