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Hot Seat  By  cover art

Hot Seat

By: Jeff Immelt,Amy Wallace - contributor
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff,Jeffrey Immelt - introduction
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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating and candid memoir about successful leadership from the former CEO of General Electric, named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s, and the hard-won lessons he learned from his experience leading GE immediately after 9/11, through the devastating 2008-09 financial crisis, and into an increasingly globalized world.

In September 2001, Jeff Immelt replaced the most famous CEO in history, Jack Welch, at the helm of General Electric. Less than a week into his tenure, the 9/11 terrorist attacks shook the nation, and the company, to its core. GE was connected to nearly every part of the tragedy - GE-financed planes powered by GE-manufactured engines had just destroyed real estate that was insured by GE-issued policies. Facing an unprecedented situation, Immelt knew his response would set the tone for businesses everywhere that looked to GE - one of America’s biggest and most-heralded corporations - for direction. No pressure.

Over the next 16 years, Immelt would lead GE through many more dire moments, from the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis to the 2011 meltdown of Fukushima’s nuclear reactors, which were designed by GE. But Immelt’s biggest challenge was inherited: Welch had handed over a company that had great people, but was short on innovation. Immelt set out to change GE’s focus by making it more global, more rooted in technology, and more diverse. But the stock market rarely rewarded his efforts, and GE struggled.

In Hot Seat, Immelt offers a rigorous and raw interrogation of himself and his tenure, detailing for the first time his proudest moments and his biggest mistakes. The most crucial component of leadership, he writes, is the willingness to make decisions. But knowing what to do is a thousand times easier than knowing when to do it. Perseverance, combined with clear communication, can ensure progress, if not perfection, he says. That won’t protect any CEO from second-guessing, but Immelt explains how he’s pushed through even the most withering criticism: by staying focused on his team and the goals they tried to achieve. As the business world continues to be rocked by stunning economic upheaval, Hot Seat “takes you into the office, head, and heart of the man who became CEO of GE on the eve of 9/11, and then led the iconic behemoth for 16 fascinating, and often turbulent, years. A handbook on leadership - and life” (Stanley A. McChrystal, General, US Army [Retired], CEO and Founder, McChrystal Group).

©2021 Jeffrey Immelt (P)2021 Simon & Schuster Audio

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He Tried

I am 63, own a micro-business with my wife, and will never be a CEO of the sort Immelt often addresses. Nonetheless, he put a good effort into the book and his decades at GE. I will seek out more opportunities to hear and read what he has to say. I can give no greater compliment.

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Wow.

As someone who has experienced failures of various sizes and had the privilege of leading people, this book spoke volumes to me. Hot Seat explains a part of our recent modern times in a thoughtful and meaningful way. Thank you Jeff. You have encouraged me when I sit in a lonely seat many days.

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The numbers don't lie. Jeff is the best ever.

I've never been employed by GE, but I was a licensed lessor, married a VP, and wrote a lot of auto fintech for them (and many others) from 1977 thru 2020. Loved reading about events I was involved in, and how things played out.
Jeff is 10x the leader Jack was and 10x the leader Mr. Culp could ever be.  Albeit in absentia, the monetary and societal benefits of restoring GE as an industrial company are just emerging via presidential executive order. My (know-body) prediction is Jeff will (virtually) return to the helm because nobody at GE now can do what he did then. The United States of America is on the verge of an econocentric and an ecological recovery. While GE stockholders may enjoy the money from his labor for a while, only Jeff can sustain it - probably only as an outlier. 


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great but

just always hope the author's would read their own book. otherwise great and worth the time!!

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Could have gone deeper

Mr Immelt’s story was enjoyable but I had hoped to read a more thorough account of his time at GE. I had a lot of respect for GE and have no doubt that there were plenty of talented people there. Might be better if we get to read Steve Bolze’s and John Flannery’s side of the story too

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It was good story from Iggie

title says it all, u don't have time to wait for a decision to b made, u have to make them. Rarely do u get insight from a former chairman, if u ever made a mistake in business, and a great decision,read or listen to this audio.

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Awesome book about GE and Jeff Immelt’s reflections on his tenure

Sharp read, you will be able to learn a lot about managing a conglomerate and assess all the events, years and what Jeff Immelt as CEO faced as downside and headwinds during his leadership years. Great clarity, transparency and straight talk.

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Insightful

As a former GE alumna this was a must read, and I am thankful Jeff decided to write it. I am grateful for my time there with him at the helm, and there were so many unanswered questions I wanted to ask him, as I left the company over a decade ago. This felt like sitting down and chatting with him, straight forward, honest - even raw- and indispensable. Great lessons on humility, leadership and specially reflection

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Excellent read .. enjoyed it every page.

Easy to grade a CEO but really eye opening to read what they go through .. especially Jeff.

Thank you Jeff .. for your hard work, dedication and commitment. Great lessons learnt. Thank You.

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Pass the blame

I worked for GE under Jeff and met him on occasion. Like him I loved, lived, and bleed GE. Jeff takes the blame on many points and I respect him for that but at times he tried to pass the blame whenever possible. The fact is he took over a great company and when he left it was in much worse shape. End of story, the buck has to stop with him. You can blame 9/11 and the financial crisis only so much. The blame has to be owned by Jeff and no one else.