Things Leaders Do
GE’s Jeff Immelt on the 10 keys to great leadership.
When GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt teaches up-and-coming leaders at the
company’s famed management-development center, he runs through a
checklist of what he calls “Things Leaders Do.” In an interview with Fast Company, Immelt reveals his own leadership checklist.
1. Personal Responsibility.
“Enron and 9/11
marked the end of an era of individual freedom and the beginning of
personal responsibility. You lead today by building teams and placing
others first. It’s not about you.”
2. Simplify Constantly.
“I always use Jack
[Welch] as my example here. Every leader needs to clearly explain the
top three things the organization is working on. If you can’t, then
you’re not leading well.”
3. Understand Breadth, Depth, and Context.
most important thing I’ve learned since becoming CEO is context. It’s
how your company fits in with the world and how you respond to it.”
4. The importance of alignment and time management.
“There is no real magic to being a good leader. But at the end of every
week, you have to spend your time around the things that are really
important: setting priorities, measuring outcomes, and rewarding them.”
5. Leaders learn constantly and also have to learn how to teach.
“A leader’s primary role is to teach. People who work with you don’t
have to agree with you, but they have to feel you’re willing to share
what you’ve learned.”