“Growth starts here!” proclaimed General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt (2010), in his annual letter to shareowners as the company emerged from the worst economy since the Great Depression.
It was 2010. The chief laid it out for his team and for those who follow and believe in his leadership: It is time to reset the vision, refocus the business model, and transform for competitive success. Ways that worked well in the past need to be reviewed and reworked. If hard times exposed weakness, it was time for leadership to discard and re-deal. Matching the urgency of the moment, Immelt adjusted GE’s leadership strengths. Defining the new growth path, he underscored the strategic art of listening.