The World According to Shane

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Note from GE

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I came across this note today, that I received from a friend of mine, Jack Daly, a Sales and Culture Coach from the US exactly 3 years ago this week. Its an extract from an interview with Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE in 2007 about people. There were 3 quick points about people that resonated then I included them in our monthly newsletter), and still resonate today, so I thought I would share.


Interestingly, this interview was from before the GFC and the challenges that the world has and still is now facing. Reading the note again, I felt the points were just as valid today as in 2007. I guess it just goes to show the fundamentals of business (and people) don't really change.

[From Jack Daly]
[From Shane Ridley]

Back in December 2007, there was an insightful interview in USA Today with GE CEO Jeff Immelt.

Here were a few questions (and answers) I found of particular value, taken from the leader of a Company that has been in the top five of the Fortune 500 since the 50's, and a Company that seems to produce more CEO's and business leaders of the Fortune 2000 than any other single source.

Q: What skills do people need to be leaders 10 and 20 years from now, especially in international business?
A: It's curiosity. It's being good with people. And it's having perseverance, hard work, thick skin. Those are the three traits that every successful person that I've known has in common. Most of what I have learned when I was young was how to be a general manager. But successful leaders in the next 10, 20 or 30 years will have to be real experts. They are going to have to know how to pick products and how to pick countries. What you should be learning is how to develop your own touch and feeling for customers, technology, innovation, globalization- things like that....And we are really in a what-and-where generation, not so much a who-and-how generation.

"It's curiosity. It's being good with people. And it's having perseverance, hard work, thick skin".
- Is it just me, or are these traits, that on average at least, seem to be missing in our current workforce (of all generations)?

Q: Generation Y has a different view of work. Does your management program need to change?
A: Generation Y-or whatever they call it-I've never seen smarter people, more curious people, more worldly people. I am so optimistic about the talent I see. The other thing I would tell generation Y is that there is a generation A in India. And they want what you have. They want quality of living. They want a second car. They want a vacation home. So, either with you or with them I am going to build a future for GE.


"With you or with them, I am going to build a future"
- This is an interesting point (in 2007 remember). Today, I have just as many employees offshore, as I do in my office in Toowoomba. Not because I want to, but because I cant find the right skills and motivation locally (See above).

Q: You can't be an expert on everything. Do you have a sniff test to be sure that you're getting good information?
A: I have things that I watch. I watch rail loadings in the United States. I watch trailer rentals. I watch consumer delinquency. I get these things every day. So I have probably a dozen statistics that I have found, over time, are leading indicators of what is going on. I am on the board of the New York Fed, which I joined three years ago, so even though I didn't get A's in economics, I rub shoulders with people who got A's in economics at least once a month. And I kind of stir it all up in terms of how it feels to talk to the board-and that's how I make decisions. The only way to run a company like GE, with our size and mass and everything is: Bad news has to travel as fast as good news. You have a management team and a culture where people are trained to give you bad news on losses, bad news on what's going on in the markets.


Lead Indicators and Bad News
- What are your lead indicators? Please share. I must confess, I only have internal lead indicators, but having read this article again, think I'll hunt around for a few external ones as well.

The World According to Shane - I think a lot of people would do well to consider the first two points and how they apply to the way they operate now and into the future. As an employer or an employee.

Shane

 

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Comments

Ryan Myler

Director/ Financial Planner

Optimas Financial Planning

Shane has provided me with invaluable advice, being that I am in start up phase with my business. His knowledge of business in general, along with his strong understanding of the current trend toward social media and it's influence, have provided me with insights on how to grow my company. I would strongly recommend Shane in a business mentoring role due to his depth knowledge and broad experience, along with his superior story telling ability to make the complex simple.


June 25, 2012

Indiana Forrest-Bisley

Business Development Manager Australian Exhibitions & Conferences

Shane exhibited with us at the 2012 Safety in Action trade show - Melbourne. I found him to be extremely professional and furthermore his pre employment training services were a hit at the show. We will see Shane return to the safety show Perth (August 7-9). If you're in need of ANY type of pre employment training
I would strongly reccommend OTrain to anyone within HR."


June 29, 2012