At our firm, we refer to Jeff as the Father of the Industrial Internet since GE coined the term back in November of 2012. Jeff understood the power of technology innovation and, at the helm, he transformed GE into one of the leading Digital Industrial companies in the world. It was a little surprising that one of the most forwarded thinking industrial leaders (in our humble opinion) admitted today that Digital was actually his own failing. He had focused heavily on product technology and should have pushed more aggressively on IT innovation years earlier. He reminisced about the perceived doom of Amazon back in 2000 and commented that any retailer could be the trillion dollar company that Amazon is today if they had the foresight to do what Jeff Bezos did around IT. He spoke about the importance of dominating the analytics layer so profitable business outcomes could be unlocked. This example served as a foundation for his statement that "the future comes. Never apologize for investing in it". This and other leadership lessons can be found from a blog he just posted.
He joked that on Sept 7, 2001 "when I took the job as CEO I knew everything. Today I know nothing". Jeff, that's not true. You shared with us that:
- Nothing happens in a straight line;
- Being a leader is about making hard decisions and dealing with 90% "un-fun" things;
- Success is about perseverance and focus - people fail because they waste time; and
- We all need to fight to be brave.