In his commencement address at the University of Connecticut, Jeffrey Immelt gave a rousing and insightful speech on leadership.
As the current CEO of General Electric, Immelt is always looking forward and ensuring that he and his company are at the forefront of innovation. To that end, Immelt shared five important words that he believes are crucial for being a leader in today's volatile 21st century world, they are: change, learn, risk, persist and lead. Change means to create your own future and to be innovative. In order to create change however, one must learn, we must be humble and we must be curious. Through learning, we build confidence and we then become able to take risks. Taking risks sometimes means failure, and we must be resilient and persist in the face of our failures. To lead we must make bold decisions in the face of uncertainty, it is not about blame but rather optimism.
In his speech on leadership, Jeffrey Immelt would encapsulate his thoughts by stating that the "21st century belongs to those who can get out in front of the trends" and in order to do that we must be leaders in our own right.