Sound bites are just not enough: what is Jeff Immelt really like?

This video of about an hour gives us a long look at the man and tells you quite a lot about what he thinks about leadership and innovation. Does it give us enough to help us predict how he’ll do in his new position as leader of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness?

The task ahead of him may pose challenges unlike any he has faced at GE. Are there any clear signals in the speech that he may surprise the pundits and make policy recommendations which might seem at odds with his background as the CEO of one of America’s largest enterprises?

Immelt’s speech was given as a View from the Top event at the Stanford Graduate School of Business on May 24, 2010, which was dedicated to Roanak Desai, a second-year MBA student who died in the spring of 2010 after a short illness.

In the speech ‘Leaders Must Drive Change’, Immelt strongly recommends listening receptively to naysayers. The fact that he will find no shortage of contrarian voices in the innovation community will make us all the more intrigued to discover whether he will ultimately live up to or contradict expectations.