As part of the Knapp Leadership Lecture series, I had the opportunity on Tuesday to attend a talk with John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE and President & CEO of GE Global Growth. We have gotten a number of really impressive speakers thus far in the semester, but I was particularly excited to hear about GE as they are a company I have personal interest in. GE has always stood out in my mind as a company at the forefront of innovation and international development.
Mr. Rice’s experiences have allowed him to experience business and culture all around the world. While I did really enjoy listening to him speak, it wasn’t really what I was expecting. One of the great things about these types of talks is that they aren’t scripted. It is refreshing to get an off-the-cuff and real perspective about the business world. Mr. Rice spoke to us about his views and experiences regarding free trade and the ever flattening global economy. As someone who has not had the chance to travel internationally nearly as much as I’d like, it is always fun to hear about other parts of the world.
He also touched on GE’s commitment to building relationships in other countries and investing on building the leaders of tomorrow. Training and development is a huge part of GE’s strategy to be globally sustainable. In a world that is becoming more and more competitive, it’s good to hear that there are companies willing to invest the resources necessary to do things the right way.
So it may not have been as GE-centric as I had expected, but I did get a lot out of it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that executives running these multinational corporations are just regular people like the rest of us. It’s nice to experience their human sides and hear what really drives them on a personal level.