Jack Welch and the 4E’s of Leadership

I learned about this book from the CEO of one of Canada’s largest staffing firms.  We had moved onto the topic of organizational and personal leadership when he brought up the 4E’s.  I had to admit that I had not heard of this and made a silent commitment to read the book as soon as I could get a copy.

I was not disappointed.  Jeffrey A. Krames does a good job of presenting Jack Welch’s viewpoint on the qualities of great leaders.  Here is a quick synopsis.

The 4E’s of Leadership According to Jack Welch

  • The 4E leader has Energy
    Welch’s ideal leaders have boundless reserves of energy and a strong penchant for action. They embrace change and love the thrill of the game.
  • The 4E leader Energizes
    Energizers inspire, mobilize people to act, and spark others to perform.  They don’t engage in turf wars, operate in silos, or tolerate backbiting behavior.
  • The 4E leader has Edge
    Individuals with edge have a competitive spirit and know the value of speed.  They’re confident; they know when to green-light or red-light a project or acquisition.  They don’t get paralyzed by paradox.
  • The 4E leader Executes
    Individuals who have the fourth E get things done.  They consistently deliver — in many cases, not just meeting their goals, but blowing them away.  They understand that the first three E’s are of little value unless they are leveraged to produce results.

The book doesn’t stop there — the remaining sections are devoted to practical examples from recognized leaders such as Jeff Immelt, Larry Bossidy and Robert Nardelli.


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