Four E’s of High Performing Leaders

It is difficult to simply explain, what exactly makes a good leader, what we need to look for in people who will make good leaders or which skills we need to develop in ourselves, or others, to improve our leadership.

In the book JACK WELCH AND THE 4E’S OF LEADERSHIP, it explains the techniques Jack Welch used to identify great leaders and drive unprecedented financial performance.

Whilst probably not perfect or complete, this 4E’s model gives a good, simple model of the skills needed and what to look for in great leaders.

The 4 Es are Energy, Energise, Edge and Execute.

  • Energy:
    People with energy go 75-miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour world.
    People rich in this “E” jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on all challengers. They don’t need caffeine to operate at peak performance.
  • Energise:
    Energisers articulate a vision and then get others to turn that vision into a reality.
    They spark others to perform.
    They take the blame when things go wrong but give others the credit when things go well.
  • Edge:
    People with Edge know how to make tough decisions.
    They know when to say yes and when to say no.
    They avoid the maybes.
    These solid decision-makers are more valuable than ever due to the turbulent times in which we do business.
  • Execute:
    People with Execute have the ability to get things done.

At first there were only the first three “Es” Energy, Energise and Edge, but GE discovered that some managers who were rich in these still did not make their targets. That’s when the fourth “E” was added. Managers who possess this “E” get things done. They make all of their commitments and make their numbers.

I like this model, I think it’s a good simple approach to identifying people who will become Leaders.

For me the first 3 Es are about Leadership and the last E is more about Management. I do believe that you can be a good Leader with first 3 Es, but then you will need strong managers who will help you ensure that your vision is delivered.

If you have all 4 Es then you will be a great Leader.

Not only will you be able to create the vision, inspire the people, make the right decisions, but ultimately you will be able to deliver the vision.

How do you think you measure up against the 4Es?

Do you score highly in Energy, Energise, Edge and Execution?

What do you need to work on to develop yourself further into a great leader?