5 Traits of the Great Leaders

What is it that makes a great leader, what are the skills that help one person succeed where others fail. There are many qualities that leaders have but which are the ones that count. Which are the ones that differentiate is it charisma, drive, engagement, communication, authenticity, integrity, the list goes on.

In the book JACK WELCH AND THE 4E’S OF LEADERSHIP, the book explains the techniques and the leadership traits that Jack Welch looked for in order to identify great leaders and drive unprecedented financial performance.

Whilst this list is probably not perfect or complete, this 4E’s model that Jack Welch used 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 was 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.

Personally, I would add a fifth 5 E, and that would be engagement. The ability to get people enrolled into the goals and objectives that need to be achieved. To engage and make people feel they are part of the team and that they are important and essential to success, and this will help increase their commitment which will help drive their success, and consequently your success.

If you have these five traits, these fives E’s, 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 5Es?

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

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

If you’d like to improve your leadership email me at gordon@gordontredgold.com for a complimentary session to see how we can help you become a great leader and increase your success.