Jack Welch was a business force of immense magnitude. He was Chairman of General Electric for 20 years, and his impact grew the company’s value by 4000%. He is an exceptional leader. He believes there are five leadership traits in addition to the obvious foundation needs – intelligence, emotional maturity and integrity. Without those three obvious requirements, the five traits Welch emphasizes would either not exist, or they would be meaningless. Three of those five either exist within a person or they do not. If not, the other two, which can be learned, also become meaningless.
1. Positive Energy
Leaders neither exhibit a lack of energy nor negative energy; they have an inbuilt positive energy. Positive energy drives someone forward through good times and bad. Positive energy enables an individual whether working alone or managing a team to see the future they want to create and to keep going until they break though the barriers.
2. The Ability to Energize Others
Positive energy is infectious. It not only rubs off on the team, but it becomes part of who they are. Team members see and feel the leader’s energy. It attracts them and they want to copy that powerful trait. A positively charged team accomplishes goals, works through problems, and develops its own energy. That energy drives them all forward and keeps them wanting to succeed.
Welch uses this word to define the leader who can make difficult decisions. Decisions are based on knowledge, experience and, quite often, gut. Leaders give decisive answers – a definite “Yes” or a definite “No”. They do not waffle or wander off topic because it is complicated or has support from both sides of the argument. Leaders have authority and responsibility. That is not always an easy position to be in. Hire the right people, fire the wrong people, support the right project or cancel the wrong one. Leaders know they must make decisions, so they set about learning enough to be able to make the right decision more often than the wrong decision or no decision at all.
4. The Talent to Execute
Leaders get things done. They learn, they consider, they decide and they implement. Decisions without follow-though are not decisions, they are just conversation. Leaders get things done and they earn a track record for getting things done. The net result is that others want to follow them – and get more things done.
Leaders care deeply about themselves, their team, their goals, the organization as a whole, the market they are in and the markets they want to get into. They also care deeply about their customer base. People who are passionate about these things become driven. They have to succeed. That passion, just like positive energy fuels the team and the team’s actions as a whole.
Leaders are tempered in the fire of real-world action, they know the glow of success and the pain of failure. Passionate, people filled with positive energy, get stronger as the fire tempers their steel. Experience gives them the facility to make strong decisions, and to impart their desire to succeed to their team. Recruiting people with these traits enables companies to build for the future, and to capitalize on the presence.
Our strategy focuses on enabling our clients to recruit the right people for the structure in which they will perform. Please contact us to learn more about our expertise in Executive Search for Commercial Leadership positions in Medical Device and Biotechnology; including Marketing, Strategy, Sales Leadership, Training, Development, etc. We look forward to the opportunity to help you consistently improve your performance and your business!
Follow me on Twitter @PrimeCoreSearch.