The 4E’s of Leadership: Still the Best Management Model

Long before The Unforced Error, there was one of the best management models I have ever learned. In fact, it was the subject of an entire book entitled JACK WELCH AND THE 4E’S OF LEADERSHIP and it turned out to be one of those quiet classics that still sells today—five years after its original publication.


That’s because this management model is timeless and works in any kind of organization, of any size. It’s also a simple model that anyone could grasp quickly (although the detail in my book helps to make this model  operational in no time). First let’s define the 4E’s:

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 need no caffeine to operate at peak performance.   

Energize: Energizers 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: At first there were only the three “Es” above.  But GE discovered that some managers who were rich in the E’s above still did not make their financial 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.  

Those are the E’s.  If you are an employee or a manager, you should work toward improving your “E” quotient. If you are a hiring manager, look for people who have these traits. If you want to learn how to put them to work in your organization—and you will forgive the self-promotion—get your hands on the only book that explains how to implement this model step-by-step—Jack Welch and the 4E’s of Leadership.


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