Q: When you choose men and women to promote, to be a leader of the company, what qualities do you look for?
A: You clearly want somebody who can articulate a vision. They have to have enormous energy and the incredible ability to energize others. If you can’t energize others, you can’t be a leader.
As you discover in this chapter, it only takes two questions to assess the 10 best predictors of on-the-job success. One of the questions involves understanding a candidate’s past performance in great detail. The other question gets at the person’s thinking, planning, and problem-solving abilities. The secret here is that you’ll repeat the questions over and over again to see trends, links, and consistency. Before we get to the questions themselves, GE offers a slightly different view on assessing success that’s worth evaluating.
In Jack: Straight from the Gut, Jack Welch discusses the importance of building outstanding teams, considering this to be his core legacy.[*] He also describes the four Es of GE leadership used to assess competency. The four Es are the ability to energize yourself, energize others, the edge to make tough decisions, and the ability to execute.
I have been a headhunter since 1978, so I’ve had an opportunity to work with some great talent. I’ve tracked many of these top people over the course of their careers for 5, 10, some even as long as 15 to 20 years. ...