How Jack Welch’s Leadership Principles Apply to ESD
By Raj Gupta, Executive Chairman
So you may be surprised to know my favorite leader happens to be a chemical engineer! I bet you have heard of him: Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric.
I have applied successfully Jack Welch’s leadership principles at ESD. They are succinct, easy to understand and very effective. This piece identifies Mr. Welch’s definition of what great leaders do and the four attributes they possess. Also, I provide some lessons learned as I apply Mr. Welch’s ideas at ESD.
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Mr. Welch explains what a leader must do:
“(They) create a vision, articulate the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
I like this simple but powerful definition. It describes what a leader does to accomplish a goal: create, articulate, and complete.
In his books Winning, Jack and The GE Way Fieldbook, Mr. Welch identifies three prerequisites any potential leader must possess: integrity, intelligence, and maturity. He also describes the four qualities effective leaders demonstrate. They are commonly referred to as the “4 E’s”: energy, energizer, edge, and execution.
Energy: Demonstrates proactive, can-do attitude, optimistic, motivated, wants to do great things.
Energizer: Motivates through frequent communication; encourages; supports.
Edge: Able to make tough decisions in a timely manner; addresses conflict head on.
Execute: Always delivers on commitments; able to work creatively around obstacles.
I apply the 4 E’s at ESD and offer the following lessons learned:
Engineers can make business overly complicated. I am a big fan of Mr. Welch’s leadership principles. They provide an effective way to grow our people and ourselves.
Executive Chairman Raj Gupta leads ESD’s mission to Improve Society Through the Built Environment. He works on long-term initiatives to support the company’s future, including the expansion of career development paths for employees.