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Jack Welch earned a legendary reputation for the way he led GE as Chairman and CEO for 20 years from 1981 to 2001.

He laid great emphasis on picking “winners” and in his book “Winning” lays down what he looks for in hiring best talent.

As a base level requirement, Welch believes that candidates should have :

  • Integrity: People with integrity are described as those who tell the truth and keep their word.
  • Intelligence goes beyond education . They should be smart with intellectual curiosity.
  • Maturity is not related to age. It means respecting others emotions. Being confident without being arrogant.

Welch writes of the 4-E framework which he used extensively in GE. He looks for these in candidates:

  • Energy: Positive energy to achieve. To thrive on action and relish change. They work hard and play hard.
  • Ability to energize others: To inspire their teams. To spread their enthusiasm and energy to others. To have strong persuasion skills.
  • Edge: The courage to make tough decisions. Making a tough call without waiting endlessly for all the information.
  • Execute: The ability to get the job done. Knowing how to put decisions to action and overcome obstacles to get things done.

In addition to the 4-Es, is 1-P, which stands for Passion. Welch describes this as ” heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work”. People with passion love to learn and grow . They get a big kick when people around them do the same.

Many times while hiring talent, managers are satisfied when candidates have job knowledge. They forget that while knowledge is undoubtedly important, it alone does not guarantee success. Essential is the ability to use that knowledge profitably – through  effective execution skills and the right attitude.

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