JACK WELCH FORMER CHAIRMAN & CEO | GE
After a while I got the hang of the characteristics that made some people better than others at setting the right goals, reaching them the right way, and doing both in the right amount of time, which is what leadership is when you get right down to it.
Basically, my process assesses four essential traits of leadership (each one starting with an E, a nice coincidence). One, successful leaders have tons of positive Energy. They can go-go-go; they love action and relish change. Two, they have the ability to Energize Others — they love people and can inspire them to move mountains when they have to. Three, they have the Edge, the courage to make tough yes-or-no decisions. And finally, they can Execute.
A leader’s intelligence has to have a strong emotional component. He must be able to withstand the heat, handle setbacks and, when those lucky moments arise, enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility. No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is more important in the making of a leader.