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.
March 13, 2009
There are few events in ancient Indian history that continue to grab as much attention as Ashoka’s warrior king of the times and is even said to have killed his brothers in a fit of rage — was the Kalinga War.
All this changed after the war, which took place around 265 BCE and, according to Ashoka’s edicts, claimed over 100,000 lives. The carnage deeply scarred Ashoka and radically changed the nature of his empire.
Ashoka embraced Buddhism and adopted ahimsa as his official policy. In one of his edicts, Ashoka declared: “The killing, death or deportation of a hundredth, or even a thousandth part of those who died during the conquest of Kalinga now pains Beloved-of-the-Gods. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods thinks that even those who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible.”
The latter half of Ashoka’s reign was marked by acts of piety and tolerance. Ashoka turned his attention to building stupas — including the Sanchi stupa — rest houses and roads. A policy of accommodation and alliance with neighbouring kingdoms was followed. He also sent out Buddhist missionaries to distant places. The decision that Ashoka took on the bloody plains of Kalinga transformed him from a bloodthirsty conqueror to an apostle of peace. That is how India and the world remember him.
Ashokan pillars, which were strewn across his enormous empire, are now the emblem of India and the dharmachakra (the wheel of righteous duty), that crowned the columns, has found a place in India’s flag.