I was listening to Jack Welch, and he gave good advice on how to hire the best person for the job and what to look for. It wasn’t too surprising at first… but then he added a final thought on what’s really important that changed my view.
Jack started with “smarts” and “integrity” – which are almost a given for all the good candidates. “Smarts” is not just IQ but common sense as well. If a candidate’s integrity and values don’t match your organization’s values – let them succeed elsewhere.
Jack then outlined what he uses to distinguish the “best” candidates from the “good” candidates. He calls it “The four Es and one P.”
- Energy: They go the distance, and not just at crunch time.
- Energize others: They exude positivity and stir others to action, contagiously.
- Edge: They can make yes-or-no decisions, without analyzing everything to death, and can adapt and cut their wrong decisions quickly, letting their winners run.
- Execution: They get out from behind the desk and make ideas happen.
- Passion: They have it – for both work and life. “Passionate people sweat the details; they’re curious, they care” – and they are not one-dimensional.
When you are interviewing people, ask questions that test whether they have demonstrated these skills. If you are the interviewee, you want to make sure that your answers tell your personal story and demonstrate these qualities.
Then Jack added what he thought was the game changing quality for leaders today – having a “generosity gene.”
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