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Jack Welch’s 4E 1P Formula for Hiring

Jack Welch is the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric corporation and he was and is considered as one of the foremost innovative leaders who shook the corporate world with the radical decisions he made.

Jack believed in keeping employees who performed and kicking out those who did not meet the benchmark. This principle was met with disdain at that time, but now is lauded as the path that all companies must imbibe. It was reported that he fired 10% of his managers who failed to perform up to the mark and rewarded the top 20% with hikes and stock options. His mantra was lead more, manage less.

One thing that Jack Welch was touted to be gifted with is an eye to spot talent and hiring the best individuals available in the market. He imparted the secret to the corporate world on how he went about hiring and the formula he applied is popularly called as 4E 1P.

Whenever Jack hires talents, he evaluates individuals from five angles namely :

jack-welch-ge1. Endless Energy – Individuals with plenty of energy through the day. Those who are filled with dynamism, optimism and enthusiasm. They work through the day with minimum fatigue to show off. They make great relationships at work which help them deliver furthermore.

2. Energize Others – Acts as a catalyst for others to perform, produce and become better at their skill. The person can inspire others and bring in a positive working environment where competition is heralded and back biting is kept at bay side. Persuasion and conflict management are displayed by the individual.

3. Edge – People are expected to take tough decisions at the need of the hour. Every person must act like a leader and take appropriate decision in achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. Examples are hiring, firing and promotion decisions without bringing personal equation into the mix. Middle level managers who come into category must take the right decisions and stick to it, no matter what kind of pressure is applied from the top as well as from the peers.

4. Execute Decisions – In the previous E, people have the edge to take decision but they have to ensure that they execute the plans and run things as planned. No matter what the circumstances are, execution of decisions, projects or services must be delivered on time. There is bound to be interference, confusion and resistance when execution comes into play and the individual must rise above these to display character in executing decisions.

5. Passion – Individuals are expected to be passionate about what they do, how they do it and their interactions with colleagues and customers. The passion must rub off on others in the organization, thereby creating a positive environment filled with energy. Passion must go beyond self and the person must jubilate when peers succeed as well.

Apart from these five aspects, Jack Welch looked at integrity, intelligence and the maturity of the interview candidate.

Having put down this formula, Jack says that he went with gut feeling while he took the final call on whether to hire a person or not. I believe at the end of the day, hiring should be based on the gut feel and the firing and promotion decision must be taken on facts and figures.

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