JACK Welch believed effective leaders exhibit four characteristics: personal energy; the ability to energise others; the ability to execute; and the ability to make tough decisions, which he called edge. These were his “4Es” of leadership.
If what we want is charismatic leadership only, he was right. Charismatic leadership has been much admired in the past 30 years as a result of the media and Hollywood creating superstar CEOs – the boardroom equivalent of Superman. However, charismatic leadership has three potentially serious dangers: self-importance and ego; intolerance of different opinions; and dependent subordinates afraid to be accountable.