Four E’s of Building a Team

A wise leader obsesses over having the right players on the team. Whether hiring employees or recruiting volunteers, I find it helpful to have a general framework from which you view potential team members. Over the last couple of posts, I shared some thinking on the four C’s: character, competence, chemistry, and conviction. I personally use those C’s when I am considering bringing someone to the team I am leading.

Another framework is Jack Welch’s Four E’s. Welch served as the leader of General Electric during years of immense growth. When looking for people to bring on the team, Welch looked for someone who had energy, energized others, had an edge, and knew how to execute. I find the Four E’s to be a helpful framework when considering a potential team member.

Energy: Energy does NOT equate to “extrovert” or “type A.” Energy is about passion, not personality, and typically passion cannot be taught. In my experience, when a dispassionate person is corrected, the intensity escalates for a brief season and then it is back to status quo.

Energizes others: Someone who energizes others raises the intensity and intentionality of the entire team. Instead of only impacting the role being filled, he/she exponentially impacts the entire ministry or organization.

Edge: Someone with an edge does NOT mean someone who is a narcissistic jerk. That person doesn’t energize others. Someone with edge is a person who is willing to take a risk, make a hard call, color outside the lines. A person with an edge finds a way instead of searching for an excuse.

Executes: There are many people who can talk a big game. But ultimately all big plans must be executed. They must be put into action, and people who can “make it happen” are gold to the ministry/organization.

As you recruit people to your teams, I encourage you to have some type of mental framework to help you think through the decision. Building a team is far too critical to approach haphazardly.