Making Judgment Calls

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People see leaders who make sound judgment calls as heroes; those who show poor judgment–the marketplace rarely treats them well. But making calls can’t be avoided when you’re in charge.

Sound judgment is a key leadership trait that can be developed with thought & practice. Business professors Tichy & Bennis found that leaders make important calls in 3 areas: people, strategy, or crisis. They also identify judgement calls as a process in 3 stages, rather than a single event: Preparation, Call, Execution.

Like the Chinese ideograms depicting cutting instruments & cut cloth, a leader needs to carefully prepare according to a pattern, make the decision to cut, & then take ownership of the decision. Taking ownership means having flexibility & humility to admit poor judgment, & adjusting the decision where possible.

Learn judgment & leadership skills @ Soft Power Skills Academy, & put principles into practice. Learn more at

You can read Tichy & Bennis’ Harvard Business Review article @

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