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Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls by Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis, 2007


Dr. Noel Tichy will be the keynote speaker for our inaugural Alumni-in-Residence program on April 11 and 12.  Dr. Tichy will speak on the topics of Empowering Leaders at Every Level: Great Leaders Must be Great Teachers and Leadership in the Time of Change (see the complete schedule below). The presentations would be based on his years of guiding Fortune 500 companies (GE, Best Buy, Yum, Dell, IBM, Proctor and Gamble, Exxon/Mobile, etc.) toward strategic success using his judgment models.  In the book, Tichy and Bennis explain that making judgments are the critical decisions that leaders must make about people, strategies, and crisis.  The authors delineate how leaders should craft a judgment frame before making critical decisions.  The judgment frame is on a continuum from the preparation phase, to making the decisive and immediate call, and then mapping the execution.  Each portion of the continuum should be intentional and discerning. The authors discussed that during the preparation phase the leader should revisit the identity of the organization as well as frame the questions, issues, and concerns pertaining to the organization.  Within the preparation phase, the leader must mobilize and align the stakeholders before the decision in order to anticipate the reactions. During the execution phase, the leader’s main purpose is to make it happen by following through with the plan.  Throughout the execution, the leader must Ask where are we now? Where are we going? And how do we get there? Also, during this phase, the leader must modify, adjust, and “re-loop” to other phases on the continuum to revisit the process along the way in order to analyze any miss steps. As leaders map the impending decisions, they should make sure that the judgment should include self, social network, organizational, and contextual knowledge.

As I read the book, I was engaged by the authors’ masterful storytelling, wit, and wisdom. The book is resplendent with intellectual as well as practical experiences.