To be a leader, one must have many qualities. Most people believe that leaders have qualities that determine if they are a good or bad leader, such as being smart, punctual, sociable, and charismatic. These traits are all very important to a leader, but the novel, Judgment, by Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis explain that the most important quality to a leader is their ability to make good decisions. Tichy and Bennis write Judgment to clarify what is really important in a leader and what leadership really means.
Judgment is extremely important in a leader. Tichy and Bennis make sure to emphasize that leaders MUST make good judgment calls because in business, the only thing that matters is the results, not the process. But, making good judgments is difficult. Each situation is different and each person will react differently to the situations. The best way to describe a good judgment call is by identifying the different components that are important in making a good decision. There are three main areas a leader must make decisions in: people, strategy, and crisis; and in each area, there is a three-phase process in decision making: preparation, the call, and the execution. Because every person is unique, decisions and actions are different, based on every individual person’s situation. Sir William Osler, one of the fathers of modern medicine, once said, “If only all patients were identical, medicine would be a science, not an art” (Tichy and Bennis 7). This concept also applies to business. If every person was the same, then the process of decision- making for each leader would be a science; it would be known. Because all individuals are different, the process of making a good judgment call is an art. It is not something that will come in equations and laws. Good judgment is something that all leaders want to acquire, and will work hard for.
Each decision a leader makes will affect the overall project or company and so, a successful leader is based on how many good judgment calls he or she makes. At the same time, Tichy and Bennis says that the only thing that really matters is “not how many calls a leader gets right, or even what percentage of calls a leader gets right. Rather, it is how many of the important ones he or she gets right” (Tichy and Bennis 15). It is important to know that a good judgment call is not an event; it is a process. The bigger, more important processes are what a leader becomes famous for, and the outcome of the decision determines if he or she was a good leader or a bad one. A good example of this would be the second President Bush. Even though he was a good president and had good intentions, he will always be remembered for the wrong decision of invading Iraq, which will always haunt him.
The last two big concepts that this book contains is storyline and a teaching point of view (TPOV). Each leader must have a teachable point of view, which sets the direction and behavioral values. Then, the narrative storyline animates the future scenario. TPOVS are important because they are “what enable leaders to take the valuable knowledge and experiences that they have stored up inside their heads and teach them to others” (Tichy and Bennis 51). Only successful leaders have TPOVs which make them teachers to the next generation. TPOVs and storylines work together and are the keys to making a leader become successful. A leader must have both a TPOV and a storyline to know their goal and follow through with the processes.
The ideas that Tichy and Bennis really surprised me; all the qualities that are supposed to be in a successful leader are qualities that I, myself lack. I believe that I can become a better leader now that I know what it takes to become one, but it will be a much harder process for me than many others. Judgment talks about how becoming a good leader is about knowing what to do at the right times. I believe I can do this, but I will lack in the execution phase...
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