The Point: What type of judgement do you have as a leader? Is it sometimes good, sometimes bad? And in those judgement-times, how do you go about deciding which way to choose? After all, there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way when it comes to judgement (especially when you consider the outcome of your decision making!) We started thinking here at The Javelin Institute and Tip of the Spear Ventures, how are we using judgement to the fullest capacity when it comes to our leadership? So, in this post we’ll explore the leadership challenge of judgement… Enjoy!
You Will Be Judged on Your Judgement Abilities
Larry was a mid-level leader working for a Fortune 100 organization. We were assigned to conduct one of our Centered Executive Coaching initiatives with him (Specifically, our Stakeholder Centered Coaching engagement). Part of our Stakeholder Centered Coaching engagement consisted of conducting a 360-degree assessment, whereby Larry and Larry’s Stakeholders (Those he reported to, his peers, and those that reported to Larry) would all gage his effectiveness as a leader. The 360-degree assessment was conducted, and the results were in… and they were not pretty!
It turned out that Larry’s opinion of how effective he was as a leader differed dramatically from the opinions of his stakeholders. While there were a lot of potential reasons for these differences of perspective being present when it came to Larry, it turns out that the primary culprit for his stakeholders ranking him lower was his judgement (or his ability to accurately judge a situation, assignment, personnel, etc.) Larry was being judged based on his abilities to judge!
The Single Most Important Judgement Topic
I’ve seen a lot of leaders from a consulting perspective. One question that I used to ask a lot (and am considering bringing back out on the road with me) is “What keeps you up at night?” When I asked Larry this question, he had the following to say:
“What keeps me up at night as a leader is my ability to properly judge a candidate regarding when it’s not working, and we need to make a ‘should they stay, or should they go?’ decision. In my mind, this is the single most important judgement topic.”
It turns out Larry is not alone. According to an Inc. Magazine article, roughly 70% of leaders are concerned about their ability to hire and then effectively decide if they should fire personnel. Most leaders would rather err on the side of “stay” and prove to themselves, as well as their stakeholders, that they did everything they could to keep the individual (Apply resources, provide training, etc.) before sending them packing.
I worked with Larry to not only establish judgement criteria which would significantly alter his success rates, but also revamped their hiring/onboarding process as well. The results were that he soon had less turnover, but the turnover he did conduct was done in a logical/objective manner.
In this post we’ve explored the leadership challenge of judgement. We all are going to be faced as leaders with those moments where we have to decide. It’s the outcome of these judgement decision-moments that others will look to gage our success/failure rates. Insuring that you have a logical/objective methodology when it comes to applying judgement is crucial to your success as a leader.
PS – 2020 will be here before we know it, and I see some disturbing Leadership-trends taking place. If you’d like to receive a white paper I wrote on “5 Ways Your Leadership Will Fail in 2020” CLICK HERE.
PPSS – As we hit the halfway point of 2019, I’m launching my most aggressive initiative to date. It’s a 501(c)(3) structured nonprofit that provides Executive Education and Coaching to allow you to become the BEST leader possible (NOT Good, NOT Better… but BEST!). Launched in July 2019, I’m allowing 10 people in my network to “test-drive” the offering. If you’d like more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.