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 because I will doubt myself somewhere in the middle and change my tactics. Hopefully, this book has taught me real life situation lessons.
Tichy and Bennis explain that there are three different domains that leaders must essentially make decisions on. The first and most important domain is people judgment calls. It is the most important because it has the most potential of being fatal if a wrong judgment call is made. Also, if the wrong people are chosen for a team, then there is a high possibility for the strategy not to be executed and for crises to be handled poorly. So, the first and foremost actions that need to be done are to figure out who should and should not be on the team.
A good leader needs to know how to choose team members because they are responsible in “recognize[ing] the need, fram[ing] the issue, and mobiliz[ing] and align[ing] the parties who can provide the information and advice needed to make a good call” (Tichy and Bennis 88). This is extremely difficult because the leader must evaluate each person based on what they know. Also, people are not objects and so a leader may become attached and that will impair the leader’s judgment and will lead to failure. A good scenario for people judgment calls would be A. G.
Lafley who worked for P&G. Lafley came into P&G with a plan. He wanted to make sure the company changed for the better. But to make this change, he did what I believe is one of the hardest aspects of the people judgment calls. He had more than half of the top thirty executives leave or do another project because they were not as good as they could be in changing the company. Then from there, Lafley worked to stick to his storyline and make P&G successful. His original plans did not always go through but I believe that is also another reason why he was such a great leader.
He adapted to the changes before they could bring him down, and ultimately made him to be known as a good leader. Then to top it off, he chose Deb Henretta to be in charge of the baby care business. She had no experience in this field, but he knew that she would bring an objective view to the table with many new ideas. The next important domain that leaders must face is strategy judgments. These are important because they set the objects and the agenda of the leader. This is slightly different from people judgment calls because strategy judgments must be attended continuously.
Updates are always needed because they constantly evolve. Each action in a strategy lays out a new stage for the next action. According to Irving Janis, there are three human problems that cause bad judgment: defensive avoidance (delaying decisions unduly), overreaction *making decisions impulsively in order to escape the anxious state), and hypervigilance (obsessively collecting more and more information instead of making a decision) (Tichy and Bennis 138). These are three human emotions that would create a bad leader to jump into wrong judgments calls.
A great scenario that demonstrates a good strategy judgment would be Best Buy’s strategy to become customer centricity. The CEO, Brad Anderson, was newly appointed in 2002 after a five year best-performing stock run. In 2002, technology advanced and created more competition for Best Buy. For the first time in five years, there was a drop in the stocks. Anderson realized that there needed to be a change and so he decided to change the product-centric Best Buy into a customer-centric one.
This meant a “wrenching cultural change in which they looked at the customer-value proposition, which in turn made them change the store offerings and in turn meant they would have new leadership in the store and at the associate interface with their customers” (Tichy and Bennis 141). He then mobilized and aligned workers and found ways to execute his new plan. The now customer-centric Best Buy would softly change smaller things such as sales strategies to focus more on the individual needs of the customers.
The reason why this is a perfect scenario is because Best Buy had to execute a redo loop, which means the strategy judgment calls were not perfect, but because Best Buy was under good leadership, a redo loop was done to keep it on track. This shows amazing leadership skills. The last domain is crisis judgment calls. This is extremely important because by definition, a crisis can threaten the well-being of an organization. A good leader will take full responsibility in times of crisis. They must be able to frame the nature of the crisis and make sure to handle it without losing sight of the goal of the company.
Sometimes, inadequate leaders will only find ways to solve the crisis, but lead away from the ultimate goal. Crisis is a big problem because it can end a company, but it is placed last after people and strategy calls because bad judgments in either people or strategy calls can cause a crisis. I believe that the triage nurse example in Judgment was the perfect scenario. This example clearly explains the crucial importance of good crisis judgment calls. Triage nurses deal with making good crisis judgment calls every day.
Their jobs require them to look at a patient, understand the situation/wound, and compare it to other patients and other patients’ injuries. This could sometimes mean giving up one life to save another, but it is all based on the nurse’s call. They make quick decisions so they do not lose any time deliberating on who gets to survive and who does not. The reason why they can do this so well is they are prepared. Kathy Gallo, a former director of an emergency department, says that, “the environment trains you to always be sensing, ‘What’s next? so there are no surprises and the patient and family receive the best care possible” (Tichy and Bennis 181). Preparation is the key to making a good crisis judgment call. The reason why triage nurses are the perfect scenario for good crisis judgment calls is because they are perfect examples of calm, collected leaders working to achieve the ultimate goal: take care of as many patients as possible. Triage nurses stay calm and think of all the components of the situation before hastily making a good decision. They are trained for this also, which makes them more professional.
This is what leaders need. Leaders must have the ability to stay collected under a crisis and deal with it professionally. These are all the defining moments of a good leader. As of right now, I believe I do not have the experience to be known as a leader. I panic under pressure and do not think of an action all the way through. So my storyline will be about becoming a better leader in the near future and becoming a better person in general. As of right now, I believe I am in good standings to becoming a good leader in the future. My life is enriched with lessons I can learn for the future.
The two aspects in my life right now that will help me are my family and schoolwork. My parents are extremely ethical people, and I would like to think that my core ethical values reflect theirs. My parents do not believe in breaking the law or hurting others, to the smallest detail. Once, my family went to a skiing trip and I accidentally walked out of a store holding a deck of cards. I realized this at the cabin and so, the next day, we all walked back to the store and made sure to pay for it. These values are very admirable because many people lack them, and so I want to stay close to my family to keep learning their views.
Also, schoolwork is extremely important right now because this knowledge is what is going to help me in my future job. This Business 107: Organizational Behavior class seems to be one of the more helpful classes I took in University of California, Riverside because I am learning real life problems, not just in class problems. My goal is to become a successful business woman; someone not afraid to take charge and lead her company to being successful and overall content. I believe with the knowledge I take from classes and home, I can do this.
I want to be a business woman with good morals and treat others with respect. I believe in treating others well, and not stepping on others to make myself rise to the top. I truly believe that if I learn to respect and treat others with integrity, I will be treated the same. This may be naive, but this is the way I want to become successful. To become successful, I know it is going to take a lot of work. The two things I want to do to get to this spot would be gain experience and then gain courage and character. Experience is going to be difficult, but I feel I am already on the right track.
I am vice president of a club called Korean American Student Association, which is a lot of work. Also, I have had a lot jobs that required me to deal with different types of people and be very composed, no matter what the situation. On the other hand, courage and character (essential for being a good leader) will take a good amount of experience to gain. Character is the “guiding role in how honest personal feedback and coaching are in the organization, how internal competition and politics are handled, and how suppliers and customers are treated” (Tichy and Bennis 70).
Character also is the ability to put the organization or society above self-interest. This is extremely important for a leader because leaders should know how to sacrifice for the good of everyone else. Character is required to have a good track record of judgment calls. The next attribute I need to work on is courage. Courage is something I have been working on in general for a long time. My personal life motto is, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”. For instance, I used to do gymnastics when I was a young child. Now, I go to the gymnastics gym to practice flips and what not.
I learned how to do a back flip off the wall by pushing aside the fear. I had to have courage to pull the stunt. This courage will help me become a better leader as well. If I have the confidence in doing something, I should be able to do it. I believe that I have had enough experiences in my life to have a small teaching point of view. To be a good person, not even just a leader, I believe that one should never regret their past mistakes. Once a person dwells on those smaller insignificant details in the past, he or she will never be able to push forward to the future.
The future has so many more opportunities, which can be passed easily by dwelling on the past. Also, family is always important. That is where people learn their fundamental ethics and beliefs. Family will always be a big part of life, and so never ignore or sacrifice family for anything else. I understand my TPOV is small and not too surprising, but that is because I still have so many more experiences to go through to fully be able to explain a good TPOV. I am not a great leader, not even a great person, but I know I will get there. In judgment calls, there are four types of knowledge that are needed.
They are self-knowledge, social network knowledge, organizational knowledge, and stakeholder knowledge. Each one of these knowledge types is important for a good leader. First, self knowledge is the information one must know about him or herself. A person must know who he or she is, what he or she wants, and why. I believe I am a student who has high hopes for being a great leader in the future. I know I want to work in a company as an accountant. My dream job would be working in Disney, because I adore kids and Disney has always helped me when I was younger.
The child in me wants to help Disney. I will try my best this year and next year to attain an internship with Disney in Burbank, not the Disney collegiate program because I believe working at Disneyland is not my main concern. Until I get the internship, I will work extremely hard on other jobs to create a stronger resume. I am willing to change my plan anytime. Also, if I do not get the Disney internship, that is fine. I am willing to work in any other big companies that helped me such as Cartoon Network or Warner Brothers.
I want to work for one of these companies because I was looking into acting when I was younger, and these are the companies I have always wanted to work for. Social network knowledge is important to leaders because this is the “map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied” (Tichy and Bennis 40). Because leadership uses teamwork, it is important for a leader to know and understand the team. They have to work to encourage each other, draw on each other’s best resources, and help each other learn to make better judgments in their respective area of responsibilities.
Right now, I am vice president of KASA and so my team would mostly be the staff. I work hand in hand with the president of the club. In our staff, we have many positions, each with a specific job. We have president, internal vice president (that’s me), external vice president, general manager, public relations, activities chair, secretary, and treasurer. Next year, I want to do co-presidency with my roommate because I believe being president is a lot of responsibility and I believe I can do it better with someone by my side. Besides, my leadership skills are not great enough to lead a whole club yet.
To become president, I have to make sure to pay attention very closely this year to our current president. I want to learn all the different responsibilities this title holds, and then I want to learn how our current president handles them. I will also see where mistakes are made and learn from them so those same mistakes will not happen to me. This is my social network knowledge. The next knowledge leaders need to know is called organizational knowledge. A good leader needs to always try to better the team and in order to do so; a good leader must know all the different components in the organization.
As of right now, I know all my networks and different people I can count on. My friends and family are two of the biggest parts of my life that will help me with anything. I know I can count on them to make sure I do well. This knowledge is the knowing of each responsibility in a team and utilizing each one in the action. I know who is most important to me and who will always be there for me versus those who will only be there sometimes. I can organize myself around that. In the future, I want to try and strengthen some bonds with friends so that I have more reliable people to help me in the future.
I will do this by just strengthening bonds in those I have weak bonds with. Knowing that I have reliable resources means I will be able to organize any projects in the future. The last knowledge is stakeholder knowledge. It is important to include everyone in a judgment call and this is what this knowledge is for. A leader is supposed to “engage customers, suppliers, the community, and boards in generating knowledge to support better judgments” (Tichy and Bennis 41). Stakeholder knowledge is attained by research and surveys. This is where customer satisfaction comes into play.
A good leader must be able to understand all the different aspects of each stakeholder. I believe this takes a lot of effort, but this is necessary in becoming a good leader. Right now, I do not have much stakeholder knowledge since I am a student. I have the teachers and community around me, but as I become a leader, I want the amount of stakeholders to grow. I will do this by getting into a good job and using as much of this information to make me a good leader and work on things such as engaging customers. A good leader must be careful because stakeholder knowledge is very important.
Stakeholders can create a lot of the crises if not watched. Judgment was a book that was supposed to teach students about being a good leader, and I would have to say it did a great job. I can honestly say that I learned the most about real-life situations in a company through this book. I got a good glance at how a real life company works and I learned a lot to become a great leader. Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis found a good way to teach their point of views and I will now try my best to pass it on to the next generation. Bibliography Tichy, Noel M. and Warren G. Bennis Judgment. Penguin Group 2007.