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Summary:

We’ve posted a few times on the leadership qualities of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — and what you can learn from them. See: Obama’s Iowa speech: the difference btw. a Tactician and a Leader. The topic is fostering debate all over, including at […]

We’ve posted a few times on the leadership qualities of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — and what you can learn from them. See: Obama’s Iowa speech: the difference btw. a Tactician and a Leader. The topic is fostering debate all over, including at Harvard Working Knowledge.

The question first caught our eye after a new book by Warren Bennis and Noel Tichy, Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls, was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. See Credentials? Nah. Judgment is what counts.

[The authors] assert that “making judgment calls (especially about people, strategy, and crises) is the essential job of a leader” and go on to say that “with good judgment, little else matters; without good judgment, nothing else matters.” [Even experience!]

Now HWK is conducting an Open Forum to debate the issue. We encourage you to add your thoughts about whether acquired or inherent leadership skills matter more in business. One participant says it’s neither judgment nor experience, but something else entirely:

A lot of things have been said over which influences the other. Is it judgement that is derive from experience, or experience that influences judgement. Whatever item influences the other, I feel that we are missing the point. Both judgement and experience are not shaped by one another. It is shaped by VALUES.
The reason why we had our own brand of experience is not solely due to the judegment and choices that we make.

So what do you think?

  1. I like a discussion of leadership which includes experience, judgment, and values. There is a working relationship between all three parts. Our experiences are often determined by the choices we make, wile at the same time our capabilities to make better choices is influenced by our experience. Our values are the most consistent of all three. For many of us, our values are with us from our childhood. To some extent, our values evolve and mature with the experience of growing up. Later in life, some make changes to their values, but those are conscious choices (judgments). A great leader can be known through his or her experiences, what they have done/what they have not done. The best determinant of someone’s values can be assessed through their experience. Someone who falters from their purported values demonstrates poor judgment.

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Frye
    Blog: Leadership

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