Mastering Judgement: A Blueprint for Effective Leadership

2nd May, 2024
Photo credit: ICC Sydney
This opinion piece on thought leadership is authored by Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and Group Director – Convention Centres at ASM Global (APAC).
In the realm of corporate leadership, one intangible yet indispensable quality is judgement. This trait, while not necessarily or readily teachable, is eminently learnable. Savvy leaders worldwide have honed strategies to refine their judgement, recognising it as a cornerstone of effective leadership. At its core, judgement embodies the art of making timely, informed decisions – a vital resource in a leader's toolkit.
Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and Group Director – Convention Centres at ASM Global (APAC)Drawing from the wisdom of leaders around us, we glean insights into perfecting our judgement. Observation serves as a useful tool, allowing us to absorb not only the successes of our peers, colleagues, and leaders we respect, but also the missteps of others. By learning from both triumphs and failures, we chart a course toward sound decision-making.
Central to effective judgement is timing. Decision-making hinges on discerning the right moment for action. Through navigating challenging circumstances, leaders refine their judgement, steering toward the best possible solutions even amidst challenging times and conditions of uncertainty.
A systematic approach to decision-making can be conveyed in four steps:
  • Define the Issue: Clarity is paramount. Clearly identify the crux of the matter at hand.
  • Gather Information: Cast a wide net, and encourage insights from diverse sources. 
  • Consider Options: Explore myriad possibilities as this fosters a culture of innovation and supports creative problem-solving.
  • Take Action: Decisiveness propels progress. Armed with the insights you have gathered, forge forward and initiate action.
Taking these steps, it is important to keep in mind projects and decisions are not always straightforward. Being agile can be necessary for effective judgement, as flexibility allows for course corrections.
Another observation garnered through experience is that pursuing perfection can hinder excellence. Striving for flawless decisions may impede progress; instead, we champion the quest for the best possible outcomes, adapting our decision-making as circumstances evolve.
A motto that I often share with our team – “The best way to steer a bicycle is to push the pedals,” that is by steadfastly moving forward, we can best navigate the ebbs and flows of corporate terrain, propelled by a commitment to progress. This is about creating momentum. 
Once a decision is made, keep moving forward and if you follow the steps above, observe and absorb learnings from the successful leaders around you – inevitably you will arrive at the best possible solution and your effective judgement will be acknowledged and rewarded.

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