John Gardner

Judgment is the ability to combine hard data, questionable data, and intuitive guesses to arrive at a conclusion that events prove to be correct. Judgment-in-action includes effective problem solving, the design of strategies, the setting of priorities, and intuitive as well as rational judgments. Most important, perhaps, it includes the capacity to appraise the potentialities of co-workers and opponents.


Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult.

Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience misleading and judgment difficult.

David Dunning

One of the pet phrases I have is “The road to self-insight runs through other people.” Other people can often give us invaluable feedback that can really correct an illusion that we’re suffering from.

One of my favorite, but most chilling, findings is from a study that surveyed surgical residents. They were asked about their surgical skills, and then they were given the standardized board exam. … [ Read more ]

Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis

Most of a leader’s important calls reside in one of three domains: people, strategy, or crisis. People judgments—getting the right people on your team and developing up-and-comers who themselves demonstrate good judgment—are foundational. The people around you help you make good strategy judgment calls and the best decisions during the occasional but inevitable crisis. It’s sometimes possible to repair the damage—to a company or a … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

I think most big errors are errors of omission rather than errors of commission. They are the ones that companies never get held to account for—the times when they were in a position to notice something and act on it, had the skills and competencies or could have acquired them, and yet failed to do so. It’s the opposite of sticking to your knitting: It’s … [ Read more ]

William Penn

Knowledge is the treasure, but judgement is the treasurer of a wise man.

Philip D. Metz

The best companies tend to rely on the professional judgment of their people. They hire good people and take their advice. Companies that are weaker apply metrics more mechanistically. R&D’s job is to create a buffet of wonderful ideas. My job is to have good taste.