Randy Walton - Developing Your Capacity for Good Judgment

Developing Your Capacity for Good Judgment

September 19, 2012

in Lunch & Learn Notes

Using good judgment doesn’t start with a decision making process. You might spend days analyzing a situation and it’s outcomes in order to use your best judgment, but ultimately, this is not where good judgment starts.

Randy Walton is a business consultant and leadership expert. He develops compelling and profitable market strategies by assessing the core values of a company. He took the time to explain these processes in his Lunch & Learn, and show how defining your values is ultimately the first step toward good judgment.

Why does good judgment matter?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s significance is deeper than you may realize.
To show the importance of good judgment, Randy uses this equation:



Competent Skill Sets
+ Efficient Processes
+ Good Information
x Good Judgment
Quality Work (Excellence)

Taking right actions clearly plays a part in quality work, but quality work cannot be produced without good judgment.
Many see good judgment as a reflection of good data, but don’t be deceived. Good information is just a piece of this equation.

Using Good Judgment

Decisions are made either by systematic evaluation or by gut instinct. 

The truth is, most of us are “cognitive misers” as Randy put it. We are lazy minded. We rely largely on the success of past decisions and muscle memory. The only way to move past this is with proper motivation.

What is proper motivation?

Randy said, “When you are forced to strongly evaluate what you value, your judgment improves.”
Good judgment starts with motivation. We are motivated by what we value. Value drives will.

Knowing your values ultimately comes down to a comparison of two competing options, and choosing which you care more about.

For example, you may value both safety and the environment.  But, when it comes to your teenager cruising down the highway, you probably prefer them in a Tahoe over a Prius. Ultimately, you value safety.

Finding Sustainable Transformation

When focusing on good judgment and personal development, we often start with the result. This is a fast and easy way to produce change, but it does not lend to sustainable transformation. Starting with values, and working through thoughts and behaviors is a slower and harder process. However, this is where good judgment is developed.

Values -> Thinking -> Behavior -> Result

“Good judgment is all about what you value.”

Define your personal values.

Find a balance between your value ideals and your actual reflected values. If outsiders were to observe your company, what would they say you value? Too often, the value statement of a company is inconsistent with their actions. Make sure when choosing your values, that you look to what ultimately drives you. As stated before, values drive will. If your actions are not consistent with your current value statement, find new values or change your actions. Here’s how:

Find an external source of validation.

Randy says, “It is our natural bent to make suboptimal judgment.” Form a board of advisors or find an accountability resource.

Be intentional about self development. 

Think about what shapes or influences your values. We all have common influencers – culture, upbringing, etc. – that influence us in different ways. What you may not realize is the amount of control you have over what influences you. Randy posed the question, “What do you do that shepherds your values?” He said, “If you want to make better judgment, you need to be a better you.” 

All great leaders throughout history were also great learners.
Did you know that less than 1% of the population has written goals? Make goals. Read. Don’t watch TV. Limit your marketing exposure from tv, radio, or the web. You have control over much of what you let into your mind. Intentionally develop your mind around your values, and watch your judgment improve.

A highly sought after speaker, consultant, and leadership expert, Randy Walton has been challenging the norms of business thought for over 20 years. Randy is a pioneer in developing compelling and profitable market strategies through the use of a unique, core value assessment and ideation process. He has extensive experience in corporate strategic planning, operations management, marketing, technology operations, business consulting, and organizational leadership. Mr. Walton works and travels extensively throughout North America and Western Europe mentoring and advising senior leaders and executive teams.

He is the co-author of: Enhancing Your Business Value… The Climb To The Top… Smart Strategies for a Successful Expedition”

Learn more here:




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