Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Marine Corps' 14 leadership traits - JUDGMENT

We explored the leadership trait JUSTICE last week, and this week we're going to look at the trait JUDGMENT, which is defined as, "... your ability to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly fashion so that you can make good decisions."

This is one of those traits that is learned over time through experience and can only really be helped along by a good experienced mentor. I do believe, however, that the uncommon virtue of common sense can help a young Marine leader when short of experience.

I'd be willing to bet every single Marine out there has experienced a lack of judgment some time throughout their time in the Corps. The good Marines learn from those experiences, don't repeat them, and try to pass on some of that wisdom to their junior Marines.

One common display of poor judgment is when a married Marine goes out drinking and ends up going home with a female who is not his wife (or God forbid she's the wife of a fellow Marine). This incredibly poor judgment is no doubt adversely affected by the alcohol, but nothing excuses the Marine from his actions.

Good judgment is exercised every single day by Marine commanders across the globe, but unfortunately, their good judgment is overshadowed by their fellow Marines' poor judgment.

Young leaders looking to improve their judgment are encouraged to take their time in making important decisions and to use common sense. If at all possible, seek the advice and experience of a mentor who has been through the same or a similar situation.

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