For example, in college, to train for a 1500-meter race, we would train 40-50 miles per week. Two days we would race 20 laps around a 400-meter track; alternating one lap in 60-62 seconds and one lap jog. On the off-days, we would run 5-8 miles with a long run on the weekends. The goal is to peak on race day and acheive maximum performance. All that training would peak on race day when one has just over four minutes to shine, to run a personal best, and win the race.
How does that apply to business? We make decisons everyday and each decision has an underlying process. Understanding and applying that process daily prepares us for the big decisions. Good leaders practice and perfect decision-making and are prepared when on race day to make really difficult and far-reaching judgment calls. Good leaders consistently apply the same principles with all decisions. If one is inconsistent in the minor decisions, one will be inconsistent on the big decisions. If one makes poor decisions on the little matters, one will make poor decisions on the big matters.
The book Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls states it much better than I and goes into greater detail about how great leaders make great decisions:
"In short, people who make good judgment calls are hailed as good leaders. People who excercise poor judgment are considered poor leaders. It's that simple.
Throughout our lives, each of us makes thousands of judgment calls. Some are trivial... others are monumental... The measure of our success in life is the sum of all these judgment calls...
But what really matters is not just how many good judgment calls a leader made. Rather, it is how many of the important one he or she gets right. Good leaders not only make better calls, but they are able to discern the really important ones and get a higher percentage of them right. They are better at a whole process [of decision making].