top of page

Error in Judgment vs. Error in Execution – Which Is Worse?

Error in Judgment vs. Error in Execution - Which Is Worse?

In my company, we often talk about errors in judgment versus errors in execution – and which is worse.

Now, you may be sitting there reading those two things and thinking, “Well, any error is not a good thing…” – and you might be right. 

But one of those is definitely worse than the other.

Do you know which one?

An error in execution is definitely worse than an error in judgment – and here’s why.

An error in judgment is a poor decision.

Plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.

Examples of Errors in Judgement

Let’s look at some examples of errors in judgment.

  1. You hired the wrong person for the job

  2. You bought way too much of a product because you thought it would sell like hotcakes

  3. You expanded your business too quickly

  4. You pushed through your own idea – even though it might not have been the right one

  5. You made a gut decision without having all of the facts

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Okay…now, none of those things are good things. And when you look back on them, you’re probably going to kick yourself, maybe even beat yourself up a bit over them, but guess what? I think you should be proud of yourself. 

Say what? 

Yes, proud of yourself. 

Because you made a decision – and you went for it! And no, it didn’t work out exactly as you planned. But you did it. 

And yes, you can recover from it.

But let’s talk about an error in execution.

Errors In Execution

Here are a few examples…

  1. You didn’t hire anyone for the job, and your team suffered with an immense workload

  2. You didn’t buy any product, and now you have customers who are short on what they need

  3. You didn’t think big, and now your business is stagnating, and you’re unhappy

  4. You didn’t act upon any ideas, and now everything is in limbo

  5. You made no decisions at all and let everything continue on as is

Errors in Execution Come From?

Errors in execution come from a place of fear.

Fear of doing the wrong thing. 

Fear of making the incorrect choice. 

Fear of failure. 

Fear of making a move.

Fear of taking the next step.

Fear of going after what you want.

Fear of acting.

And fear is no place to live.


Let me say,  I get it. Nobody wants to make a mistake. Nobody wants others to think they’re not capable. Nobody wants to be looked at as silly or stupid.

But if we don’t act…if we don’t execute…nothing gets done. There’s no forward motion. There’s no progress. There’s no growth.

Now, if you’re thinking that I’ve never made a mistake, you are wrong. And yes, in the beginning, I had to get over that fear that comes with making big decisions,  the fear that comes with executing. But I’ve learned to be smart about things.

Getting yourself to Execute

  1. I ask myself: What are you afraid of? (Often it’s something I can’t control – like other people’s thoughts.)

  2. I do as much research as is reasonably possible. (“Reasonably” is the keyword here.)

  3. I seek out expert opinions when possible. (Understand that you can’t know it all.)

  4. I create a plan and make sure it aligns with my goals. (Plans are a good thing.)

  5. I know that I may make mistakes and offer myself some grace. (Nobody is perfect.)

  6. I correct the mistakes that I can and apologize for the ones that I can’t. (This goes a long way!)

Acheive your Goals

So how about it? Can you think back to some mistakes that you made – and were they errors in judgment or errors in execution? And moving forward, can you look to avoid the errors in execution – that living in fear of “what if” – and make the big decisions that are going to help you achieve your goals? 

I believe you can.

But you need to believe it, too.


bottom of page