Suzy Welch puts decision-making in focus

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

Posted Feb. 2, 2010


Happiness. It’s the Holy Grail everyone is searching for.

Best-selling author Suzy Welch shared her secret to making the right decisions with more than 250 people attending Tuesday’s Building Leadership: Encouraging New Directions (BLEND) conference at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton. The day-long event featured Welch’s keynote address along with a series of breakout sessions focusing on leadership.

Welch, a former editor of the Harvard Business Review and author of two books with her husband former GE chairman Jack Welch, says stepping back and weighing the options is essential when it comes to making decisions.

“It sounds simple, but it has worked for me for more than 14 years – take the 10-10-10 approach. What are the consequences of my decision 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months? What about 10 years?” says Welch, who wrote about her philosophy in the book “10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea.” “Then you step back and how those answers fit in with your values. It makes the decision process much easier and more true to who you are.”

Before she adopted her 10-10-10 philosophy, Welch says she may have looked “all put together and happy on the outside,” but on the inside she knew what she was doing wasn’t working as she sought to balance her career and raising her four children.

“I wasn’t living my dreams; I was in a constant state of chaos. The 10-10-10 way can help you reach your dreams and what you want from life,” she says.

An essential part of the 10-10-10 puzzle is to make sure your decisions align with your personal values. To figure that out, Welch says three questions need to be answered:

· Imagine it’s your 70th birthday party. Looking back at that point at your life, what would you cry about missing?

· What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room?

· What did you like most about your upbringing? What did you like least?

“When you get the answers to those questions, you really find out what your values are and it makes it easier to decide what you want to do,” Welch says. “Everyone has different answers.”

Welch says values change over time so people need to key in on that, too.

“Once you start living your values and applying the 10-10-10 rule, it really gives you clarity and is a great life management tool,” she says. “You’ll find that overall you’re happier and you’ll want to share that happiness with others.”


— By MaryBeth Matzek