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Suzy Welch & Her 10-10-10 Decision-Making Formula

[ 0 ] April 28, 2009 |

As it often happens, I come across great things, people and events by chance.  After confirming with Suzy Welch via Twitter (!) that she would be at Indigo Books in Toronto, I headed down last night for her booksigning.  There she was, being interviewed by her husband, the legendary Jack Welch and Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books.  Her book, 10-10-10, A Life-Transforming Idea made the New York Times best-sellers list and is poised to enter the Top 10 next month (under the advice category).

Suzy Welch and her 10-10-10 approach to decision-making.

Suzy Welch and her 10-10-10 approach to decision-making.

I haven’t read it yet but judging from the buzz it’s getting, it seems the former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review and mother of four has come up with a concept that resonates with many women (and men) struggling to be everything to everyone.

Last night, she told a poignant story about a woman who went through most of her life living her parents’ dream of becoming a doctor (a story quite common in the Indian community, btw).  However, in her 40s, she decided to reclaim her power by (1) finally telling her parents that neurosurgery was making her miserable and (2) following her true passion of becoming a photographer.

Many of us (especially women) can relate to that story.  Ok, not neurosurgery but trying to please others often at the expense of our own happiness.  There has to be balance and according to Welch it can be achieved.  When faced with a dilemma she says she employs her 10-10-10 method.  It involves thinking about how a certain decision will impact your life in the next: 10 minutes (the present), 10 months (the near future) and 10 years from now.  She believes that will encourage us to maintain our core values rather than fall victim to societal pressures or the desires of others.  Welch says this helped her survive some serious challenges in life, namely the public scrutiny of her relationship with Jack and the blending of their families after marriage.

Talked politics with Jack Welch at his wife's booksigning in Toronto.

Talked politics with Jack Welch at his wife's booksigning in Toronto.

I had an opportunity to chat politics with Jack Welch too.  His message to the President? “Put more stimulus in the stimulus package!  Focus on creating more jobs than social programs.”  He says more people are embracing frugality in these tough economic times and that even he has made some changes, taking taxis instead of limos!  Welch is as charming as ever and alongside his formidable partner, still able to captivate an audience.

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