Suzy Welch's 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea

Suzy Welch's new book, 10-10-10 A Life-Transforming Idea, is a study in decision-making, which is why executive search consultants should take notice as well as the C-level luminaries that we recruit. A candidate's career is not simply a collection of skills and acquired experiences, but rather serves as evidence of candidate's ability to decide his or her own fate. Great recruiters learn to look for a story arc in candidate's career.  Ideally, the career path should, on average, ascend ever upwards in as series of steps in which greater responsibilities are assumed and greater challenges are overcome. There should be valleys among the peaks (a complete absence of valleys suggests a cooking of the career books). Moreover, life's lessons and priorities, its plots and subplots, are important parts of the story as they speak to character and backbone. 

Suzy Welch

Suzy is the  former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review and is a
work-life columnist for O The Oprah Magazine. She is married to the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch with whom she co-authored the New York Times bestseller Winning and of The Welch Way.  Suzy teaches us that in our complicated multi-tasking world of conflicting priorities, too much information, and far too many options, decision-making is often crazy-making at times.  As a result, we put off deciding, which, as the standard default option, is most decidedly a decision with consequences.  That is how we end up in the uncomfortable places that we end up.  Frequently, it isn't by design. It is by avoiding difficult choices altogether, which is an illusion because they cannot be avoided.  There is a tremendous price to be paid: an opportunity cost.

Suzy proposes a simple rule of 10-10-10.  We must ask ourselves what are the consequences of our actions in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.  She doesn't mean specifically down to the last minute, month, and year. It could be 8 minutes, 14 months, and 11 years.  Rather, we must consider the immediate, short term, and long term costs and benefits regarding what we are about to do. 

Suzy's rule, of course, can be harnessed to assess leader's decision-making abilities by examining the implications of his/her decisions over time.  A resume is a time line.  So too is a corporation's financial statements to the SEC.  Did she go for immediate gain and ignore long-term risks? Did he fail to see a threat that emerged a half year or year down the road?  Decision-making is an expression of an executive's murky or crystalline vision.  Suzy has given us new clarity as we contemplate the futures of our candidates and ourselves.

Read the whole story on: The Investigative Recruiter