BOOK REVIEW OF “10-10-10”

June 9, 2009


I recently completed reading a fascinating book entitled “10-10-10” by Suzy Welch. The publisher is Scribner, with a copyright of 2009.  It attracted my attention because, until my retirement, I was an employee of General Electric.  Suzy Welch is the wife, I should say current wife, of Jack Welch.  ( Jack moves around !!!!! )  At any rate—good book and one in which I can certainly recommend.  The basic theme details a decision-making process in which the consequences of decision-making are considered in ten minutes, ten months and ten years.  There is definitely a cause/effect relationship with all decisions so short-term and long-term effects may or may not be painful depending upon your core values and stated goals.

The first step in every 10-10-10 process starts with a statement of the dilemma or decision to be made. The author recommends writing it down and making it as detailed as possible.  Next comes data collection.  Find out as much supporting information as possible relative to a potential solution.  Third and last, analysis.  Take the information you have and compare that with your goals, values, dreams, desires, etc.  Then, with the possible solution(s), apply the 10-10-10 methodology. What will be the consequences in ten minutes, ten month and ten years.   This approach is basically applying the scientific process that William of Ockham postulated with his statement “all things being equal, the best solution is the simplest solution”.   The methods don’t vary that much.

Mrs. Welch asks several very interesting questions relative to values, such as:

1.)     What would make you cry at your seventieth birthday?

2.)     What do I want people to say about me when I’m not in the room”

3.)     What do you love about the way your parents live and what do you hate?

The book is replete with examples of decisions made by “real people” and how they applied the process to bring about satisfactory decision making.   The areas of the book address career, raising kids, conduct in the work-place, friendships, leaving one job for another.  She is “heavy” on working relationship and when to leave them.  This is exemplified by asking and answering the following questions:

1.)     Does my job allow me to work with my people—those who share my sensibilities about life or do I have to zone out, fake it, or put on a persona to get through the day?

2.)     Does my job make me smarter by stretching my mind, building my skills and taking me out of my comfort zone?

3.)     Does my job open doors for me?

4.)     Does my job give me meaning?

All good questions and ones in which we all should ask ourselves some time in our working life.

You can definitely tell it was written by a lady by the approach she takes and the examples used.  There are sensitivities there that a “guy”would not really consider.  The last question in the book occurs at a dinner party in which the host asks all the guests to name six couples who are truly happy.  It’ a “good read” and a book that I would definitely recommend.

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