10-10-10… to hype or not to hype?

Posted June 16, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

Each month in the Roundtable Recap, we do a book review.  This month’s been busy, so I was looking for a “quick read” and picked up Suzy Welch’s book 10-10-10.  I had to see what all the hype was about.

Welch has been making the talk show rounds plugging the book… you may have caught Charlie Rose swooning over her or Matt Lauer asking her the fabulously awkward question that went something like: “Did you 10-10-10 your decision to start dating Jack Welch when he was still married.” (Classic!)

Anyway, I digress.  For those of you who have missed the “hype”, Ms. Welch claims that by using 10-10-10, you’ll be able to make better decisions and live a more authentic life. (Again, I’m summarizing).  Essentially, when faced with a major decision ask yourself:  How will I feel about this in 10 minutes (essentially right now), in 10 months (mid term) or in 10 years (long-term)?

Could it really be that easy?  I decided to try 10-10-10 on a decidedly skeptical friend who hates all things that he believes to be “pop psychology”.  Don’t ever get him going about Dr. Phil.

This friend has been trying to decide whether or not to go back to school part-time and tackle getting his Masters degree.  His dilemma is that he’s not sure that he wants to stay in the field he’s in and yet, at the same time, has invested over 10 years in it and amassed a ton of experience.

So, I said to him “Why don’t you 10-10-10 your decision?”  To which – without hesitation and with a high degree of sarcasm – he replied: “In 10 minutes I’ll feel anxious, in 10 months I’ll hate it and in 10 years I’ll be dead.”  So much for 10-10-10.  Like anything, you have to be willing to give it a legitimate try in order to gain any benefit.

From my perspective, 10-10-10 an interesting idea.  Like anything, it’s probably one more tool you can put in your kit bag but the ultimate key to making it work is to understand what your values and motivators are that underly your decisions.  Certainly, as leaders, we need to continue to be clear on what our values are so that we can lead from a place of authenticity.  When you start there, I believe 10-10-10, at the very least, can make you feel comfortable in the decisions you’re making despite how difficult they may be at the time.

So, bottomline… does 10-10-10 live up to it’s hype?  Somewhat.  My personal opinion is that the idea makes sense and is simple to follow (albeit deceptively simple… if you don’t have a clue what your values are, then you may find it less effective)… the hype is that you don’t need a 200+ page book to get the concept across.   Read the first two chapters at the book store and save yourself $25.

Happy leading!

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