10-10-10: 10 Minutes, 10 Months, 10 Years – A Life-Transforming Idea!

Through the circumstances and trauma of an overbooked, overburdened and overstressed life, quite similar to the lives led by millions of very busy people in this age of 24/7 demands and expectations, Suzy Welch developed “an enhanced thinking system process of sorts, a methodology for getting systematic about things.”  She started making her decisions, in all areas of her life, “Differently – proactively – by deliberately considering their consequences in the immediate present, near term, and distant future… in ten minutes… ten months… and ten years”

She calls it her very own “Life Management Tool.”  Others call it, “A road map for clarity and courage” or “A great bridge enabling us to put things in perspective.”

In brief, the author of the recently published book titled, 10-10-10, describes 10–10–10 as follows:

  • Every 10-10-10 process starts with a question.  That is, every 10-10-10 begins with posing your dilemma, crisis, or problem in the form of a query.  Having a defined question is essential to 10-10-10.  The most effective 10-10-10s always tend to start with determining exactly what issue, underneath it all, you’re trying to resolve.
  • The next stage of 10-10-10 is data collection.  This is not formal or laborious, but informal, via thinking and/or conversations with one or more confidants.  Given my question, what are the consequences of each of my options in ten minutes?  In ten months? In ten years?  There is nothing literal about each ten in 10-10-10.  The first 10 stands for right now, the second 10 stands for the foreseeable future and the third 10 stands for a time in the future that is so far off that its particulars are entirely vague.  Another way to describe the timing of 10-10-10 is now, somewhat later, and when all is said and done.
  • The last step of the 10-10-10 process is analysis.  You take the information you have compiled in step two and compare it to your innermost values – your beliefs, goals, dreams, and needs.  This step impels you to ask: Knowing what I now know about all of my options and their consequences, which decision will best help me create a life of my own making?

The author, who is the wife of world-renowned business leader Jack Welch, and a very successful thought leader in her own right, provides scores of real-life examples of the use and very positive results of 10-10-10 in the lives of an amazing array of very diverse people throughout America and the world.  At first, at least for me, the process seemed laborious and too time consuming for busy people making hundreds of decisions each day.  However, after continued reading of the book, better understanding the process, and coming to appreciate that the process actually saves tremendous time, effort, and grief in the long run by resulting in better decisions, I am a believer.  10-10-10 would be relatively easy for millions of people to adopt and use for far better decision making.  The 10-10-10 process would result in much better clarity, analysis, understanding and balance of the short-term, mid-term and long-term results of our options and our decisions.

Other statements throughout the book referring to the 10-10-10 process and its powerful positive impact include:

  • I found that the process invariably led me to faster, cleaner, and sounder decisions.  As an unexpected bonus, it also gave me a way to explain myself to all the relevant “constituents”– my kids or parents or boss – with clarity and confidence.
  • She made a values-driven choice that she could—and wanted to—live by
  • Her ambivalence was gone—and in its place, the peace of mind that comes with intentionality
  • Far more often, however, 10-10-10 slows you down just enough to get your decision right.  It doesn’t squander your time as much as invests it wisely
  • In a time when the world moves at warp speed and decisions can feel inexorably complex, 10-10-10 can help you forge an intentional life, choice by choice.
  • 10-10-10 adds reason to where it is lacking.  It inserts deliberation where there is only instinct.  It replaces opaqueness with transparency.
  • Hushes the noise so the mind can see what it needs to
  • The truth is, if you use 10-10-10 consistently, it becomes less of a tool or a process or a device or a methodology—and more of an infinite and sustaining heartbeat… it becomes a way of life.

Buy the book and study it carefully.  If you are serious about improving your decision making in all areas of your life, thereby enjoying greater success (however you define success), the book can’t help but help you!  I guarantee it.

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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