Podcast #017 – Interviewing Suzy Welch Podcast #017 – Interviewing Suzy Welch

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Suzy Welch graduated at the top of her class at Harvard Business School, wrote a column in Oprah’s O Magazine, and was the editor of the prestigious Harvard Business Review. Since then Suzy has gone on to marry the ex-CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, who now runs 11 companies.

Jack and Suzy Welch co-authored the bestselling book Winning. Most recently, Suzy Welch documents the decision process that has brought her much success in life in her bestselling book 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea.

Suzy Welch: The Mission

Suzy’s life is currently focused on talking about and spreading the message of her new book 10-10-10. Her current work revolves around talking about the book, and helping people understand the idea. This is all connected into her life mission of helping people create their own lives.

10-10-10: A Decision Making Tool

Suzy Welch says that our biggest faults in decision making are the two deadly Gs, gut and guilt. In this case, 10-10-10 serves as an intervention. It forces us to take our decisions, and instead of basing them on expedience, pressure, or the last voice in the room, to make those decisions after we think about the consequences in the context of 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.

It doesn’t have to be taken literally, and with a stopwatch, but generally as the immediate future, and the distant future. Suzy Welch has been using this idea in her personal life for 13 years, and spreading it for the past 10, and then writing about it in O Magazine about 5 years ago. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have effectively applied 10-10-10 to their own lives.

This 10-10-10 process has helped people to create their own lives, and change their lives from being reactive and gut driven, to proactive and strategic. The tool is organized around how 10-10-10 has worked in relationships, careers, entrepreneurs, managers, friendships, and the dozens of stories in the book reflect how 10-10-10 can be used in all aspects of our lives.

10-10-10: A Three Step Process

First of all, Suzy Welch says that compromise is a bad decision making tool, because everyone is left only a little bit satisfied, which often backfires in the long run. Let’s look at the steps to take instead of compromise.

Step 1: Define The Question. A lot of times we are faced with a dilemma, but we don’t really know what we are deciding, which makes it really hard to get to the solution. We’re all over the place, and when we get to a solution, we come to realize that’s not even the problem.

Define the questions like “do we buy this house, do I stay in this relationship, do I take this job?” Sometimes this is simple, and sometimes it’s the hardest part.

Step 2: Data Collection. Also known as identifying your options. It doesn’t always have to be a simple binary options like yes or no, but it could be something outside the box that goes beyond yes or no. Once you’ve laid out the options it’s time to examine the consequences in 10-10-10 format.

Step 3: Prioritize Your Values. Things like “who you want to be, what you stand for, how you want to live” must be prioritized, so that you can make decisions properly and really own your decisions as a reflection of your authentic values. The book goes into greater detail as to how one can ‘excavate’ their values and really figure out what they are.

Suzy Welch: Conquering Her Day

In the hopes of getting out of this interview with a HUGE secret, and sharing it with you guys, I asked Suzy Welch how she manages to do more than most of us in the same 24 hours that all of us get.

Suzy Welch is at a point in her life where she really lives by her values, so she knows what matters to her. Because of this, she doesn’t spend a lot of time on things that don’t matter to her. The biggest time saver in the world after knowing your values is candidly communicating them. Suzy is able to tell someone “this is how much time we’re going to spend on something, because of whatever reason.”

The best thing you can do is not be a phony, and candidly tell people how and why you’re spending your time. Then you don’t make a lot of excuses or have a lot of phony conversations, and that creates a huge efficiency.

Suzy Welch on Extraordinary Leadership

It’s not about you. I mean REALLY that’s it. ~Suzy Welch

When you’re an individual contributor you concern yourself with yourself and your performance. The place that people trip up when they make a transition from being individual contributors to leaders is that they don’t get that it’s no longer about them. A great leader is not one that raises their hand, it’s one that realized it is no longer about them, and succeeds on the reflected glory of their people.

The better you make your team, the more you build their skills, self-confidence and their ability to over deliver the better a leader you are. It is about them.

Suzy Welch’s Biggest Mentor

It’s Jack Welch. While Suzy Welch let’s life be her mentor, and literally learns from everyone, Jack Welch is ultimately her biggest mentor. He’s also the mentor to millions around the world. Suzy Welch now believes that if we’re realistic about ourselves, we could probably achieve bigger dreams than we allow ourselves to believe.

Suzy Welch: The Problem of Poverty

I asked Suzy Welch which world problem she would tackle first. She believes that poverty seems to be the underlying cause of most other problems. The key is ending it is to create self-sufficient communities. How’s that for a goal worth giving your life for? If you’re reading this, and want to discuss possible solutions, I’m sure Suzy would have a pair of ears to lend.

One More Tip For Success

Success is when you’re living a happy, centered, fulfilling life and for each individual that comes in a different package. To get happiness, you must live by your authentic values.

More Suzy Welch

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Posted by in Featured, Podcasts | June 23, 2009 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 5 comments

  • Wilfred Lopez

    Great and interesting tips on leadership and personal development. More power to the owner and contributor of this site..

  • Jonathan Lockwood

    Your interview really packed a lot into a short time. I’m enjoying your podcasts. Good guests.

  • Alex Shalman

    @Jonathan, Thank you. It’s all Suzy, she’s a really smart woman.

  • Celes |

    Amazing – Thanks for sharing Alex. It’s very liberating to hear advice from someone who’s been there, done that. I’ve gained something out of learning about her candidness towards how time should be spent, and I’ll start practicing this in my life too.

  • Mark Foo |

    Hi Alex,

    Great interview you have here! Thanks for pulling out so many great tips from Suzy Welch in such a short interview. Maybe you can share with us how did you manage to score an interview with her in the first place?