Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Suzy Welch's 10-10-10 principle

Suzy Welch was on the Today Show this morning promoting her new book about her never-fail operating principle - 10-10-10. With decisions, consider how your choice will effect your life 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now. It's such a deceptively simple rule of thumb, that it made me think why I hadn't thought of it myself - always the sign that something is a good idea.

Let's consider an example to see how 10-10-10 works.

What if you're thinking of leaving your current job and have been offered a position at a new company:

10 minutes - how will you feel about giving your notice at your current position? How will you feel about not seeing your current co-workers everyday? Do you feel like you would be leaving important work unfinished that you'd like to add to your portfolio? How does this jump contribute to your long-term plan? How do you feel about getting up every morning and going to this new job?

10 months - settled in to your new position, how does this new experience shape your overall career outlook? Your outlook on your life in general? Did you have to take a pay cut or get a pay raise for your job? How has your new financial situation changed your life, if at all? Could you experience any buyer's remorse? What have your gained through the new experiences and projects in your new position?

10 years - how do you imagine the position you are considering will effect your life 10 years down the line? What contacts and skills did it give you that effected your long-term career goals?

The questions for each phase are endless. Suzy Welch recommends doing a values self assessment first to identify what's most important to you. That will help you compile the questions at each phase that are relevant to you.

When doing the value self-assessment, ask the big questions: do you care most about financial independence and financial security? Is your goal to live a life of adventure? Do you care most about collecting good stories and meeting interesting people? Do you want to start your own business? Is travel important to you? Do you want to be a life-longer learner or an expert in a specific field.

By taking the long-view, the action steps for the near-term become much clearer. It's all about perspective. How do you want to design your life?

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