Today, Suzy Welch, journalist, author and speaker, was in Miami. She spoke to the Women Entrepreneurs Conference about her new book, 10-10-10. I had read the book over the weekend and enjoyed it. It makes a lot of sense to use Suzy's strategy to make difficult decisions. She suggests we pose our work/life conflicts as a question and look at the repercussions of our options in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years.
For example, should I go to my kids wrestling match over the weekend, or go to my company's corporate retreat? What effect would this have on my child/career in the next 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years?
I was able to sit down with Suzy one-on-one while she was signing books. I started by asking her the question that's been on several blogs lately:
Q. What work/life balance lesson do you wish you learned when you were younger?
A. What I say to all working mothers in their 20s and 30s, good news your children will grow up. I don't want to downplay their heartache trying to balance their jobs and their young children. It is a terrible period but it will not go on forever. If I had known that, I would have been less frantic.
Q. Do you feel overwhelmed by technology or are you able to balance it with the rest of life demands?
A. I love tweeting, Facebooking, e-mailing. I do it incessantly. I love connectivity. It's fun. I have found old friends, ideas for articles. It's a deliberate choice to be connected but there's a fragile line and I have had to teach myself to put it in the drawer sometimes. I say to my kids, "Put that machine away" and they say to me "I will if you do." It can be a slippery slope.
Q. Is there a rule you have made for yourself with regard to when you will and will not use technology?
A. My rule is no using technology while driving.
Q. Have you received any feedback on your book that surprised you?
A. I know this sounds cheesy but I have had people say the book changed their life. I never imagined anyone would say that. It feels unbelievable.
Q. Do you think women have embraced your 10-10-10 rule for decision making more than men?
A. No, women just talk about their struggles with decision making more. They let their emotions come through. About 90 percent of the feedback has been from women but I know men are using 10-10-10 too.
Q. What was the most recent decision you used 10-10-10 to make?
A. I used it to decide whether to spend time with an estranged friend. I wasn't going to see her for many reasons. But my daughter reminded me one of my values is forgiveness. So I stopped and used 10-10-10 to make the decision. I ended up spending half the day with her. It was unbelievably joyous.
Q. Jack (Welch), your husband, recently created a stir when he said there is no work/life balance just work/life choices, do you think work/life balance is possible?
A. I think you earn your work life balance. There are choices and consequences. We have to figure out what we want and accept the consequences. There are no bad decisions. When you are the CEO of a public company you will not just be working 30 hours and have an amazing home life. It is what it is. People want it to be different.