Making Decisions as a Leader All Day, Every Day


05 October 2016

As Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Review, Suzy Welch became a master in decision-making. The fast-paced environment, the high-powered people she interviewed, the pressure of managing a capable team of driven employees—the situation set her up to either be a big success or major failure. And unsurprisingly to those who know her, Suzy managed her decisions at HBR effectively and her path continued to lead her to success. Her experience as an outstanding leader and someone who speaks into building better managers makes her an exciting addition to the speaker lineup for Leadercast Live on May 5, 2017.

3 Pieces of Advice for Purpose-Driven Leadership from Suzy

  • “You can be as successful as you want in business, but it all starts with where you are centered as a human being.”
  • “When you are really excited about growing your team, it’s not about you. That’s what distinguishes a great leader from a mediocre leader.”
  • “Instead of reacting to events, we need to own our decisions and think about our values, and put those together to have an authentic life. There is no such thing as a happy, phony life.

Suzy is a New York Times bestselling author, business writer, television commentator, and wife and mother. Suzy and her husband Jack (the former CEO of GE) co-authored the bestselling book, Winning: The Answers, and co-wrote a weekly column for BusinessWeek. Suzy and Jack also wrote the business staple, The Real Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career, the proceeds of which help high school students afford the opportunity of a college education.

One of her forays into solo book writing is 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea, where Suzy explains a process of decision-making that includes asking yourself three questions:

  1. How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes?
  2. In 10 months?
  3. In 10 years?

“It forces you to determine what really matters to you. If you can come to terms with and get transparent about and admit to yourself what your values are, that’s when it’s transformative,” she says.

Suzy emphasizes that this approach will help you make any choice more effectively—from who to hire, to who to fire, to deciding which movie to watch this weekend! Suzy has seen the effectiveness of this decision-making tactic through the everyday leaders who have seen well-rounded and shared success in their personal and professional lives.

In addition to disrupting the traditional decision-making model, Suzy is passionate about developing leaders to be engaging employers – and that’s where purpose is integral to an organization’s culture. “Getting people excited about the work, caring about the organization’s future, and bringing their hearts and souls to the job” is what the best employers are capable of as managers, she told Forbes magazine last year.

Suzy is also dedicated to developing emerging leaders – including students. In 2009, she and Jack launched the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, an online MBA and certificate program aimed at helping students change their lives and their organizations for the better – at a significantly lower cost than traditional MBA programs.

When asked by The Huffington Post for some of her best advice for managers, Suzy said, “Remember every day when you start to get frustrated by the small stuff, it’s all about love—loving your people and creating something bigger than the sum of you together.”

How She Got Here

Here’s a quick look at Suzy Welch’s leadership journey:

  • Attended high school at Philip Exeter Academy
  • Earned her BA from Harvard University
  • Graduated as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School
  • Began her career as a journalist at the Miami Herald and Associated Press
  • Served as a management consultant with Bain & Company
  • Worked her way to become an editor at Harvard Business Review, where she eventually was named editor-in-chief
  • Co-authored Winning with husband Jack Welch
  • Wrote 10-10-10, a NYT Bestseller
  • Co-wrote The Real Life MBA
  • Is a regular contributor to The Today Show and other TV programs


Your purpose-driven leadership … your decision-making … your engagement with your employees and colleagues won’t be the same after hearing Suzy’s real-life applications of time-tested management principles. Embrace your purpose at Leadercast Live 2017!


Leadercast is on a mission to fill the world with leaders worth following through world-class leadership events, content solutions and resources to grow the impact of leaders everywhere. Learn more at

Subscribe to our newsletter