Who Not How - Book Review

I got introduced to this book via listening to different podcasts. I can’t remember now which specific podcasts but they were quite a few and the book has always been highly rated by those who mentioned it.

And, so it got me curious and here’s my review of the book, “Who Not How” by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy.

Who Not How Book Review

1. What is the book all about

The main promises of the book are:

  • provide ideas to save you time (or give you more time)
  • provide ideas to make you more money
  • provide ideas on how to have good relationship with the “whos”
  • provide pointers on how to collaborate properly with the “whos” and better and higher level type of people

If I am to summarize the main message of the book, it would be:

If you want to achieve a goal (or goals), do the following:

  1. Start with completely understanding what you want to achieve (the goal!).
  2. Ask yourself who can help you achieve this goal (identify people) and NOT “how” you can achieve your goal (what you need to do/learn yourself).
  3. Collaborate effectively and communicate clearly with your whos to get the results you want to happen.
  4. Continuously network and develop good relationships with different people. You just don’t know who can be a “who” that can help you on a future goal.

Who is the book for?

I feel the book is targeted towards entrepreneurs and business owners. But, the ideas do apply very much to any managers or leaders in a corporate setting. The mindset shift towards identifying a “who” or “whos” that can do particular needed work in a much better way rather than doing it all yourself is especially beneficial to managers who like to micro-manage their team.

Great Ideas from the book

  1. “Retrain and focus yourself in the infinite and endless connections between yourself and other people ….. limitless transformation through those connections”

    • This one is so profound. Everyone should always strive to have a good relationship with everyone. By everyone, this include everyone no matter what roles or position they may have in the company or with a vendor and a client. You never really know if at some point in the future, you’ll need someone’s help in getting your goals done.
  2. Achieving the result is the most important thing. Need to be committed to achieve the goal rather than getting tied up on the “process”

    • This is so simple but often overlooked because of so much noise bothering a lot of us.
  3. Procrastination is when you really want something more for yourself, but lack the knowledge and capacity to do it. Procrastination never leads to result. Identifying a “who” that can do the work you’re procrastinating on will help you achieve the result you are looking for.

  4. As a leader, you need to relinquished control on how things are done. The leader explains the “What” and “Why” and then allows the “Who” to execute the “How”.

  5. Find “Whos” that expand your vision and purpose. “Whos” can expand your vision giving you the confidence to pursue bigger goals.

2. What I like about the book, “Who Not How”

Ideas in the book are really no different from ideas on delegation and outsourcing but it is really the focus on the needed mental shift a person has to make that makes it stand out amongst the other books that talk about the same thing.

I also like the introduction of some handy tools like below:

  1. Impact Filter - tool to help define the vision.
  • What is the project?
  • Purpose: What you do you want to accomplish?
  • Importance: What’s the biggest difference this will make?
  • Ideal Outcome: What does the completed project look like?
  • Best Result: If you do take action?
  • Worst Result: If you don’t take action?
  • Success Criteria: What has to be true when this project is finished?

The impact filter really makes it easy for you to define and articulate what you want achieve, the “why” and the important results that need to be accomplished by the “who” or team of “who”.

  1. Moving Future (MF) - one page tool (list of questions) that help people maximize time every 90 days.

MF Questions:

  • Looking back over the past quarter, what are the things you have achieved that make you the proudest?
  • What are the current areas of focus and progress that make you the most confident?
  • Looking ahead at the next quarter, what new developments, projects, or goals are giving you the greatest sense of excitement?
  • What are the five new “jumps” (progress) you can now achieve that will make your next 90 days a great quarter regardless of what else happens?

The MF idea is very similar to the “retrospective” idea used in Agile/Scrum ceremonies. A look back into the past to see what worked well and what needs improvement is quite helpful.

3. Some Comments

The book is a great read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

One minor thing I kind of don’t like is sometimes the book sounds like a big advertisement to the authors' “Strategic Coach” coaching service.

4. Where to Buy

Amazon Canada : https://www.amazon.ca/Who-Not-How-Accelerating-Teamwork/dp/1401960588/ Amazon USA : https://www.amazon.com/Who-Not-How-Accelerating-Teamwork/dp/1401960588/