Pursue What Matters
Episode 104: Who Not How
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
If you have a big goal, how are you going to be successful? Right? That’s the question most of us ask. But instead, maybe we should be asking, Who do you need to help you?
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:14
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work, while it is another month and time for another excellent book review. And I am actually pretty excited about this book. So I came across this book as part of a leadership development group I am in and you know, I saw the title. And I was like, Okay, well, we’ll see. And one of the co authors of the book, I’ve read some of his other books. So I know he does good stuff. But I just wasn’t sure what I thought about the topic. But let me tell you, as I jumped into this book, it really pulled at me and had me thinking about my own business. My own team, certainly had me thinking about the leadership work I do every day. And that it’s it’s actually a game changer book. And I think it’s it helps us to shift our approach to our work and our biggest goals. And so I really have been impacted positively by this book. And I hope you can, too, I hope you will be too.
Dr. Melissa Smith 1:52
And so I want to introduce this great book called Who, Not How, and this is by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Okay. And so, you know, Dan Sullivan is the founder of Strategic Coach. And he has been an incredibly successful leadership coach for many years, and has an incredible organization and does all sorts of amazing work every day with leaders and helping them to be more effective. And Dr. Benjamin Hardy is a psychologist, I want to say is a developmental psychologist, I’m not positive. But some of his other books include. So he wrote, Personality isn’t Permanent, Break Free From Self Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story, which I have read, and it’s really, it’s very good. And then the other book is Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success. And so, like I mentioned, I had read some of his other books. And I think he does a lot of really good work in the leadership space. And so these two came together to really talk about one of Dan Sullivan’s core concepts in his strategic coaching with this, which is about this idea of who not how, so who do you need to help you to be successful? versus how do you how do you approach a problem, right? And for many of us, we focus on like, working harder, working longer, hustling more, and really, we should be focusing on, you know, who can help us right, like, who are the cheerleaders that we need, who are the consultants we need, who are the collaborators we need, who are the challengers we need? And, really pay attention to accelerating our growth by having the right people on our team.
Dr. Melissa Smith 3:55
Now, that might not necessarily be your work team, although it certainly can be. But it’s, it’s, I want you to think about it as the people in your corner, right. And I just did a podcast on this topic last week. So the five people you need in your corner, which I talked about the five, five people that you need in your corner. And so that’s really the idea behind this book is focusing on who can help you grow. And so let’s learn a little bit more about this book.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:26
So again, it’s titled who not how the formula to achieve bigger goals through accelerating teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. So, you know, just quickly, I think that this is a really important book for any small business owner, and any entrepreneur, right. I mean, you’re used to being scrappy, you’re used to doing a lot of things in your business, you’re used to, you know, holding or wearing six or seven different hats and You know, that’s often necessary in the early days of your business, right? When you’re just getting started, you might be bootstrapping. But in order to grow in order to scale in order to, you know, reach your vision goals for your organization, you need to level up, right? Like you need to enlist more people. Because if we just think about scaling, or growing, it would be completely unreasonable to assume that, you know, you only need one or two people, or that that would even be feasible. And so I think that a danger or, or a problem that I see so many entrepreneurs and small business owners make, so it’s a mistake that they make, is they try and do too much for too long in their companies. And it stalls their growth. And I will just say, personally, I battle with this tension, it’s not that I don’t want to, you know, hire more or bring on some of the specialists or consultants or collaborators. But what I find personally is I just I get stuck doing the work. And, and so I don’t feel like I have the time or the energy or the bandwidth to actually stop and consider, okay, who do I need? And how do I find them? which is totally backward thinking, because, you know, well, first of all, it does take energy, it does take time, but the sooner I can, you know, get after that process, you know, the sooner that things are taken off my plate, and I’m able to really focus in on the work that I can do best and you know, the work that only I can do. And so I do think this becomes a mental block for a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs. I think also, like if you’re managing a group, right? If you’re in a larger Corporation, this mindset can catch us all the time. Because there’s maybe a scarcity mindset, there’s maybe a really tight control over budgets, and, you know, it’s it’s maybe like pulling teeth to, to get more resources for the work that you do. And so I think regardless of, of what your work looks like, and the setting this concept can be really helpful to really pay attention to you know, who who do you need to help you to be successful.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:24
Okay, so let’s learn a little bit about these authors. So Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship and has coached more successful entrepreneurs than anyone on the planet. Now, that’s quite a distinction right there. He is the co-founder of Strategic Coach, the leading entrepreneurial coaching program in the world, and author of more than 50 publications on entrepreneurial success over the past 30 plus years. Strategic Coach, which is his company, has provided teaching and training to more than 20,000 entrepreneurs. So pretty significant, right? Like, I mean, he’s, he’s done his time. He’s certainly a very well respected and seasoned coach when it comes to leadership.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:48
And then Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist, so not developmental psychologists, sorry, that won’t really matter to anyone except the psychologist, but he’s an organizational psychologist, and best selling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work and Personality isn’t Permanent. His blogs have been read by more than 100 million people, and are featured on Forbes, Fortune and CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think and others. He’s a regular contributor to Ink and Psychology today. And from 2015 to 2018. He was the number one writer in the world on medium.com. And so that’s a little bit about Benjamin Hardy.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:09
So now, let’s see. So this book came out in 2020. I want to say it came out in late 2020. Don’t quote me on that one. But it did come out in 2020. So it hasn’t been out too long. But it’s it’s it’s really good. So here is some praise for the book. And I think there are some great endorsements here. So “Dan Sullivan is the ultimate coach for entrepreneurs. I’ve been learning from him for over 20 years. Anyone who reads Who Not How will know exactly how the best entrepreneurs create freedom.” And that’s by David Bach, New York Times bestselling author. And again, I would just say, if you don’t feel like you’re an entrepreneur, don’t check out because I think that these principles have added application in so many settings. And then another endorsement, “since I met Dan Sullivan, my perspective on freedom and success has never been the same. I can’t get enough of his wisdom and cherish his teaching, the impact on my family and me has been significant. Dan is hands down the best coach for anyone looking to find and then execute the entrepreneurial life they were put on this earth to live.” So that’s Mark Tim, a serial entrepreneur and co author of Mentor to Millions. And let’s see.So from Joe Polish founder of Genius Network, he says, “this new book, by my good friends, Dan Sullivan, and Ben Hardy, provides one of the biggest secrets to success, the concept will allow you to free up 1000s of hours, build a star team to support your vision, accomplish your goals faster than you ever thought possible, and do it all without running yourself ragged.” So that’s the part that I really tune into. It’s one of the most effective strategies for experiencing greater freedom, fulfillment, and fun, while achieving your biggest, most ambitious goals. And I think that that endorsement, right, there speaks to a common phenomenon for so many small business owners and entrepreneurs. You know, they have, you know, you have this dream, and you have this vision, maybe, of what you can create, and, and then as you get into the work, because of course, you’re just starting out, because maybe you’re bootstrapping, if you’re not careful, your dream runs the risk of ruining your life, right? Your dream runs the risk of really becoming a nightmare. And not because, you know, the business is a nightmare, or the work is a nightmare. Or, you know, you’re not on your path, that because the work can be so demanding. It can just be so unrelenting, right? And for many small business owners and entrepreneurs, right? You have this independent spirit you like, you know, you’re scrappy, like to be unconventional and not go the safe route and you’re a hard worker, right? Yes, anyone that goes into start a small business, you’ve got to be a hard worker, or, you know, clearly you won’t be successful. We know that hard work alone is not enough. But the vulnerability for a lot of small business owners is that again, you try to do too much in your business for too long. And that becomes a problem. And that’s when your business, you know, can run the risk of actually becoming an albatross around your neck. And we don’t want that. And I have absolutely felt that way, in my own business. And that makes me so sad. Because I know in those moments, it takes me away from my sense of purpose. And in those moments, that’s when I know, okay, it’s time to start looking for help, right, it’s time to reassess, first of all, how I’m doing things, but also who I need to help me in the work. And so that’s what this book is all about.
Dr. Melissa Smith 13:10
So let’s take a look at some of the really key points in this book. And so I’m just going to share a few obviously, we’re not going to try and cover everything in the book. But my hope is, with the podcast, when we do the book reviews, they can give you a nice flavor for, for the book for the premise of the book, some of the key points that you know, I believe could can help you to thrive in love and work. And of course, every week with the podcast, my goal is to help you pursue what matters and strengthen your confidence to lead. I try to do that by in three ways. So leading with clarity leading with curiosity, or leading and building a community. And so primarily, this, this book, and this podcast is really focused on community. So building and leading a community who do you need to help you?
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:04
Okay, so now let’s jump into the key concepts that that I think can help you to thrive in love and work. Okay, so this book really includes four, four key concepts. So there are four parts in the book. This is also a quick read. So this will not take you along. It’s user friendly, and it’s well organized. So I’m always a fan of those types of books. But so the four parts include first freedom of time, second, freedom of money, three, freedom of relationship, and for freedom of purpose. And so they really introduced the book with this idea that most of us, you know, when we are setting out to accomplish something right we ask, right, what are you trying to accomplish? So this is where you think about vision. This is where you think about purpose. And a big goal. And and if you’re like most people, the first thing you do when you imagine a bigger future for yourself, you ask yourself, How do I achieve this goal? Which I think is not a bad question. Right? So want to be clear about that. But so I don’t think it’s a bad question. But here’s what they say. Although this question seems intuitive, it’s actually the worst possible question you could ask, assuming you want to be happy and successful. And I think that that speaks to you know, if you’re not careful, your dreams will ruin your life, right? Like it will become so burdensome. But this, this is the question most of us ask. And they say that this happens, because this is what we’re taught in our educational system. within our society, we’re taught from a young age, especially if, especially here in the US to be independent, and that if we get help from others that might be cheating. Or it might be, it might mean that we’re lazy, or we didn’t, you know, really earn it. And so that kind of thinking can kind of be unhelpful for us. And so, of course, the author’s encouraged us to ask a different question. And so they talk about a new and better question.
Dr. Melissa Smith 16:22
So you’ve got to stop asking yourself, how can I accomplish this? Because he says, they say that question and it leads to actually mediocre results, frustration and a life of regret. Wow. So that’s a pretty big claim. But what they say, the better question is, right, a much better question to ask is, who can help me achieve this? Okay, and so what they say here is the simplicity of this new question may deceive you at first glance, but think about it for a second. What would happen in your life? If you asked this question about everything you wanted to accomplish? Right, who can help me with this? What happened? What would happen if you asked this question about everything you’ve been procrastinating to do? Right? And I think that’s an important point, right? It would help you to take action? And how would your goals change? If you could find people that could help you achieve everything you wanted in your life? Well, the thought that I have to that question in response to that question is, you know what the big challenges in my life or the big goals in my life would feel less daunting? If I could, if I could think in terms of who can help me with this, and you would not spend your time trying to do everything, right? If you’re, if you know, your income would change. That’s really where we think about scaling. And so that is the whole premise of the book, when you look at who it creates results, but when you focus on how it creates problems, and how does that create problems, right? Because you’re like, how can I do this, and so you start doing too much. And so that is really the idea of that, who creates results? How creates problems? And so that is a key piece of this puzzle.
Dr. Melissa Smith 18:25
So some, some key points here in the introduction, is, and I think this is a really good one, delegation is not exploitation, right? In order to be successful, you’ve got to delegate and would just be foolish to think otherwise. Another key point is that a focus on who really transforms and expands your vision, because you start to see what’s possible. And often when we are in the work doing the work, it’s actually kind of hard to have perspective, it’s hard to see what might be possible. And you’re weighed down by the many obligations. And so another key point from the introduction is to let the who do the how, right. So let those team members that you gather around you do the how, let them work out the details. And so we don’t want to be micromanagers we don’t want to be controlling. We want to help them identify what needs to be done. Right? So we identify, who do we need on our team, and we help identify what needs to be done in collaboration with them. But you leave the how to the individual. This also feeds autonomy, which is one of the hallmarks of happy folks in their work and in their career.
Dr. Melissa Smith 19:53
So it’s really important to pay attention to that right. No one wants to be micromanaged. So, You know, along with this, they say that if you’re going to apply higher levels of teamwork in your life, you’ll need to relinquish control over how things get done, right, you just can’t be in those details, that’s going to be a very ineffective use of your time. And that would be something like I definitely am vulnerable here, I, I’m too much in the details of the work. And I recognize that that’s not helpful for me. So transformational leaders, give the vision and then get out of the way. So right again, you’re not in, you’re not in the details. So then let’s just think quickly about the four parts of the book.
Dr. Melissa Smith 20:40
So in part one, it is freedom of time, okay. And so they show you who not how can give you more time, because So focus on who you need, because you’ll no longer be considered the first or best option to complete a given task. So that really frees you up to do your best work to do the work only you can do. That’s a question I asked myself all the time, in my work, what can only I do, and everything else I try to move to, to my team.
Dr. Melissa Smith 21:12
And then the second part is the freedom of money, right. And that is focusing on how who can make you more money, right, because when you when you when you begin enlisting, who’s to support your growing goals, you’ll no longer be distracted, and focus on non productive activities. Making money is a confidence and leadership game, and a skill you can develop and master. And I think it’s really important to acknowledge, like, there’s nothing wrong with with wanting the freedom of money, that’s not a problem. And I think sometimes we can feel guilty about that. But that does not need to be a problem. And in fact, when you have freedom of money, you can contribute on a larger scale, there are ways that you can give back that you couldn’t if you didn’t have the freedom of money.
Dr. Melissa Smith 22:02
And then the third part is freedom of relationships. So what they say here is that by focusing on who it will help you cultivate more and better quality relationships. And you know, this is something that I talked about last week in the podcast, that we are an app we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So you really need to be careful about the relationships that you cultivate. And so as you as you level up, right, and as you really focus on your goals, you will be required to surround yourself with higher level who’s so that’s from the book, right, you’ll need better mentors, to help you get to the next level, you’ll need better, more confident, and more capable employees to take on your increasingly inspiring objectives. And so I think that’s really great. And it’s not about you know, some people think being better than others or anything like that, that you want people who share your vision and who are inspired by your vision, and who want to help you on that vision. So you, you know, you’ve just got to pay attention to that, and and find those people seek those people out.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:17
And then of course, the fourth part of the book is freedom of purpose, which of course, I always love discussions about that. But they talk about how this focus on who will help you develop a greater and deeper sense of purpose in your life. So your purpose is what you live for. It’s why you believe you’re here on the planet. And so it’s how you define yourself, how you spend your time. And so every time you apply who not how your confidence and vision for your future will grow. And your sense that you can make a powerful and meaningful impact will increase, which is pretty awesome. And so that is that’s how the book is organized. Those are the four key parts of the book.
Dr. Melissa Smith 24:05
So there are two questions that they ask in the book that I think are really helpful. Well, actually not questions, but points when we’re thinking about the freedom of time, right. And so the first one is that you need to be radically explicit about your goals. And I think most of us are, many of us don’t ever write our goals down or when we do write them down. They’re pretty darn fuzzy. And that is a real problem. Because we never actually get into the details of what is required to accomplish that goal. But when we can be radically explicit about our goals, then it becomes a big reality check in terms of oh my gosh, like, I’m not going to be able to do all of that. So who do I need to help me in that process? And so I love that point. And I think it’s really helpful. They also use an impact filter, which is a one page document that helps to kind of answer this question in terms of like, who can really help me and really get get a vision, right, clarify your vision, and its importance. And so some of the points that they look out with this impact filter is, first, what is the project? And then we get into purpose, what do you want to accomplish? The second one is important, what’s the biggest difference this will make? Right? So what do you want to accomplish? Why is it important that we have the ideal outcome, what does the completed project will look like? And then the best result, if you do take action, the worst result if you don’t take action, and then the success criteria, what has to be true when this project is finished? And so I think that is a really helpful way for you to become very radically explicit about your goals.
Dr. Melissa Smith 26:00
Okay. And then the second point that I just alluded to, is a question and that is ask yourself who can help me accomplish this goal, right, because then you move into problem solving mode, instead of overwhelm Oh, right. Like, when you have a big goal, and you’re really explicit about it’s so easy to be absolutely overwhelmed. But when you can ask who can help me, then you start moving to problem solving. So you know, with some of the goals that we have in our organization, right now, I recognized I needed someone who could help our team to be successful on this goal. And so right, we hired a consultant to help us in that department. And it’s been a very helpful process for us. And, you know, we’re also now in the process of looking at whether we need a new Hu for our integration team, so that we can be successful on our goals. Because as it stands, right, like, we might not have the resources, we need to be successful on these goals that are important and that we’ve been very explicit about.
Dr. Melissa Smith 27:12
So the other recommendation that they make is to find who’s for all aspects of your life. So you know, when I think about my own experience, right, like, I have a fitness coach, I’ve been working with her for for many years before that I had a triathlon coach, because, you know, it would be naive of me to expect to know and understand everything I need to know, for these passion pursuits that I have in these interests that I have. And I recognize that not everyone can do that, right. But think about the ways. So first of all, think about the who’s you have in your life, whether you pay someone formally, to help you like in a formal coaching relationship, or whether you have some gurus or some experts on YouTube or other places where you seek them out for their perspective, and for their recommendations and for their expertise, right, we want to, we want to find who’s for all aspects of our life, whether that’s around nutrition, whether that’s around health or fitness, whether that’s around like marketing, consulting, or HR support, you know, there’s so many Who’s that can help us along our journey. So the the last point around this is to, to really think about how your potential can be virtually limitless when you stop asking how and start asking who, because, right, you’re not trying to do everything by yourself. And they say that you can create 10 times or 100 times the result, right, like you can be that much faster. And that much more successful when you focus on who and that you want to apply this principle, both personally and professionally. They argue that it can free up 1000s of future hours by finding who’s so don’t get lost in that trap that sometimes I feel, which is, you know, feeling like I don’t have the time to find the who so I might as well just do it myself. Oh, that’s so undermining.
Dr. Melissa Smith 29:16
So we don’t want to, we don’t want to fall into that trap. So they have a challenge. And that is to add at least one Who to your goals in the next 90 days in whatever area of your life you choose. By adding a who your commitment will increase and your behavior will improve. So as a result, your confidence that you can achieve bigger results in that particular area will improve over the next 90 days. And that’s actually a very powerful concept. Right? When you make a commitment to someone. Yeah, your chances for success go up, because it’s not just a commitment to yourself and so the level of accountability has increased that chances of success go up, right, the feedback, you’re receiving the pushing the accountability required all move up.
Dr. Melissa Smith 30:08
And so those are some of the key concepts from this great book, Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Again, the focus is on freedom of time, freedom of money, freedom of relationships, and freedom of purpose. So those are really the core concepts. Like I said, I, when I started reading this very quickly, I saw how this book and the concepts taught in this book could really make a big difference for me, in my own business, and I have actually been thinking on in the details, right, of what are the next steps and who who do I need to help me in in the work and so I hope this book is helpful for you.
Dr. Melissa Smith 30:54
So head on over to my website, where you can check out the show notes and the resources. We’ll try and see if we can find some links to some great videos of these gentlemen. They’ve certainly got a lot of great work out there. And so you can find that my website at www.drmelissasmith.com/whonothow, and that’s all is one word. So one more time that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/whonothow, and you know, if you have a chance to head on over to iTunes or Spotify, wherever you listen to the podcast, and give me a review, I would so appreciate that. The reviews really help help more people to find the podcast and I’d also love to hear from you and get get your thoughts on what you want to hear about and what you think of the podcast. I’m on Instagram at @dr.melissasmith. Of course you can find me on my website that I just shared, but I’d love to hear what can help you to thrive in love and work. So I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work in love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
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