Who Not How Book Summary - Who Not How Book explained in key points
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Who Not How summary

Dan Sullivan with Benjamin Hardy

The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork

4.5 (539 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

"Who Not How" by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy is a guide to shifting from a "how-to" mentality to a "who-to" one, showing how collaboration and the creation of partnerships can lead to more efficient and successful outcomes.

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    Who Not How
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    "Whos" help you focus on your unique abilities and achieve your goals.

    The year is 1984. A promising young basketball star has just been drafted by the Chicago Bulls. His name is Michael Jordan, and it soon becomes clear that he’s one of the best players in the NBA – maybe even the best.

    And yet, despite the emerging star’s best efforts, Jordan’s first three seasons with the Bulls are frustrated by early eliminations in the playoffs. For the Bulls, Jordan’s individual athletic prowess just doesn’t translate to championship victories – or even making it past the first round of the playoffs.

    Rather than figuring out how to win a championship alone, Jordan needs help – someone who can support his amazing abilities in the context of a team sport. Jordan doesn’t need a How; he needs a Who.

    The key message here is: Whos help you focus on your unique abilities and achieve your goals.

    When you enlist a Who to assist you in a project or goal, you find someone who can take over tasks that don’t belong to your core talents. As it turned out, Jordan needed several Whos before the Bulls embarked on their famous run of six championship victories. The first arrived in 1987 – a rookie by the name of Scottie Pippen, who helped Jordan improve his own game while also becoming a better team player. But even then, for the next three seasons, the Bulls still couldn’t make it into the finals; they still relied too much on Jordan’s solo abilities. Jordan and Pippen needed another Who with the vision to grow the team into a tight-knit powerhouse.

    When Phil Jackson became the Bulls’ head coach in 1989, he soon realized that, while several players were very talented, he needed to develop a strategy using the whole team. He called this the triangle offense. Over the next few years, the Bulls perfected this strategy, and they went on to win six championships between 1991 and 1998. None of this would have happened through Jordan’s virtuosity alone.

    The Chicago Bull’s road to success isn’t just a nice story. It also begs the question at the crux of the Who Not How philosophy. If one of the greatest basketball players of all time needed several Whos to achieve his goals, what about you? What are you trying to accomplish, and who can help you do it?

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    What is Who Not How about?

    Who Not How (2020) introduces a new way of thinking about entrepreneurship, goal setting, and collaboration. Developed by business coach Dan Sullivan, the Who Not How mindset shows the importance of delegating tasks to others. By inviting them to help you achieve your goals, you’ll gain more free time, increase your income, and develop valuable, lasting professional relationships.

    Who should read Who Not How?

    • Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to realize a business idea
    • Burned-out professionals with a desire for more free time
    • Perfectionists on the hunt for procrastination cures

    About the Author

    Dan Sullivan is an entrepreneurial coach, consultant, and strategic planner. As founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc., Sullivan has helped entrepreneurs around the world accomplish personal and professional goals. He’s the author or coauthor of numerous books and publications, including Who Do You Want To Be A Hero To? and The Gap and the Gain.

    Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist. Hardy’s blogs have been read by over 100 million people and featured in publications such as the New York Times and Harvard Business Review. He cowrote The Gap and the Gain with Dan Sullivan, authored Willpower Doesn’t Work and Personality Isn’t Permanent.

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