In EOS®, we coach teams to be both healthy and smart. “Smart” is having world class tools and strategies to achieve your vision. “Healthy” is getting those results in a sustainable way – i.e., with a healthy culture. Most books focus on either healthy or smart. I just read a book that does both: Who Not How by Sullivan (of Strategic Coach fame) and Hardy.
The authors illustrate why you’re severely limited by focusing on how to do things. Instead, true breakthroughs come by focusing on who we need for the results we want. Great achievements come from leveraging the combined skills of others.
Usually, our first thought when facing a business challenge is, “How will I get this done?” We list tasks, allocate resources, and set milestones. Inevitably, when we focus on what we have to do, we hit barriers. The bigger the goal, the bigger the barriers. And the more we procrastinate.
Sullivan and Hardy instead recommend starting with who. Your first question should be: Who is better equipped to do this? Who will compliment my strengths to accomplish these goals together?
The authors share impressive examples in both large and small companies.
This quick summary doesn’t do the book justice. It’s about much more than teamwork. The leadership insight, combined with compelling stories, make it an important read. Be prepared for a paradigm shift.