The “Who Not How” mindset is a powerful shift in perspective that emphasizes the importance of focusing on “who” can help us achieve our goals, rather than solely on “how” we can accomplish them ourselves. It acknowledges that we all have unique strengths and limitations, and by collaborating with others who possess complementary abilities, we can achieve far greater results.
I want to share a personal story that taught me a valuable lesson about the power of “who” rather than “how.” It’s a tale of leading an incredible team during a pharmaceutical launch, discovering the true essence of leadership, and learning to rely on the support of others.
It all began when I had the privilege of assembling a remarkable group of leaders for a crucial project. I handpicked individuals whom I considered the best in the business, not only for their skills but also for their exceptional character. Together, we embarked on a journey of building the team, preparing for the launch, and learning what it truly means to be a leader.
Amidst this intense period, my Dad, who had been bravely battling cancer, took a turn for the worse. In that moment, a mix of emotions overwhelmed me. I vividly remember thinking, “I cannot leave this team right now; they need me.” But deep down, I realized that it was the fear of losing my Dad that made me hesitate. The prospect of immersing myself in work seemed like an escape from the impending loss of my role model, mentor, and father.
Thankfully, I was surrounded by incredible individuals who understood the importance of family and empathy. One person, in particular, took me aside and said, “Go to him, we’ve got this.” It was a pivotal moment. I trusted their words and made the decision to prioritize my family during this challenging time.
What happened next was truly remarkable. The team excelled in my absence. They stepped up, embraced their roles, and achieved exceptional results. It was during this period of reflection that I realized my fixation on the “how” had clouded my perspective. I kept asking myself, “How am I going to do this? How can I balance building this team, launching the product, and being present for my dad and family?” But the truth was, it was never about the “how.” It was always about the “who.”
The lesson I learned is that when you surround yourself with the right people, they become your pillars of strength, knowledge, and support. They become the “who” that empowers you to overcome any challenge. I am eternally grateful to this exceptional group of individuals who taught me so much and were there for me and my family during our darkest hours.
To my team, you know who you are. Thank you for all the valuable lessons, for catching me as I was falling, and for reminding me that it’s the collective strength of the “who” that truly makes a difference. Your unwavering support and dedication continue to inspire me to this day.
To deepen your understanding of the “Who Not How” mindset, we recommend reading the book “Who Not How” by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. In this insightful book, they explore the power of focusing on who can help you achieve your goals rather than getting caught up in the how.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you embrace this philosophy.
Recognize your strengths and limitations
Take the time to reflect on your own skills and abilities. Identify what energizes you and where your true strengths lie. Equally important is acknowledging areas where you may need assistance or lack expertise.
Understand that delegation is not a sign of weakness but a smart leadership strategy. Identify tasks that can be better handled by someone else and delegate them to individuals who have the necessary skills and passion for those areas.
Build a diverse team
Surround yourself with individuals who bring different strengths, perspectives, and expertise to the table. Foster an inclusive and collaborative environment where everyone’s contributions are valued and encouraged.
Cultivate a network of support
Look beyond your immediate team or organization and build a network of trusted advisors, mentors, and experts who can provide guidance, insights, and support when needed.
Embrace the power of collaboration
Foster a culture of collaboration where everyone is encouraged to contribute their unique skills and ideas. Encourage open communication, knowledge sharing, and cross-functional teamwork.
In addition to the book, here are a few resources to further explore the “Who Not How” mindset:
“The Power of Collaboration: How Leveraging Others Can Propel Your Success” – This article provides real-life examples of individuals who have achieved extraordinary results by embracing collaboration and the “Who Not How” mindset.
“The Genius Network® Show” – Hosted by Joe Polish, this podcast features interviews with industry leaders who discuss the power of collaboration, strategic partnerships, and building high-performance teams.
I encourage all of you to remember the power of the “who” in your own lives. By embracing the “Who Not How” mindset, you will not only lighten your own load but also empower others to shine and contribute their unique talents. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift, challenge, and support you. Together, we can achieve incredible things and weather even the most challenging storms.