Who Not How

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences


Instead of asking, “How can I do this?” ask, “Who can do this for me?”

Asking “who” instead of “how” creates freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose.

You are rewarded in life by the results you produce, not the effort you put in.

🎨 Impressions


This book opened my eyes to why I’m not as far along as I want to be in life. I have big dreams and aspirations, but I often come up short. 

I’m convinced the reason is whenever I hit a roadblock, I’m asking “how” instead of “who”. I try to solve all my own problems, which is a flawed approach. The right “who” can make things 10x easier.

Ever since closing my restaurant business, I’ve told myself I’m not interested in managing others. I’ve actively avoided hiring people even though sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in administrative tasks that are far from the highest and best use of my time.

Finally, this book convinced me hiring the right “who” is less of a cost and more of an investment. 

After all, a great way to measure progress is by noting the amount and quality of collaborations happening in your life. 

🤷🏽‍♂️ Who Should Read This Book?


Anyone trying something new and challenging.

People that want results fast. 

People that understand hiring other people as an investment rather than a cost.

People that struggle to get out of their own way.

People that try to do everything themselves.

People who procrastinate.

☘️ How Reading This Book Changed My Outlook.


If you’re going to apply higher levels of teamwork in your life, you need to relinquish control over how things get done. Find a Who. Then let them choose their how.

Never micromanage your who and insist they do their job a particular way. Define success and let your who implement their own how to get there. 

“How” is linear and slow. “Who” is instantaneous and exponential.

Ultimately, anyone who becomes highly successful does so through relationships. Success becomes increasingly about Who and less about How as you grow. 

Unless you’re brilliant at finding Whos, you should also find a who to help you find your whos. For example, your first hire should probably be an Executive Assistant that comes with a Rolodex of experts in your niche.

If you have enough money to solve a problem then you don’t have a problem.

Entrepreneurs crossed the chasm of risk from the Time and Effort Economy to the Results Economy. There is no guaranteed income in exchange for their time. 

Far too often, people wear their hard work as a badge of honor. But in reality, they are engaging in Hows that could easily be handled by a Who to more effectively produce the desired result. 

If you’re cost-minded, then by nature, you’re transactional and short-term focused. You’ll see Whos as a cost, which means you’ll never be able to create the brilliant collaborations that are possible. 

Give without expectation. Change your perspective from what’s in it for me to what’s in it for them?

Money avoids the person who does not value their time. 

At the beginning of your career you’ll get paid for what you do. But if you become highly successful and influential, then over time, you’ll get paid for who you are. 

✍️ My 3 Favorite Quotes.


What’s the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate. - Casey Neistat.

 Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives. - Albert Einstein

 If you’re focused on doing everything yourself, then you are dramatically limiting the resources you can direct toward your goals. If your resources are limited, your potential, your options, and your future are limited too.

📒 More Notes


Impact Filter:

Dan Sullivan created a document he calls the “Impact Filter”. Whenever he wants to achieve a specific result, the first thing he does is fill out an Impact Filter. Then he finds someone to execute against that vision. 

The Impact Filter identifies why a project is important. It identifies what we gain if we succeed as well as what’s at stake if we fail. 

Impact Filter Questions:

  1. What is the project?
  2. Purpose: What do you want to accomplish?
  3. Importance: What’s the biggest difference this will make?
  4. Ideal Outcome: What does the completed project look like?
  5. Best Result: If you do take action?
  6. Worst Result: If you don’t take action?
  7. Success Criteria: What has to be true when this project is finished? 

Highest Form of Psychological & Emotional Evolution

When you develop collaborations, particularly with world-class talent, projects and businesses can quickly expand far beyond the initial concept. Harvard psychologist Dr. Robert Kegan has a term for this - The Transforming Self - and he considers it the highest form of psychological and emotional evolution. 

The basest form of psychological development is the Socializing Self, which is when a person operates out of fear, anxiety, and dependence. You don’t make your own decisions or have your own goals. Instead, you’re simply trying to be accepted by your peers. 

Above the Socializing Self is the Authoring Self, which is when you’ve gone from unhealthily dependent to much more healthy independence. You have you’re own worldview, goals, and agenda. 

The Transforming Self is different from the Authoring Self in that it is not individualistic and competitive. Instead, it is more relational and collaborative. 

Self-Expansion Model

Married psychologists, Dr. Arthur Aron and Dr. Elaine Aron developed the Self-Expansion Model, which says humans have a primary motivation to enhance their efficacy or confidence. 

Efficacy is your ability to produce the desired result. Achieving a desired result yields confidence. Your efficacy is not based on your innate or individual capabilities. It refers to your ability to obtain resources that make the attainment of your goals possible. 

Our attraction to specific people is based on two factors:

  1. Desirability - the perceived total amount of self-expansion that is possible for us through a specific relationship
  2. Probability - the perceived likelihood that a close relationship with an individual can actually be formed.

On Procrastination:

Procrastination will ruin your life and limit your potential. Confidence comes from a belief in your ability to imagine, conceptualize, and achieve goals. 

Procrastination is also a form of wisdom. It’s a psychological phenomenon that occurs when you really want something more for yourself, but you lack the knowledge and capability to do it. 

Essentially your goal is too big for you to achieve yourself. You need a Who to get you through whatever stage you’re in.

Kill procrastination in 2 easy steps:

  1. Be radically explicit about your goals - express your vision clearly.
  2. Ask yourself who can help me accomplish this goal?

Technical vs. Adaptive Problems:

Technical problems are when the answer is already known. You just have to figure out how to do it. For example, if you want to set up a new website, that is a technical problem. 

Adaptive problems, on the other hand, do not have a known answer. Because they don’t have a known answer, they require a creator. 

The time you spend addressing adaptive problems is likely 10x - 100x more valuable than any time spent solving technical problems. 

Whenever you have a technical problem, figure out who can help you and hire them to do so. Whenever you have an adaptive problem, be the creator and generate a new solution.

Pygmalion Effect:

The ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded if the situation demanded. We are either rising or falling to the expectations of those around us. This is known as the Pygmalion Effect. 

You need to increase the demand on yourself to focus and succeed. You need an environment and situation forcing you to rise up to the level of your goals. In order to do that you need to increase the demand on yourself and others to produce the desired results. 

Every time you invest yourself in something, you become more committed to it.

Transformational Leadership:

Four characteristics of a Transformational Leader. 

  1. Individualized Consideration: the degree to which you tend to each team member’s needs.
  2. Intellectual Stimulation: the degree to which you challenge people’s assumptions. 
  3. Inspirational Motivation: the degree to which you articulate a vision that is inspiring to your team. 
  4. Idealized Influence: the degree to which you instill a positive sense of pride and culture among your team.

Lack of clarity of vision and inability to articulate that vision leaves Whos with no identity and no clear purpose. 

According to Self-Determination Theory, every human being has three basic psychological needs related to their work: 

  1. A sense of competence
  2. Autonomy in how they do their work
  3. Positive and meaningful relationships

Autonomy without clarity is ultimately a disaster. Clear success criteria ensure your who doesn’t get lost. 



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Sunny Shakhawala

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