1: Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton was once asked by a journalist how much of the material in his books made it into the blockbuster movie versions of his books.  Michael estimated about 10 percent appeared. 

“Doesn’t that make you mad?” the interviewer exclaimed. 

“Not at all,” Michael replied.  “Those movies sell a lot of books.”

This week, we’ve been exploring the idea of Who Not How, as outlined in the book of the same name by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy.

Michael Crichton’s novels have sold more than 200 million copies.  “A large portion of those sales have come from allowing Whos to take his ideas and use them in different forms,” the authors write. 

“In order to do so, [Michael] had to remove his ego from the equation.  He couldn’t force his own thinking onto other mediums and projects.  He had to let people take his ideas in different directions than he would have himself.

“Indeed, he wasn’t a film director.  He wasn’t a movie savant.  He was a novelist.  And he let other Whos do what they did, in their own way, and as a result, he was a huge recipient,” write Dan and Ben.

The lesson?  If we are going to be successful at the highest levels, we will need to learn to relinquish control over how things are done.

“When [we] develop collaborations, particularly with world-class talent,” Dan and Ben observe, “projects and businesses can quickly expand far beyond the initial concept.”

2: Harvard psychologist Dr. Robert Kegan calls this concept “The Transforming Self,” which he believes is “the highest form of psychological and emotional evolution.”

The base level of psychological development is the Socializing Self, Robert believes.  In this first stage, people operate out of fear, anxiety, and dependence.  We don’t make our own choices.  We don’t have our personal goals.  Instead, our goal is to be accepted by our peers, and we will do whatever we need to do to conform with them.

The next level is the “Authoring Self,” in which we change from unhealthy dependence to much more healthy independence.  At this level, we have developed our sense of self.  We have our own worldview, goals, and an agenda. 

However, we also have a “perceptual filter” we cannot see beyond.  Everything we do confirms our bias and our desire, our achieve, our narrow goals.  Robert writes that many people stop their development at this level, highly convinced of their perspectives and unwilling to alter our views.

“The Transforming Self is different from the Authoring Self in that rather than being individualistic and competitive, it is more relational and collaborative,” write Dan and Ben.  At this higher level of development, we “engage in collaborative relationships for the sake of transformation,” the authors note. 

“All parties have their own perspectives, beliefs, and agendas.  Yet they come together for the purpose of having their own views, and even their identities and sense of self expand.  The whole becomes new and greater than the sum of the parts.  Through collaboration, striving, growth, and connection, people can and do change.  They can evolve in ways far beyond what is possible through individualistic pursuits.

“In order to engage in Transformational Relationships, each of the involved parties must be psychologically evolved to the Transforming Self level,” note Dan and Ben.

Robert believes this psychological level is achieved by about 10 percent of all individuals and organizations.

3: “Transformational Relationships, as opposed to Transactional ones, are entered into for the purpose of change and growth.  In Transformational Relationships, all parties give more than they take.  There is an abundance mindset, and an openness to novelty and change.  Rather than viewing people or services as a ‘cost,’ as in the transactional mindset, everything is viewed as an investment, with the possibility of 10X, 100X, or even bigger returns and change.”

Creating 10X or 100X results in our lives and business “may initially sound ridiculous, but it is fundamental to applying Who Not How,” write Dan and Ben. 

We need bigger goals.  We need a bigger vision.

“The only way to make [our] present better is by making [our] future bigger,” Dan and Ben observe.  “Going 10X bigger in [our] vision, whether that be income or revenue or some other metric, forces [us] to get Whos involved because the task at hand literally becomes impossible to do on [our] own.”


Reflection: What is the way of my becoming a better collaborator?

Action: Discuss with my spouse or a close friend.

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