Who Not How

I'm in my third year of Strategic Coach, an organization I continue to benefit and learn from tremendously. The founder and entrepreneurial coach, Dan Sullivan, promotes a concept which he calls WHO not HOW. According to Sullivan (who has coached more successful entrepreneurs than anyone on the planet), when a typical entrepreneur has a goal or vision they want to pursue, the first question they ask themselves is, "How?" as in "How can I do this?" This question leads to procrastination because of uncertainty about how to proceed.

Our core market has comprised mostly of law firms using Macs, however, just because a law firm is using Macs does NOT necessarily make them a good fit for our service as a Technology Success Provider. We've learned over the past 12 years that firms with a growth mindset stand to benefit the most from our services. A growth mindset makes them most receptive to our unique approach and proven process, allowing forward progress and results to happen in the most significant way.

A managing partner of a firm, besides having the qualifications to practice law, should also have a certain entrepreneurial spirit. Perhaps you see yourself as an entrepreneur who is in the field of law.

So, back to WHO not HOW. The worst thing a managing partner can do is to try to achieve something by asking HOW, and then trying to do everything on their own. The HOW should be the domain of the Office Manager. Instead, the managing partner should focus on challenges that fascinate and bring in the most revenue for the firm. They should then find WHOs to take care of the HOW, and then get out of the way! To quote Theodore Roosevelt, "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

If you stay stuck in HOW you will continue to work on many things you hate which will only hamper your success. As famed YouTuber Casey Neistat has said, "What is 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."

You may also get yourself in trouble when something you may enjoy doing has evolved and become more complex and you're unable or unwilling to find a better WHO to hand it off to.

Most Mac-based law firms started their firm on Macs because they were fed up with Windows and the never-ending issues. Apple's simplicity leads to clear cost savings in the startup days. Firms get into trouble when they find themselves with a team of 13 people and they are still running around running software updates and managing all the technology.

If your firm has grown to over 10 people, staying involved in all the roles required of you when you started the firm no longer serves you or the firm. In fact, it is a dis-service to the firm. The faster you free yourself from doing all the HOWs and let them go to the right WHOs, the faster you'll be able to regain control of your freedom and break through to the next level.

The challenge is realizing when things need to change. To maximize potential and joy, Dan Sullivan recommends entrepreneurs shift from being extreme individualists to developing a team. Once achieved, they can then focus on what excites and inspires them. To get there, they need to shift from HOW to WHO. This is how you can take your life and your practice 10X bigger. You go from me to we to them.

I challenge you to identify areas of your practice that are not running as well as they could be. Then ask WHO not HOW. Don't jump into HOW can I solve this? Ask WHO can solve it. WHO has the greatest pre-existing skill set to do this better than I (or my team) can?

Until next month,

Tom Lambotte