What Is How?

My friend Dov Seidman, the CEO of LRN, has a new edition of his book How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything out. In this copy, the forward is by President Bill Clinton, who has firmly embraced Dov’s philosophy of HOW.

We’ve been investors in Dov’s company LRN for the past decade and over the last five years I’ve gotten to know Dov and his wife Maria pretty well. They are a dynamic entrepreneurial couple, as Maria is founder / CEO of a new company called Yapp. In addition to being hard at work creating their companies and raising a family, they both live incredibly principled lives. How they do this is embodied in Dov’s philosophy about HOW.

Ever since I’ve know Dov, he’s talked about the importance of HOW. Not what, not why, not how much – just simply HOW. We’ve had our share of long conversations about a variety of topics, but they all come back to the HOW of things.

Dov believes that HOW is everything. It’s not what you do that matters, but how you do it. LRN exists to help businesses understand and incorporate this concept, as the historical approach to business has been all about “how much”, and if you read, ponder, think carefully about, and internalize Dov’s writing and philosophy, you quickly realize that “how much” is irrelevant when lined up against HOW as a construct.

While this applies to business, it also applies to life. My favorite part of working with and talking to Dov is just letting our conversations go wherever they want. While we occasionally stay focused on business, we often drift into wide ranging discussions about our individual lives, HOW we address things, and HOW it all works, and HOW we think about it.

Sure, there is plenty of why and what and where and who in our conversations, and I continue to be a very strong believer in the use of the five whys (continually asking why to get to the root cause of things), but I’m also a deep believer in asking about and focusing on the HOW.

I have dinner with Dov on Monday night and am looking forward to it very much. In the mean time, I encourage you to get a copy of How, read it thoughtfully, and think hard about the HOW in everything you do.

  • http://www.buywigonline.com Yesuifen20

    rb feast. It also takes very little time to make, but looks so i

  • http://www.alearningaday.com Rohan Rajiv

    Very interesting. 

    It would be nice to know what he thinks of Simon Sinek’s ‘Why’ belief. :) 

    Interestingly, even Sinek talks about ‘How Great Leaders Inspire’ .. Haha

  • FAKE GRIMLOCK

    DO IS IMPORTANT.

    UNDERSTAND DO MORE IMPORTANT.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yes, but HOW you DO is important.

      • FAKE GRIMLOCK

        RIGHT HOW REQUIRE UNDERSTAND.

  • JamesHRH

    How can not be disconnected from Why or What. They are all equally important.

  • http://www.adub.net/blog Alan Wells

    Thanks for the recommendation, picked this one up over the weekend and am enjoying so far. One of the exciting things about being a startup CEO is the opportunity to do business HOW you think it should be done – there are no excuses when you’re the one calling the shots!

  • Camberley Bates

    Brad, While I haven’t read this, and will, what is frightening about this book is that it needed to be written and to communicate its importance. How is at the basis of integrity, it is at the essence of action, it is the evidence of faith, not the proclaimed. When we look at the principles of the person and a company it is how they have executed in their lives.. certain not how much.

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