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How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life)

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Business ethics and behavior expert Dov Seidman’s New York Times bestseller How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, is now available on audio in its new expanded edition. The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness—and our global interdependence—are dramatically reshaping today’s world, the world of business, and our lives. We a Business ethics and behavior expert Dov Seidman’s New York Times bestseller How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, is now available on audio in its new expanded edition. The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness—and our global interdependence—are dramatically reshaping today’s world, the world of business, and our lives. We are in the Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do. “Whats” are commodities, easily duplicated or reverse-engineered. Sustainable advantage and enduring success for organizations and the people who work for them now lie in the realm of how, the new frontier of conduct.      For almost two decades, Dov Seidman’s pioneering organization, LRN, has helped some of the world’s most respected companies build “do it right,” winning cultures and inspire principled performance throughout their organizations. Seidman’s distinct vision of the world, business, and human endeavor has helped enable more than 15 million people doing business in more than 120 countries to outbehave the competition. In HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, Dov Seidman shares his unique approach with you. Now updated and expanded, How includes a new preface from Dov Seidman on why how we behave, lead, govern, operate, consume, engender trust in our relationships, and relate to others matters more than ever and in ways it never has before.      Through entertaining anecdotes, surprising case studies, cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, and revealing interviews with a diverse group of leaders, business executives, experts, and everyday people on the front lines, this book explores how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern our institutions and ourselves to uncover the values-inspired “hows” of twenty-first-century success and significance.


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Business ethics and behavior expert Dov Seidman’s New York Times bestseller How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, is now available on audio in its new expanded edition. The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness—and our global interdependence—are dramatically reshaping today’s world, the world of business, and our lives. We a Business ethics and behavior expert Dov Seidman’s New York Times bestseller How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, is now available on audio in its new expanded edition. The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness—and our global interdependence—are dramatically reshaping today’s world, the world of business, and our lives. We are in the Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do. “Whats” are commodities, easily duplicated or reverse-engineered. Sustainable advantage and enduring success for organizations and the people who work for them now lie in the realm of how, the new frontier of conduct.      For almost two decades, Dov Seidman’s pioneering organization, LRN, has helped some of the world’s most respected companies build “do it right,” winning cultures and inspire principled performance throughout their organizations. Seidman’s distinct vision of the world, business, and human endeavor has helped enable more than 15 million people doing business in more than 120 countries to outbehave the competition. In HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, Dov Seidman shares his unique approach with you. Now updated and expanded, How includes a new preface from Dov Seidman on why how we behave, lead, govern, operate, consume, engender trust in our relationships, and relate to others matters more than ever and in ways it never has before.      Through entertaining anecdotes, surprising case studies, cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, and revealing interviews with a diverse group of leaders, business executives, experts, and everyday people on the front lines, this book explores how we think, how we behave, how we lead, and how we govern our institutions and ourselves to uncover the values-inspired “hows” of twenty-first-century success and significance.

30 review for How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Using the "Wave" (as in the crowd at a ballgame standing up section by section) as a metaphor for leadership tested me from the beginning. As wonderful as Seidman touts the Wave, I came to reading the book thinking the Wave was a nuisance that takes away from the experience of being at the ballpark. Seidman followed that up by discussing how we have moved from a zero-sum economy (For me to have more, you have to have less) to an infinite economy. Then he used chess as his metaphor. Chess, however Using the "Wave" (as in the crowd at a ballgame standing up section by section) as a metaphor for leadership tested me from the beginning. As wonderful as Seidman touts the Wave, I came to reading the book thinking the Wave was a nuisance that takes away from the experience of being at the ballpark. Seidman followed that up by discussing how we have moved from a zero-sum economy (For me to have more, you have to have less) to an infinite economy. Then he used chess as his metaphor. Chess, however, is a zero-sum game (I win, you lose). We are off to a difficult beginning. Lots of self-evidents describing the current transparent informational society we live in. Supposedly this is all support stuff for getting to How. I am seeing a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk here, although using a lot more words than @garyvee does. Methinks this 300-page book could have been reduced to 100. We shall see moving forward. Interesting discussion of dissonance, Piaget, and assimilation. Reminds me a lot of Capra. Seidman states that our brain rewards us for resisting new learning that is at odds with what we already know. It seems to me education can learn a lot from this. When the system makes changes that are at odds with how teachers are doing things, work needs to be done to overcome that dissonance and inspire new learning/acceptance. A lot of trust and reputation discussion. There's more business mumbo-jumbo written here. Nevertheless, the takeaway of the book is to have the correct mindset/lens to lead. To do what is right. To be principled. Of course, that is pretty much the Christian outlook in life too. ;) The "prescription" at the end of the book actually takes away from the message in that it really is just a re-hash of what all leadership books espouse. Be contemplative, empower, etc. It was a worthwhile read as I do not usually delve into this genre. I liked the idea that if you never lead, you always follow. It seems to me then that one could inspire a team to find an opportunity to be the leader. One doesn't have to continuously lead, but let's not always follow. A solid interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    "How," a minor classic in the business leadership genre, commits the four venal sins of business books. Its most disappointing feature, however, is that the sins aren't even original. Sin #1: Self-Interest. Like many books in the field of business leadership, "How" serves as a long-form advertisement for author Dov Seidman's consulting firm. There's a lot of "my firm's value" this and "my firm's importance" that. I get it, Seidman. You needed a book to boost your firm's credibility. You wrote one "How," a minor classic in the business leadership genre, commits the four venal sins of business books. Its most disappointing feature, however, is that the sins aren't even original. Sin #1: Self-Interest. Like many books in the field of business leadership, "How" serves as a long-form advertisement for author Dov Seidman's consulting firm. There's a lot of "my firm's value" this and "my firm's importance" that. I get it, Seidman. You needed a book to boost your firm's credibility. You wrote one. Good for you. Sin #2: Anecdotal Evidence. Seidman follows a common business-book formula. He makes an assertion, tells an anecdote related to some successful business and businessman to support his assertion, and then reasserts his assertion. The problem with anecdotal evidence, however, is that it has no rigor. We can't know whether Business A is a winner because it models the behaviors Seidman promotes, or whether the author just happened to catch the right business at the right time of its business cycle. One reads enough of these books extolling companies that have since fallen from grace, and one becomes jaded. The author is an academic, at least part-time. There's no excuse to rely on anecdotes when there's plentiful statistical evidence (in service to the author's thesis) to be found. Sin #3: Explaining the Obvious. If I read one more business leadership book that takes three chapters to explain to me how the internet has changed everything, I'm going to quit the genre entirely. Sin #4: Moral Blindness. One cannot write a book about personal and corporate ethics and responsibility, then hold up Altria and McDonald's as model business. Altria owns Philip Morris, a company whose entire business model is predicated on addicting stupid people to carcinogenic substances. McDonald's is a company whose business model is predicated on feeding people garbage. When, of all companies, Seidman chooses actual evildoers such as these to illustrate his thesis about the value of personal and corporate virtue, he loses his credibility. Oh, this book is awful. On a positive note, I only had to listen to it over the course of three days. Had I been a student in one of his classes, I don't think I'd have lasted a week. Pass this one by. Recommended for: people who think french fries and cigarettes are fantastic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Meh. The book had some good stories, but I turned the last page without being able to really put into words what the whole thing was about. Essentially, Seidman urges the reader to move from WHAT to HOW. This is done by being passionate, inspired, and self-governed by your values and morals. Given the cerebral nature of such a mindset, Seidman is unable to give the reader a list of concrete actions or steps to take but he included lots of stories and anecdotes to inspire. I found it a little lac Meh. The book had some good stories, but I turned the last page without being able to really put into words what the whole thing was about. Essentially, Seidman urges the reader to move from WHAT to HOW. This is done by being passionate, inspired, and self-governed by your values and morals. Given the cerebral nature of such a mindset, Seidman is unable to give the reader a list of concrete actions or steps to take but he included lots of stories and anecdotes to inspire. I found it a little lackluster; there were a few gems of wisdom but overall it didn't feel concrete enough to me. Something almost all management books have in common, it seems. It did come with a fancy table and complex diagram, though (as do all other mgmt books; I think it's a requirement by the publishing houses). Overall it wasn't concrete enough for me, though there were a few nuggets I did take time to highlight. This a notoriously tough genre, though.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I rarely read business books, and only got this one as a review offering. I'm excited about it enough that I'm thinking about which executives in my company it would be good to gift it to. It would mean buying one, because I want to hang onto my copy... Seidman recognizes that the internet makes it impossible for a corporation to keep its inner workings secret, and explores the implications for the market. He doesn't just say, "Be good and act ethically now that the public can see you." He descri I rarely read business books, and only got this one as a review offering. I'm excited about it enough that I'm thinking about which executives in my company it would be good to gift it to. It would mean buying one, because I want to hang onto my copy... Seidman recognizes that the internet makes it impossible for a corporation to keep its inner workings secret, and explores the implications for the market. He doesn't just say, "Be good and act ethically now that the public can see you." He describes the potential for inspiring your company, by working according to the values that your employees and customers can be enthusiastic about. My favorite nonfiction read of 2009

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    The problem with this book is its assurance that human nature can find out "the rules" for ourselves if given the right framework, and not have it thrust upon us. From what I've read in employee comments, it hasn't really worked in Mr. Seidman's own company. The many anecdotes in the book, though, are quite quite interesting. However, in the end, it seems like a book to get more business for his company that a realistic leadership and ethics framework that can be replicable. The problem with this book is its assurance that human nature can find out "the rules" for ourselves if given the right framework, and not have it thrust upon us. From what I've read in employee comments, it hasn't really worked in Mr. Seidman's own company. The many anecdotes in the book, though, are quite quite interesting. However, in the end, it seems like a book to get more business for his company that a realistic leadership and ethics framework that can be replicable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Skip reading this book. I can sum it up for you in one sentence: In business, treat others as you'd like to be treated. Skip reading this book. I can sum it up for you in one sentence: In business, treat others as you'd like to be treated.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    A feel-good business/success book with some fake theory that lets the author tell random stories and pretend there's a unifying theme. Some fun bits along the way, admittedly, from my kindle: Engagement scores among U.S. and many global workers have tumbled in recent years. I think that’s because we’ve been spending too much time engaging workers with carrots and sticks, and not nearly enough time inspiring them with values and missions worthy of their commitment. Leaders and companies need to re A feel-good business/success book with some fake theory that lets the author tell random stories and pretend there's a unifying theme. Some fun bits along the way, admittedly, from my kindle: Engagement scores among U.S. and many global workers have tumbled in recent years. I think that’s because we’ve been spending too much time engaging workers with carrots and sticks, and not nearly enough time inspiring them with values and missions worthy of their commitment. Leaders and companies need to rethink engagement as a by-product of inspiration. And some are. For example, I recently watched how an inspired Southwest Airlines flight attendant connected with an entire planeload of passengers en route to Las Vegas. As we were getting ready to disembark, the attendant came on the speaker and cheerfully announced: “It’s a well-known fact that if you fold your seatbelts over your seat when you leave the plane, your luck will improve at the casino tables.” Everyone laughed, and then we all did as she suggested. But here’s the beautiful part: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations require seatbelts to be folded on the seats before new passengers can board. She could have taken the time and effort to fold every seatbelt herself. She certainly was not required by her company policy manual nor was she incented by her company compensation program to get us to help her do her job. Instead she was inspired to innovate in her behavior.Read more at location 540 Add a note On this day, Krazy George imagined a gesture that would start in his section and sweep successively through the crowd in a giant, continuous wave of connected enthusiasm, a transformative event that later proved historical. October 15, 1981, is the day Krazy George Henderson invented the Wave.1Read more at location 722 Add a note Clearly, while the PowerPoint presentation may stand as a testament to your superior research and computer presentation skills, it lacks something in its ability to inspire 60,000 people. Even if this were a baseball game, which, let’s face it, can be as slow as molasses, a well-made PowerPoint slide is less interesting than the peanut guy every time.Read more at location 818 Add a note In 1776, Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, and capitalism was born.3 The word capital, by the way, comes from the Latin word capitalis, meaning head. Under capitalism, you could use your head to get ahead.Read more at location 988 Add a note With the coming of the telegraph to the United States in the mid-1850s, some savvy entrepreneurs tried to strike it rich by stringing up thousands of miles of copper cable connecting both the established mercantile centers of the East and the rapidly developing Midwest. In their helter-skelter pursuit of wealth, the enterprise produced a glut of transmission capacity without the market to sustain the infrastructural costs of its installation. Prices collapsed, as did the fortunes of those who invested. Call it the dot-dash explosion. Suddenly, the cost of transmitting a word of text dropped to a then-unheard-of penny per word. This leap in connectivity and economy had some unintended consequences, as journalist Daniel Gross reported in Wired magazine: “Reporters could file long stories from the Civil War battlefields, fueling the great newspaper empires of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Likewise, the spread of the ability to send cheap telegraphs spurred a national market in stocks and commodities and made it much easier to manage international business.”4 These were world-altering developments. Half a century later, American Telephone and Telegraph extended that network dramatically when it introduced the telephone, although they were savvy enough to protect themselves by soliciting monopoly protection from the U.S. government in 1913, thus assuring profitability.Read more at location 1004 Add a note The wired world, by conducting information so quickly and cheaply, in contrast removed the layers between individuals and knowledge, making the professional specialist somewhat less valuable and the information itself more so. The unit cost of information dropped dramatically, from the $300 you might pay a private investigator to locate a deadbeat dad, for instance, to the $50 or so you might spend to do a nationwide online records search yourself. Power and wealth shifted from those who hoard information to those who could make it available and accessible to the most people.Read more at location 1038 Add a note The young titans of the information economy—Yahoo, Google, Amazon, eBay—understand that it is no longer about hoarding, no longer about creating secrets, no longer about keeping things private; it is about reaching people.Read more at location 1044 Add a note Communicate comes from the Latin word communicare, meaning “to share.”Read more at location 1145 Add a note The philosopher David Hume once said that the moral imagination diminishes with distance.1 By this he meant you don’t feel the same sense of connection or obligation to someone halfway across the world that you do to someone halfway across the room, halfway across town, or even halfway across the country.Read more at location 1189 Add a note Dr. Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, authors of Building Cross-Cultural Competence, conducted a worldwide study of cultural attitudes that revealed startling differences among the countries now commonly linked in global enterprise. They posed the following problem to workers in dozens of countries in order to better understand cultural dispositions toward loyalty and regulation: You are riding in a car driven by a close friend. He hits a pedestrian. You know he was going at least thirty-five miles per hour in an area of the city where the maximum allowed speed is twenty miles per hour. There are no witnesses other than you. His lawyer says that if you testify under oath that he was driving only twenty miles per hour, you will save him from serious consequences. What right has your friend to expect you to protect him? What do you think you would do in view of the obligations of a sworn witness and the obligations to your friend?3 Before you read the results, take a moment to think how you would respond. In countries with a strong Protestant tradition and stable democracies, like the United States, Switzerland, Sweden, and Australia, nearly 80 percent thought the friend had “no” or only “some” right to expect help, and would choose to tell the truth in court. In South Korea and Yugoslavia, fewer than 20 percent felt this way; 80 percent felt that helping their friend was the right thing to do. “When we posed this question in Japan,” Hampden-Turner told me when we spoke, “the Japanese said this was a difficult problem, and they wanted to leave the room. I thought this was an unusual way for people to answer the question, but let them leave the room to discuss it. They came back in 25 minutes and said the correct answer is to say to your friend, ‘I will stick with you; I will give any version of events that you ask me to, but I ask you to find in our friendship the courage that allows us to tell the truth.’ I thought this was a wonderful solution. They wanted to be universalistic—to tell the absolute truth, a characteristic of the Western world—but their culture is particularistic and values the love and loyalty to a particular friend. They made the move from one to the other, but approached it from the opposite direction than a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant would.”4Read more at location 1222 Add a note The news is full of examples of the mighty who have taken the fall. Kenneth Lonchar, former CFO and EVP of Silicon Valley software storage firm Veritas (the Latin word for truth), got caught in 2002 claiming a false Stanford MBA.9 University of Notre Dame head football coach George O’Leary resigned when it was revealed that he had not only lied on his resume about playing football at his alma mater, but he had also falsely claimed a master’s degree.10 Even Jeff Taylor, founder of online job-search company Monster.com, posted on his own web site an executive biography touting a phony Harvard MBA.11 We live in the age of transparency. In 1994, it might have been easy to get away with such shenanigans, but with the massive shift of personal records and personal profiles to databases easily accessed over the Internet, virtually everything about you can be discovered quite easily.Read more at location 1338 Add a note There’s even a new word for it—whistleblogging—when employees create personal online journals to report company wrongdoing.Read more at location 1364 Add a note Former Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) champion David Toms, with one win and six top-10 finishes so far that season, was among a handful of players with a great chance to win. Then something unusual happened. On the morning of the second round, Toms walked into the officials’ tent and explained to the bewildered officials (and later to the press) that the day before he might or might not have done something for which he should have taken penalty strokes. On the famous 17th hole, the Road Hole, he missed a medium-length putt, then strode to the hole and tapped it in. He was unsure, however, whether the ball might have been wobbling in the wind slightly when he did so. It is against the rules of golf to hit a ball while it is still in motion, and because he was not sure, David Toms disqualified himself from the Open.1 To disqualify yourself from a major tournament is an extraordinary act of sportsmanship; to do so for something that may or may not have happened, and that nobody else saw, is downright remarkable.Read more at location 2712 Add a note Did you forward this e-mail to someone? Did you call a friend or loved one and say, “How’s your day going, honey? Let me tell you about this e-mail I just got.” Or did your annoyance pop into your head again the next time you saw that person and prevent you from relating to them? These things happen all too frequently in the course of a business day. They generate bad feelings, and those feelings accumulate and take their toll. In business, distractions caused by lapses in human conduct reduce everyone’s ability to focus, and thus to function well.Read more at location 2896 Add a note Studies have shown that when confronted with situations like these the reasoning parts of your brain—normally employed for effective decision making and sound judgment—actually turn off, and the emotional parts of your brain turn on. Dissonance physically impedes your ability to think clearly, act with reason, and make good decisions.Read more at location 2945 Add a note Sunlight is the best disinfectant. —Supreme Court Justice Louis BrandeisRead more at location 3235 Add a note

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Meh. Definitely dated, so that's partly my fault for not reading it sooner. Would have been helpful when it came out. At this point, most the materials have been covered elsewhere, ad naseum. Namely that technology has changed everything, but especially transparency. I wish I had skim read all of it and then read carefully the 4th section. The 4th section is worth reading. And you really don't need to read the rest to get the 4th section. Meh. Definitely dated, so that's partly my fault for not reading it sooner. Would have been helpful when it came out. At this point, most the materials have been covered elsewhere, ad naseum. Namely that technology has changed everything, but especially transparency. I wish I had skim read all of it and then read carefully the 4th section. The 4th section is worth reading. And you really don't need to read the rest to get the 4th section.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Norman

    I felt like this book was very helpful. It had many clear examples of how to create a culture of leadership and shared responsibility. I liked that it wasn't a step by step guide but a series of examples and analysis of why these organizations worked. That you could then take and apply in a way that would benefit your own organization. I felt like this book was very helpful. It had many clear examples of how to create a culture of leadership and shared responsibility. I liked that it wasn't a step by step guide but a series of examples and analysis of why these organizations worked. That you could then take and apply in a way that would benefit your own organization.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Max Burtsev

    Probably the only book you need to read about corporate culture and behavior. I’d put five but it seems like the book was written by Tolstoy - too many unnecessary descriptions which you could get lost in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Loy Machedo

    Loy Machedo’s Book Review – How by Dov Seidman Out of the many positive reviews given to the book ‘HOW’, I want to share only 3 with you. First by Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. Jeff Kindler “HOW is a radically different and compelling approach to competing in business today. What Seidman has done is crystallize how we now need to think and act to win in this new world.” Second by Jim Skinner, CEO, McDonald’s Corporation “Dov Seidman captures the power that Ray Kroc instilled in us at McDonald’s f Loy Machedo’s Book Review – How by Dov Seidman Out of the many positive reviews given to the book ‘HOW’, I want to share only 3 with you. First by Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. Jeff Kindler “HOW is a radically different and compelling approach to competing in business today. What Seidman has done is crystallize how we now need to think and act to win in this new world.” Second by Jim Skinner, CEO, McDonald’s Corporation “Dov Seidman captures the power that Ray Kroc instilled in us at McDonald’s from the day he opened his first restaurant in 1955. HOW is required reading for anyone seeking enduring success in business or life.” Third by Fortune Magazine "The hottest adviser on corporate virtue to Fortune 500 companies." And when you have the Foreword by President Bill Clinton, do you have any doubt that this book is indeed going to be not just thought-provoking but a landmark juggernaut? Without a doubt, this book turned out to be definitive must-read of the ages! But here I must warn you – This is one rare book that isn’t a fast and easy read. It contains many examples, concepts and the hard hitting truths we have forgotten many years ago. Consider these questions: - How can I best delight my client? - How can I bring the company greater repute? - How can I make the meeting more successful? And then consider these questions: - What does the manual say to do? - What is my job description? - What is on the agenda? Which questions do you think hit a home run with the values and practices of Value-Based, Principle-Run Companies? Unlike other business books, How isn't a step-by-step instructions booklet or a 7 secrets to 15 rules or 13 processes to achieve success. Rather, it is a deep insightful Bible of thoughts which brings forth the reality to the reader. One of my favorite examples which Seidman states is when he quotes Jack Welch: "There's no secret to the what. The secret is in the how. They can know our model, but they cannot do it. They cannot copy our hows." In other words, In today's transparent, inter-connected, information flooded, highly competitive and free flow world competitors can copy your products, offer similar services, steal your employees and duplicate your technology. They can cut prices, offer discounts, compile tempting gifts and shocking deals. However, what they can't copy is the way you do business, the manner in which you have build relationships with people and the slow painstaking steps you have taken to build trust will all those connected to your business. Those are your "hows." He speaks on intangible and invaluable traits like Trust, Culture, Transparency, Leadership, Relationships – everything that cannot be measured but is felt and experienced. What I loved most was the use of the example of GE Aircraft Engine Assembly Plant in Durham, NC where some 200 highly qualified professionals work under one (the plant manager) and at times no boss – where the philosophy is everyone is a boss and everyone reports to everyone else. Everyone knows what is to be done and they do it without being told – be it keeping the place clean, not stealing tools, to even not having a fixed compulsory time to report to work. And that in turn has resulted in reduction in costs, increase in profits, higher productivity and absolute loyalty to the values of the organization. It is more like the anecdote he gave - Instead of being like the bakery that won't cut bread when you request them to do so (because of a so called ‘company rule), become the bakery that goes the extra mile to cut bread AND add a surprise cookie. Personally, the last chapter was the icing on the cake where he clearly speaks about ‘The Leadership Framework’ and he states "I can't give you rules." Simply because Dov Seidman strongly believes Rules, Systems and Process never work – Values do. I was really stuck with the profoundness and depth of this book. This is an amazing masterpiece that will take time, patience and thought to read as it focuses on HOW we think, HOW we behave, and HOW we govern. For anyone looking forward to move into the deeper waters of learning, growing, and evolving – this is truly a manuscript for the ages. The wisdom in its pages is timeless and priceless. And by far, a book that I will rate as among the Best Business Books of the Ages. Overall Rating A Very Intense book, A deep well of wisdom and A Well-Crafted Masterpiece in the making. Perfect Score – 10 out of 10. Loy Machedo loymachedo.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Doug Cornelius

    Seidman spends the first half of the book taking about transparency, trust, reputation, and the new inter-connected world. He does a fine job with these topics, but I’ve seen them handled better elsewhere. The second half of the book, which focuses more on Seidman’s philosophy of business is when the book becomes more valuable. Seidman highlights an empirical study about reputation using eBay’s seller reputation information. Chrysanthos Dellarocas used eBay as an experiment. In a study selling th Seidman spends the first half of the book taking about transparency, trust, reputation, and the new inter-connected world. He does a fine job with these topics, but I’ve seen them handled better elsewhere. The second half of the book, which focuses more on Seidman’s philosophy of business is when the book becomes more valuable. Seidman highlights an empirical study about reputation using eBay’s seller reputation information. Chrysanthos Dellarocas used eBay as an experiment. In a study selling the same product, in the same way, through eBay sellers with different levels in the site’s reputation scores, the study found a measurable difference in price. A seller with a high reputation on average would get a measurable price premium over a seller who did not. As you might expect, the book is full of stories as examples. One that really caught my eye was the description of four factories as examples of four types of corporate culture. The factories are to be toured and the measuring stick is the use of hard hats. At the first factory, one of lawlessness and anarchy, the factory tour guide does not offer hard hats to the visitors and many workers are seen without hard hats. At the second factory, an example of blind obedience, all workers wear hard hats and the tour guide says everyone has to wear one or they get fired. The tour guide admits that he doesn’t know why he needs to wear it or why the boss also makes him wear blue pants. The third factory is the next step up the corporate culture ladder as an example of informed acquiescence. Hard hats are there for everyone with big signs saying everyone must wear one. But when one member of the tour group asks to be excused from wearing one, the tour guide scampers off trying to find a higher-up to approve the lack of a hard hat. At the top of the corporate culture is the fourth factory, an example of Seidman’s self-governance. The tour guide insists that everyone wears a hard hat and when that same member of the tour group asks to be excused the tour guide says no. “I take personal responsibility for what happens to you. I don’t want to offend you, and you can call my boss or the owner if you like, but I believe your safety and the safety of everyone are paramount. “ The how of culture is broken into five parts: how we know, how we behave, how we relate, how we recognize, and how we pursue. One common theme in the book is an indictment of a rules-based culture. Rules-makers “chase human ingenuity, which races along generally complying with the rules while blithely creating new behaviors that exist outside of them.” The example that caught my eye was the clerk who insisted on wearing ties with cartoon characters. His bosses fought him and finally insisted that he obey the rules on permissible neckwear. The clerk acquiesced and showed up the next day with Tasmanian Devil suspenders. Ultimately, a rules-based governance focuses on the things you can’t do, while a values-based governance focuses on what is desirable. This ends up with Seidman’s Leadership Framework. http://http://www.compliancebuilding....

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave Lefevre

    If I was allowed I would probably give this book 3 1/2 stars. The premise of the book is that in business it's much more important how we do things rather than what we produce. I agree completely. Without naming it Seidman is taking a stance against the Randian culture that permeates the top levels of multinational corporations today. The 2008 crash is all the evidence you need to understand that the short-term culture based on the attitude that selfishness always works best has all but destroyed If I was allowed I would probably give this book 3 1/2 stars. The premise of the book is that in business it's much more important how we do things rather than what we produce. I agree completely. Without naming it Seidman is taking a stance against the Randian culture that permeates the top levels of multinational corporations today. The 2008 crash is all the evidence you need to understand that the short-term culture based on the attitude that selfishness always works best has all but destroyed the economy in the U.S., and Seidman rightly argues that when acting out of a solid values system it will often mean you have to forgo short-terms gains or (*gasp*) even take a loss to do what is best for the long-term outlook of an enterprise. If you operate out of a solid sense of values you have no choice but to create work that is good for everyone in the long term. Problem is Seidman stumbles a bit here and there. At one point he holds Goldman Sachs up as example of virtue. To be fair the example was from the Junk Bond days when Goldman refused to participate and actually WAS a good actor on the stage, but in today's world where Goldman has its fingers in every disaster from Iceland to Greece and their executives were able to personal profit from the bailout of AIG, it seems a glaring and laughable error. At other times Citibank is held up as well. Seidman believes is getting outside the box, or, more specifically, not getting in a box, but at the same time he is a true believer in the corporate system and such concepts as "constant growth" and bigger is better. The book cautions against corporatespeak but sometimes gets lost in its own version of it. Seidman has the opportunity in this book to get outside of the corporate values that are providing a straightjacket for the United States and encourage the U.S. to evolve the corporation into something better but he dances around that idea, which makes this a corporate howto book rather than the book it could of been: a book about how to fix the corporate short-term thinking that is destroying just about everything the U.S. has built since World War II.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    If you read any of the hundreds of business books on the market, you'll know the current trend of what to do in business. I've read and reviewed dozens of titles that all say that the key to business is doing what you say you are going to do and treating people like people (both clients and employees). These resources usually give all sorts of examples of successful companies that actually follow through on their promises. Some of the more involved ones give step by step instructions on what to If you read any of the hundreds of business books on the market, you'll know the current trend of what to do in business. I've read and reviewed dozens of titles that all say that the key to business is doing what you say you are going to do and treating people like people (both clients and employees). These resources usually give all sorts of examples of successful companies that actually follow through on their promises. Some of the more involved ones give step by step instructions on what to do to make your business successful. How is a bit different from these other titles. The author doesn't write a how to manual. Instead, the author focuses firmly on the issue at hand: how the way you run your business actually reflects your business goals and what you are doing that is counterproductive to these goals. In other words, if you promise your clients excellent customer service do you then spent most of your time stonewalling consumer questions and concerns? It may sound like common sense but most businesses keep only a small percentage of their promises. Most say one thing and provide service of a completely different nature. To me, the big difference between the methodology of How and the many other business books I've read is the difference between going into a mega-super-store and being given the hard sell or going into a local Mom's and Pop's corner store. Yes, in the first example, the company probably did get that initial sale but I won't come back and neither will any of my friends. The later example's integrity and ability to make me feel like they genuinely want my business will more likely make me a lifetime customer.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David McClendon, Sr

    Book Review how Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything… in Business (and in Life) My son was given a copy of this book in a CARE package at Marine Boot Camp. He was sure I would enjoy the book and I sure did. The book is written in an In Search of Excellence type of way in which examples of truly outstanding organizations are given and then an explanation of what makes that organization outstanding is provided. Dov Seidman, the author of the book references Good to Great and Built to Last, but fortu Book Review how Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything… in Business (and in Life) My son was given a copy of this book in a CARE package at Marine Boot Camp. He was sure I would enjoy the book and I sure did. The book is written in an In Search of Excellence type of way in which examples of truly outstanding organizations are given and then an explanation of what makes that organization outstanding is provided. Dov Seidman, the author of the book references Good to Great and Built to Last, but fortunately it is not as rigorous a read as those two tomes. Seidman presents a good many little known facts and anecdotes that I found to be very interesting. Do you know who started the first WAVE in a stadium? You will once you read how. Furthermore, the information is presented in a very readable way and it seems to truly engage the reader. I found myself wanting to know more about these outstanding companies and the way in which they conduct their business. My son received a copy of this book free of charge from Operation Gratitude. The book was package in a CARE package he received the last week of Marine boot camp as a thank you gift. My son thought I would enjoy the book and he passed it on to me. . Although I received this book free of charge, as did my son, the opinions expressed by me are in no way influenced by the fact that the book was a gift. . I am free to express any opinion I have of the book. I am making this statement in accordance with FTC Regulation 16 CFR, Part 255

  16. 4 out of 5

    Phil Simon

    After watching Dov on Charlie Rose, I bought the book hoping to learn more about the business side of behaving ethically. In How, I wasn't disappointed. I found the case studies most helpful, including the donut vendor who lets customers make their own change and several longer stories based around doing the right thing. In fact, I would have loved more of them (hence the four-star review). Seidman is absolutely right: today, things are entirely transparent. As other books have pointed out (most After watching Dov on Charlie Rose, I bought the book hoping to learn more about the business side of behaving ethically. In How, I wasn't disappointed. I found the case studies most helpful, including the donut vendor who lets customers make their own change and several longer stories based around doing the right thing. In fact, I would have loved more of them (hence the four-star review). Seidman is absolutely right: today, things are entirely transparent. As other books have pointed out (most notably Tapscott's Grown Up Digital), many young people today want to work at organizations that do the right thing. That is, good ethics = good business. The leadership framework didn't apply to me so much since I am a small business owner. (Really small, as in I work for myself.) Still, conducting myself with class, honesty, and the like is certainly good business. If your organization doubts the importance of doing the right thing, buy this book and give it to the top ten executives.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Dov's book is an excellent example of how chaotic and homicidal American business culture is maturing. The top-down, exploitative business practices of the industrial age are now outmoded. For the sake of business, business must redefine itself. This is no platitude, Dov has worked with Fortune 10 companies for many years. He has watched these transitions first-hand. As business has become more global and companies have made grievous errors in global business, they have become more introspective. Dov's book is an excellent example of how chaotic and homicidal American business culture is maturing. The top-down, exploitative business practices of the industrial age are now outmoded. For the sake of business, business must redefine itself. This is no platitude, Dov has worked with Fortune 10 companies for many years. He has watched these transitions first-hand. As business has become more global and companies have made grievous errors in global business, they have become more introspective. This results in massive changes to business culture at all levels. In the end, modern business thrives on trust and respect. The Internet, consumer groups, and general increased transparency requires trust, rewards trustworthiness, and immediately condemns betrayal. A phenomenal book of ethics, business evolution and personal responsibility.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    An inspirational book with anyone who harbors ambitions of leadership in a business environment. Aside from the terrible design and typesetting of the interior of the book (though the jacket is actually quite lovely!), it is quite a light read. Mr. Seidman has some beautiful, and even poignant, moments of revelation. As someone who was raised on many of the principles of integrity the author extols, I was thrilled to see many things I have felt instinctually - but have never been able to articul An inspirational book with anyone who harbors ambitions of leadership in a business environment. Aside from the terrible design and typesetting of the interior of the book (though the jacket is actually quite lovely!), it is quite a light read. Mr. Seidman has some beautiful, and even poignant, moments of revelation. As someone who was raised on many of the principles of integrity the author extols, I was thrilled to see many things I have felt instinctually - but have never been able to articulate - laid out. Plus, a fair few arguments for keeping on the straight and narrow in the "best HOW practices" regard. I do have to say, I wasn't a fan of his style; though he writes clearly, he tends to repeat himself and elaborate in circles. (I felt myself wanting to yell at him, "I'm not slow! I got it already! Next point!"). But overall, very glad I read it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Seidman argues that how we do things in business is just as important as what we do. In this new connected world, business and people are competing not just one the merits of their product but also on the merits of their ethics. Why I started this book: It's on the US Army 2012 Professional Reading List. Why I finished it: I agree that we need to pay attention to the hows, but I disagree that this is a new need or a new advantage. As a historian, I laugh at just how much is not new in our experien Seidman argues that how we do things in business is just as important as what we do. In this new connected world, business and people are competing not just one the merits of their product but also on the merits of their ethics. Why I started this book: It's on the US Army 2012 Professional Reading List. Why I finished it: I agree that we need to pay attention to the hows, but I disagree that this is a new need or a new advantage. As a historian, I laugh at just how much is not new in our experience as humans. For example xkcd.com just did a comic about the speed of business. That being said, it is always timely to do the right thing for the right reasons.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I found a lot of useful info and ideas regarding business and any organization... except... regarding Government. You can do all the ideas in this book and it will improve your business relationships, from employees, to suppliers, and customers... but if some Government bureaucrat with a chip on his shoulder goes after your company, all of this book can become worthless. As I read this book, a thought kept on popping into my head, "this does not apply to Government." As I have thought about this, I found a lot of useful info and ideas regarding business and any organization... except... regarding Government. You can do all the ideas in this book and it will improve your business relationships, from employees, to suppliers, and customers... but if some Government bureaucrat with a chip on his shoulder goes after your company, all of this book can become worthless. As I read this book, a thought kept on popping into my head, "this does not apply to Government." As I have thought about this, local government and small agencies could benefit from this book. It is the centralized Government, politicians and bureaucracies that actually defy the ideas of this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Boucher

    I do not read business books. The only reason I read this one was my step-sister works for LRN, and she sent me the book. I liked it much better than I thought I would. The concepts are excellent and apply to most settings. There was only one example that didn't work for me, that of Steve Wynn in Las Vegas. This is because a family member lived through the chaos Wynn created when he recruited dealers from all over the country to work at his signature property, only to realize he couldn't pay the I do not read business books. The only reason I read this one was my step-sister works for LRN, and she sent me the book. I liked it much better than I thought I would. The concepts are excellent and apply to most settings. There was only one example that didn't work for me, that of Steve Wynn in Las Vegas. This is because a family member lived through the chaos Wynn created when he recruited dealers from all over the country to work at his signature property, only to realize he couldn't pay them as promised. I felt Dov Seidman let Wynn off too lightly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Weening

    An interesting book filled with anecdotes and feel good strategies on the "how" around business. I saw Dov speak at a management conference and he is incredibly compelling, although the more formulaic side of me was constantly rejecting some of the free flowing ideals that he positions in the book. Which is, in itself, an accomplishment. A book that makes you question your leadership style, ideals and values is a good read. An interesting book filled with anecdotes and feel good strategies on the "how" around business. I saw Dov speak at a management conference and he is incredibly compelling, although the more formulaic side of me was constantly rejecting some of the free flowing ideals that he positions in the book. Which is, in itself, an accomplishment. A book that makes you question your leadership style, ideals and values is a good read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeffery

    This is one of the finest books I have read on the necessity of leadership in a world that demands honest connections. If we pursue our vision with anything less than passion & integrity, it is time to step back and adjust our course. Dov Seidman confirmed my belief that truth telling is the first step in all important work. In fact, it's a step we need to return to again and again. This is one of the finest books I have read on the necessity of leadership in a world that demands honest connections. If we pursue our vision with anything less than passion & integrity, it is time to step back and adjust our course. Dov Seidman confirmed my belief that truth telling is the first step in all important work. In fact, it's a step we need to return to again and again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Lamondy

    How is one of those books that you can keep for a lifetime. It enlightens and informs every time I pick it up. The illustrations are as pertinent today as they were when the book first came out. The concepts are at the core of our every day life. They challenge our conscience and our decisions. This is a must read for anyone and an imperative for any leader.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Seidman argues that in an age of interconnectedness, information overload, and globalism, how we do what we do has become more important than what we do. He advocates "value-based self-governance" as a model for both life and business. The book is well-organized and well-written with lots of examples, but is about twice as long as it needs to be. Seidman argues that in an age of interconnectedness, information overload, and globalism, how we do what we do has become more important than what we do. He advocates "value-based self-governance" as a model for both life and business. The book is well-organized and well-written with lots of examples, but is about twice as long as it needs to be.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Darrell Brown

    The major theme of "How" centers on value-based vs. rule-based behavior. From there the author extrapolates the "TRIP" acronym for high-performing groups: Trust, that enables Risk-taking, which leads to Innovation and Progress. The final section of the books deals with a leadership framework for self-governing organizations. The major theme of "How" centers on value-based vs. rule-based behavior. From there the author extrapolates the "TRIP" acronym for high-performing groups: Trust, that enables Risk-taking, which leads to Innovation and Progress. The final section of the books deals with a leadership framework for self-governing organizations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dan Hilton

    It's a pretty good combination 'self-help/business motivation and entertaining read' all wrapped in one. Any book that starts with the origins of "The Wave" (think MSG) is worth checking out in my opinion. It's a pretty good combination 'self-help/business motivation and entertaining read' all wrapped in one. Any book that starts with the origins of "The Wave" (think MSG) is worth checking out in my opinion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    Good thought leadership on how culture matters. Inspiration vs. directive leadership benefits, looking at what matters vs slaves to insignificance. There are examples of why soft skills make a difference to bottom line performance.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Raimondo

    So-so -- some good ideas but the author puts too much ego in the narrative.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lost In A Fog

    A new mindset for a new, more wired, connected world. I don't know...I had difficulty pulling usefulness from this one, though some of his big picture insights are interesting. A new mindset for a new, more wired, connected world. I don't know...I had difficulty pulling usefulness from this one, though some of his big picture insights are interesting.

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