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How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything [Kindle Edition]

Dov Seidman , Bill Clinton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness-and our global interde¬pendence-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 organi¬zation, 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 do¬ing 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 Fore¬word from President Bill Clinton and 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 reveal¬ing 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.

Divided into four comprehensive parts, this insightful book:

  • Exposes the forces and factors that have fundamentally restructured the world in which organizations operate and their people conduct themselves, placing a new focus on their hows
  • Provides frameworks to help you understand those hows and implement them in powerful and productive ways
  • Helps you channel your actions and decisions in order to thrive uniquely within today's new realities
  • Sheds light on the systems of how-the dynamics between people that shape organizational culture-andintroduces a bold new vision for leading and winning through self-governance

The qualities that many once thought of as "soft"-values, trust, and reputation-are now the hard currency of success and the ultimate drivers of efficiency, performance, innova¬tion, and growth.

With in-depth insights and practical advice, HOW will help you bring excellence and significance to your business endeavors- and your life-and refocus your efforts in powerful new ways.
If you want to stand out, to thrive in our fast changing, hyper¬connected, and hypertransparent world, read this book and discover HOW.

Editorial Reviews Review

Guest Review: Daniel H. Pink on How
Guest Reviewer Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind." His books have been translated into 32 languages.

Something's gone wrong.

Our economy has stalled in ways that defy historic precedent. Institutions we once revered we now distrust. Consumers have lost confidence in their prospects as deeply as citizens have lost faith in our politics.

What happened?

In this remarkable book, Dov Seidman offers one of the most compelling answers I've encountered. Our challenges may seem like end-of-life crises, he says. But "they are really way-of-life crises caused by the nature of the relationships that connect us to our fellow human beings and our planet." In other words, the sense of disarray we feel emerges less from our circumstances than from character. For too long we've allowed "situational values" to trump "sustainable values" – and now we're contending with the aftermath.

The good news is that Seidman, who has applied his philosophy from the executive suite to the factory floor for almost 20 years, offers a path out of the morass. Recalibrating society’s rewards and punishments or tightening its laws and regulations isn't enough. We must return to principle as the foundation of our behavior. "In the twenty-first century," he writes, "principled behavior is the surest path to success and significance in business and life."

One of the many things I like about HOW is that Seidman writes with the sagacity of a philosopher, the acuity of a lawyer, and the practicality of a CEO. (No surprise there. He happens to be all three. He even calls himself "a moral philosopher in a suit.")

In particular, he makes a persuasive case for the comparative advantage of principled behavior.

In a world where competitors can swiftly match your price and mimic your processes, the one remaining source of differentiation is how executives and employees behave. Taking the low road might have been an option in the past. But today -- when technology leaves us morally interconnected and private behavior quickly enters the public record -- the high road is, by far, the better course.

The new, expanded version of Seidman's classic could not arrive at a more opportune moment. Haven't you grown weary of being told that "greed is good" and that some companies are "too big to fail"? Wouldn't it be wonderful to begin hearing that "principle is good" and that some companies "are too sustainable to fail"? That day can arrive – sooner than we suspect -- if all of us rethink our own behavior and heed the wisdom of HOW.

Q&A with the Author
Author Dov Seidman

Why is your HOW message today more timely than ever?
All progress now depends on How. We have entered the Era of Behavior. Of course our behavior has always mattered, but in today’s world, it matters more than ever and in ways it never has before. We live in a more connected and interdependent world. Yet we tend to speak about the world in amoral terms. The single most profound implication of an increasingly interconnected world is that it has rendered us ethically, if not morally, interdependent.

How can HOW help us repair our faltering global economy?
Only by getting our "hows" right can we ensure that we are sustainable. This can only be achieved when we are rooted in, and inspired by, sustainable values. The global economic meltdown supplied a perfect, but painful, example of how sustainability cannot be guided by situational values. The economic crash occurred because too many financial companies became disconnected from fundamental values and long-term sustainable thinking. Instead of nurturing sustainable collaborations, banks, lenders, borrowers and shareholders pursued short-term relationships founded on situational values. More than ever we need to get out of this cycle of crises and build long-term success and deep human connections so that we achieve enduring significance in today's globally interconnected world.

What events in the news right now make your message all the more urgent?
The news is frequently dominated by social, political, corporate and environmental crises. In a hyperconnected and interdependent world, local problems quickly metastasize into global ones. The rapid pace and global scale of our problems can make us feel that we're facing existential doom every other day. Whether its global economic turmoil, the BP oil spill, the breakdown of culture at once-respected companies or the recent riots in London, these crises are all caused by human behavior and they can only be solved by changing our behavior. Take the situation currently in Europe where Germany is lending money to Greece for a bailout. It's not just about economics. It's about values. Germany is bailing out Greece on the condition that they behave more responsibly in future and get their Hows right.

So what exactly is HOW?
For many, business and life has always been about the pursuit of What: “What do we do? What’s on the agenda? What do we need to accomplish?” Whats are commodities; they are easily duplicated or reverse-engineered and delivered faster and at a lower cost by someone else.

How is a philosophy. It's a way of thinking about individual and organizational behavior. And How we do what we do – our behavior – has become today’s greatest source of our advantage. In this world, How is no longer a question, but the answer to what ails us as people, institutions, companies, nations. How we behave, how we consume, how we build trust in our relationships and how we relate to others provides us with the power to not just survive, but thrive and endure.

Can you elaborate further on The HOW Report that your company LRN is publishing in the fall?
The results of The How Report, our study of over 5,000 employees working for larger organizations based in the U.S, will have significant implications for CEOs and other business leaders. HOW metrics will provide strong and compelling evidence that the right culture, governance and leadership system can drive sustainable performance and success. The HOW Report demonstrates the correlation between principles and profits in action. We have turned issues like self-governance, values and trust that were once considered "soft" into the hard currency of business.

What's different about the new edition of this book?
John Wiley and Sons decided to republish an expanded edition of HOW based on their belief that the ideas in it are more resonant and relevant than ever and that it intersects with the zeitgeist even more than it did in 2007. I have written a new Preface for this new edition of the book where I attempt to capture all that has occurred on the HOW journey since its original publication and to apply HOW more broadly to the events and dynamics of today’s post-crisis world. In addition, I'm honored that President Bill Clinton contributed a Foreword in which he describes his own journey in being in the "HOW business for the rest of my life."


"Any book endorsed by Bill Clinton has to be worth a look.  Across its pages, moral philosopher and LRN founder Seidman argues that in our hyperconnected world, how we do things matters more than ever. The first version of how came out in 2007, but an updated version was recently released on the basis that its teaching are now even more applicable in a post-recession age. Seidman argues that the global downturn demonstrated the interconnectedness of the world in a way that we previously couldn't have begun to fathom, and the need to understand that the way we behave has ramifications for others-near and far. So what are you waiting for"? (Elite Business Magazine)

"My friend Dov Seidman has dedicated his life's work to studying how people conduct their business and their lives. As we settle into the twenty-first century with all of its unique challenges . . . it's clear that people worldwide will rise or fall together. Our mission must be to create a global community of shared responsibilities, shared benefits, and shared values. This new focus will require all of us to think about the how, and to find new ways to take action to solve the global issues that none of us can tackle alone."
—From the Foreword by President Bill Clinton

"Dov Seidman's How is a brilliant social-ethical study. It simplifies for the reader the complexity of vital challenges facing humanity today. Students and teachers alike will profit from reading this book."
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate

"Dov Seidman basically argues that in our hyperconnected and transparent world, how you do things matters more than ever, because so many more people can now see how you do things, be affected by how you do things, and tell others how you do things on the Internet anytime, for no cost and without restraint . . . and so it must be with us. We need to get back to collaborating the old-fashioned way. That is, people making decisions based on business judgment, experience, prudence, clarity of communications, and thinking about how—not just how much."
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist

"A trained moral philosopher, Dov Seidman has built a highly successful business on the theory that in today's wired and transparent global economy, companies that 'outbehave' their competitors ethically will also tend to outperform them financially."
Fortune magazine

"In his book HOW Mr Seidman explained why he feels behaviour (as opposed to the more fashionable management notions of engagement or motivation) is the key to organisational success….Thought leadership, and big ideas, are rare. But here is a challenging thought for you. Outbehave, outperform, outgreen – or out you go."
The Financial Times Business Life columnist Stefan Stern

"The book has understandably received a second wind, propelled by the global economic turmoil. Books like Seidman's on the importance of trust and building and strengthening corporate reputation are being heralded as the voices of sanity."
Economic Times journalist Arati Menon Carroll

"Dov Seidman captures the power that Ray Kroc instilled in us at McDonald’s from the day he opened his first restaurant in 1955—a culture based on values puts the customer first. In today’s world, focusing on the ‘how’ is critical to accelerating momentum. HOW is required reading for anyone seeking enduring success in business or life."
Jim Skinner, CEO, McDonald’s Corporation

"In HOW, Dov Seidman takes the idea of 'success' even further, redefining it as a quest for significance. Isn't that what we all really want? To have a positive impact, to make a difference, to excel? To do that you have to achieve significance, and Seidman brilliantly shows you HOW. This book will change your life in profound ways."
–Author Marcus Buckingham

"Dov Seidman's book introduces you to the world of how in a way that will revolutionize the way you think about, assess, and experience success."
–Former Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs and former head of leadership development at GE, Steve Kerr

Product Details

  • File Size: 1156 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1118106377
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OKPDS0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars David Toms on speed dial February 24, 2012
By JJ Rock
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Considering all the positive reviews for this book, I almost feel like I read the wrong book.

Dov Seidman may have written an important book, I know he feels he did based on the writing style. The book is written more for the academic than the business person or casual reader. We read this book in a book club and literally no one found is readable. The author spends many portions of the book patting himself on the back.

The author name drops, one example is talking to David Toms (must have been on speed dial) about an incident with a penalty he took over a moved golf ball. He goes into great depth about his conversations with Altria (Phillip Morris). Note the Seidman's company LRN just happens to have a former Altria exec working for it.

Where he lost me was his argument that the internet has added transparency to business. I do not disagree that business needs more transparency, but the internet is far from transparent. It's just another layer of spin, an area that Seidman pretty much ignores.

This is a book with a pretty simple idea that takes itself far too seriously.

The wave metaphor never clicked with me. But I did the wave when I finished this book.
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39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really helpful May 3, 2012
I teach a graduate school class in organizational behavior and wanted to include this book as part of the reading list because I had heard some good things about it and the author. I was surprised to find the writing tedious and the examples trite. The author's obsession with sports metaphors (the "wave") and sports figures was tiresome and a bit embarrassing. The section about the Marlboro Man makes Seidman appear petulant, almost to the point of being ridiculous. I liked the message about transparency and decided to do some internet research on LRN Corporation. The story that emerges from the posts on glassdoor/com are not complimentary. One gets the impression that Seidman does not practice what he preaches. So why believe the HOW message? Readers will be far better off with anything from Drucker, Bennis or Peters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Typical Management Book Sans Originality April 23, 2014
By Meow
Alright, so this book has some good ideas. But what it really comes down to is a mashup of--let's be real--cliched metaphors for the golden rule, applied to business management. This is pop business ethics and it, unfortunately, lacks originality.

Also, in tallying up the 5-star reviews written by employees of Dov Seidman (and noting the Glass Door comments about how employees are "strongly encouraged" to promote their CEO's book), one wonders at the [cough] ethics behind this "moral philosopher."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring January 11, 2014
Reading this book feels like reading a Cliffs Notes of other business books published over the last decade or so. Most of the anecdotes were things I've read about somewhere else. The writing style was confusing and unfocused. I came back to the Amazon page for this book to remind myself why I had bought it. Not sure why anyone would give this book 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Ardous Path to the Nuggets May 27, 2014
I recently attended the Conscious Capitalism conference where Dov Seidman was a keynote speaker. All attendees were given a copy of "How" and after hearing Dov's talk, I was most interested in reading his book. However, I found it difficult to do so and almost gave up several times. (Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of having to finish every book I start.) The last hundred or so pages about culture and his leadership model were interesting and helpful. Unfortunately, I had to slog through 200+ pages of dense, poorly written prose to get to the nuggets. Granted this book first came out in 2007 right when the Internet was poised to change business forever. A few pages on how this was going to happen would have been sufficient. But, Dov devotes almost 200 pages on the blindingly obvious ideas that "trust", "reputation" and "transparency" and important factors to business success. Really? There are a few big thoughts worth highlighting here but like most business books, the same ideas hammered home again and again for over 300 dull pages can be just as effectively conveyed through a concise, well written whitepaper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh April 24, 2014
By Rob g
Generic manifesto from a self-absorbed CEO and frankly uninspiring. The general premise is nice in theory but the author is attempting to normalize a silly global 'paradigm' the same way bad professors push their defunct or redundant assertions on students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star September 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Writing was all over the place and failed to make a point or say anything that wasn't common sense
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thesis is better than the book itself July 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's great that someone has finally recognized that the bottom line isn't everything. Thanks to Dov Seidman for highlighting the importance of context and qualitative factors in human activity. The book and examples are OK. I wish the message were powerful enough to stick.
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More About the Author

Named one of the "Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade" by The Economic Times and "the hottest advisor on the corporate virtue circuit" by Fortune Magazine, CEO, author and thought leader Dov Seidman has built a career, and pioneered an industry, around the idea that the most principled businesses are the most profitable and sustainable.

Sixteen years ago, Dov founded LRN with a powerful vision that the world would be a better place if more people did the right thing. From that basic notion, he has grown a successful business that has helped to shape the ways millions of employees, managers and leaders behave and interact all over the globe. LRN helps more than 500 leading companies worldwide - including Apple, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Viacom, DuPont, Rolls-Royce, 3M and The Dow Chemical Company - develop ethical corporate cultures and inspire principled performance in business. In 2008, LRN acquired leading green strategy firm, GreenOrder.

Dov maintains that in today's connected and transparent world, people and organizations stand to gain by dedicating new thought and energy to how they do what they do. That's the inspiration behind "HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything ... in Business (and in Life)," an award-winning book, most recently recognized as a best business book by The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. Since its release, the book has been published in the U.S., Germany, China, Korea and Brazil.

The HOW philosophy is prominently featured as one of the nine rules for companies to embrace in Thomas L. Friedman's seminal book, "The World is Flat." In Friedman's latest work, "Hot, Flat and Crowded," Dov explains how to lead a green revolution by adopting the HOW philosophy to outbehave and outgreen the competition. Friedman's latest edition suggests the sustainability of our institutions, countries and world lies in HOW.

Dov was named one of the "Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior" by Trust Across America and is frequently invited to speak at leading industry events, and to senior corporate managers and boards of directors. Recent presentations include The World Economic Forum, The World Business Forum, 92nd Street Y, The National Press Club and The Aspen Ideas Festival. He has also been the keynote speaker at University of California Los Angeles's annual commencement, and has received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College.

Dov's views on business behavior, success and corporate culture have been quoted in hundreds of media, including an in-depth profile in FORTUNE Magazine and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Charlie Rose and ABC's Good Morning America. Each month, Dov shares his views on human behavior as the ultimate source of competitive advantage in a monthly column for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Dov testified in 2004 before the U.S. Sentencing Commission arguing that corporations must move from a check-the-box, compliance-only approach to instead focus on fostering ethical cultures and behaviors. His proposals were adopted and today are the very standards by which companies, cultures and programs are judged.

Led by a lifelong pursuit and passion for ethical leadership, he and his company LRN became the exclusive corporate sponsors of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics in 2008, as the institution was in its 20th year of celebrating ethical decision making among America's youth.

Dov earned simultaneous bachelor's and master's degrees, summa cum laude, in philosophy from UCLA. He later earned a B.A. with honors in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. He, his wife Maria and their son live in New York City.

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