When Paul Heiss, the founder of a metal manufacturing company based in China, learned that the Chinese government would increase tariffs on aluminium scrap products, he faced a crisis.
Some of his largest clients did business out of the U.S. and Europe, and the 25% tariff levied by China’s Custom Tariff Commission meant that Heiss simply couldn’t get his products to foreign clients affordably.
Heiss soon realized that he would have to move his manufacturing operations to India. But how would he do it? That’s when he realized that he was asking the wrong question. Rather than asking how he’d accomplish this herculean task, he had to ask himself who could help him get it done.
Heiss tasked his most trusted employees with finding the perfect Indian strategic partner. Heiss even created an impact filter which broke down the criteria that his team should look for in a partner and he decided on three basic points. The partner should be a native Indian, experienced with doing business internationally, and knowledgeable about the manufacturing industry.
Soon, Heiss was speaking with the consul general of India, who presented a list of possible candidates. Next, Heiss tracked down metal suppliers, and consultants that would connect him to lots on which he could base his manufacturing operations. Paul had his manufacturing plants up-and-running in India within 5 months. That was unheard of, but it was made possible through his dedication to connect to the right people.
If Heiss’s story sounds familiar, that’s because it’s featured in Chapter 3 of Dan Sullivan’s Who Not How. The chapter explores how leaders can find the perfect “whos” for each aspect of their business and life, and it presents some invaluable insights for anyone running a mastermind group.
The Who Not How Heuristic
If you want to unlock the power of the “who not how” heuristic, you must reframe your goals around the individuals that can help you achieve them. Many leaders tend to analyze how to achieve their goals by attempting to find a particular methodology. Instead, leaders should tackle problems by looking for people who have unique expertise to solve them.
Ineffective leaders often struggle because they lack the emotional intelligence needed to form meaningful relationships with the individuals who will help them achieve goals. As a result, these leaders isolate themselves. Isolated leaders lack trusted team members to keep them in check and correct cognitive biases. As Sullivan puts it, isolation makes fertile ground for hallucination.
Conversely, effective leaders remain constantly connected to team members, stakeholders, and partners. Mastermind facilitators should take the same approach.
A good mastermind leader stays constantly connected with his or her members, connecting with their dreams and challenges with great empathy. They inspire their members to stop thinking about how to achieve their goals, and instead to connect with the “whos” in their orbit who can make their dreams a reality.
As a mastermind leader, you should act as a connector. You should continually make introductions between your members and the people that can help them to achieve their goals, in business and in life.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more on how to frame goals around who can help you to achieve them.
The 90 Day Challenge
One of the lessons you can learn from Paul Heiss’s story is that you can make massive progress in a short period of time. Dan Sullivan in this chapter of Who Not How emphasizes the power of breaking goals down into 90 day increments.
Interestingly, you can often take the first step towards achieving a goal by acknowledging the progress you’ve made thus far. When you take a look back at the past 90 days of work you’ve done, you can create a space for gratitude, and build a sense of momentum that propels you forward.
According to Sullivan, you should ask yourself what you’ve achieved in the past quarter that you feel the most proud about. You should also ask yourself what current areas of focus give you the most confidence. Finally, you should ask yourself what the five biggest jumps in progress you can achieve now that would make your next 90 days a great quarter.
Asking yourself these key questions, and keeping in mind the people who have had the highest impact on your progress can give you great insights into the “whos” you should connect with to achieve future goals.
As a mastermind leader, you should encourage your members to frame their thinking in these increments of 90 day intervals, and ask these thought-provoking questions. You can even ask some of these questions to your members during mastermind meetings. As you continue to focus your members on these questions, you’ll see that they will be shocked by the progress they can make towards their goals in a short period of time.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more tips on effective goal-setting techniques.