HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything ... in Business (and in Life)
Dov Seidman






John Wiley & Sons, 2007
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

A carefully created resume isn't your face to the business world anymore. Any prospective employer can, and many will, research you on the internet. Your company's smooth advertising campaign can be contradicted by users relating, on line, their true experiences with your products and services. Your past mistakes are as visible as your present results.

The lesson to be learned from this might seem to be, "Toe the line people are watching." That is not what author Dov Seidman says.

Seidman acknowledges that customers choose to do business with you based on more than the service you provide. Many other companies will be providing the same services. The deciding factor is HOW you provide it. Integrity and a personal connection with the customer is a more persuasive factor. Seidman's arguments for developing an effective business are persuasive and well reasoned, but there could be more than effectiveness. What gives your employees the inspiration to take your company to the top? What gives you the self-belief to make your life a success?

Throughout HOW are practical arguments for turning America's recent approach to business on its head. Practicality is not the core value for making a business a success, and Seidman's interesting stories show over and over what that core value really is.

I have read FISH!, about the success of a Seattle fish market, and HOW makes it look superficial. Seidman isn't telling you, "Choose your attitude," he is looking at what is genuine. I read HOW as both the employee of a large corporation and the head of a small company, and it works for me both ways without the sense of conflicting realities that so often digs a gulf between management and employee.

Seidman specifies that HOW is written for the honest business world. If you are out to fool as many people as you can, as often as you can, HOW is not for you. In fact, the principles of HOW will likely see the company that cuts corners ostracized, as more people nurture the faith to trust themselves and their core values.

Don't skip around in HOW and read bits and pieces that seem to apply to your situation. Read it through in order, to understand and appreciate the development of Seidman's reasoning. By the time I was halfway through the read, I was already planning which of my corporation's officers would be the best to gift HOW to. My enthusiasm is testimony that Dov Seidman truly understands what he writes about.

Once you have read HOW you may want to visit for further exploration of its ideas.

Jan 2009

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