I met David E. Wile “out of the blue” one day; he emailed to let me know about his new book, Why Doers Do. Immediately, I felt a kinship with the work he’s doing; just the title of the book had me interested!Get Momentum So, I jumped over to Amazon and ordered a copy to read. (It’s what authors do; I ALWAYS buy the books that friends – even brand new ones – write. I’m always a little bummed when someone I know asks me to buy them a book…)

A central theme to the GetMomentum.co program (you can see our Modules in the picture here) is “Purpose;” so, as I started to read David’s book, I looked for ways that he connected the “doing” with the “being” with the “having” of a good life.

I didn’t need to look too far. By page xxv – yup, in the prologue! – he had me hooked. That’s where he makes the case that human performance is not a “work” or a “life” thing… the way we perform, and our reasons for that, are as important as the air we breath. Just try and sustain a high quality life withOUT looking at your why. Kinda difficult.

Thinking About Leading

Throughout the book, David makes it obvious that he’s thought about this for a long time… more than two decades! One visit to his website, and learn that he’s been working with companies with 30 to 250,000 employees. And, he’s done this around the world, in different industries. SO, as I was reading about Luke (the main character of the “story-side” of the book), I really felt that the example was universal.

Why Read This Book?

Ok, so by the first third of my way through this one, I realized, “This is a manual; this isn’t just a book to read cover-to-cover.” Now, for the benefit of this post, and so that I could have a conversation with the author via Skype, I DID read it from one side to the other. And, here are some of the benefits I know you’ll receive as a result of reading:

  1. There are 9 “necessary” elements (ideas) that lead to optimal human performance; learn just ONE Of them, and you’ll be a better leader, better friend, and better human.
  2. The main character, Luke, is easy-to-relate to…if you’ll let yourself. I found that the moment I changed (in my mind) the examples used – Luke plays hockey, I race triathlon; Luke has a family with three kids, I have a wife with three companies; etc), I was able to think about how applicable some of the ideas were to my own experience.
  3. This handbook can be used to prepare for an upcoming conversation you’re going to have about any one of these topics:

+ Creating processes that make products easier to make, sell or use.
+ Engaging in difficult conversations with customers, vendors or staff.
+ Identifying “WHY?” what you’re doing is what you’re doing.
+ and more.

Some of my favorite sections of the book:

Page 25:
The “four rules of performance measurement:
1. People don’t want to be measured.
2. People want to be measured.
3. When performance is poor, Rule 1 trumps Rule 2.
4. When performance is good, Rule 2 trumps Rule 1.

Page 53:
Tools: The Questions to Ask
~ Do people have access to the right tools?
~ Are tools calibrated to the right level of precision?
~ Are tools properly maintained?
~ Are tools current enough to keep up with the job?

Page 85:
There are two categories of ergonomics (from www.iea.cc):
1. Physical: Posture, repetitive movements, workplace layout.
2: Cognitive: Mental workload, decision-making, human-computer interaction.

(I may even go on to say there are two more: Emotional and Spiritual…but that’s content for another post.)

Page 263: [consider printing this section out, and taping it on your wall/cubicle to see every day]
There are (at least) 6 areas of leadership that are important to human performance
Access to the Right People
Ability to Advance
Balance Between Stability and Change

Page 409:
Perhaps the BEST question I’ve read in a long, LONG time.
“What do you need in order to perform well at work?”

If you’re looking for a manual on learning how the human psyche works, and how to get the most from yourself AND those around you, pick up a copy of this book. (I highly recommend you get a copy of the print version; easier to access quickly, and use, when you need it right away.)

After you do get this book, take the one or few things YOU learn, and share those with others who are interested in learning “Why Doers Do.” Here’s a link to find it on Amazon.com.