This is a how book, not a how-to book. What's the difference between how-to and how? Everything.
In the twenty-first century, it isn't what you do that matters most. In fact, if you line up all the winners in business today, you will notice that few win anymore by what they make or do. If you make something new (or just better, faster, and cheaper), the competition quickly comes up with a way to make it still better and deliver it at the same or even lower price. Customers instantly compare price, features, quality, and service, effectively rendering almost every what a commodity.
This is not just true of businesses; to a large degree, the same holds true for the way individuals get ahead and accomplish their goals. Specialized knowledge or expertise differentiates you for a moment in time, but it likely won't carry any of us through an entire career. Changing jobs, companies, and even industries now often involves adapting knowledge skills to a new set of conditions.
Yet, the drive for differentiation—personal, professional, and organizational—lies at the heart of all our business endeavors (and many of our personal ones as well). We all still want to stand out, to be bold, to be uniquely valuable, to distinguish ourselves from the competition, to do things others can't copy, and to be number one. We always will. But in a commoditized world, we are running out of areas in which to do so.
There is one area where tremendous variation and variability still exist, however. One ...