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Book Review: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything by R. Philip Hanes

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I have a confession to make. I like business networking. No not the one involving miles of computer network cable rather, the one where you get to talk to real people. In How To Get Anyone To Do Anything, R. Philip Hanes uses intriguing and involving stories to explain how he uses his “wares”, or business skills in his own life. Hanes’ “wares” include networking, risk-taking, fund-raising and problem solving.

His book is written with the following great premise: “You can accomplish anything you can dream – if you can find someone else to do it.”

That’s taking Napoleon Hill’s famous quote from Think and Grow Rich, “Anything the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve”, to the next step.
How To Get Anyone To Do Anything has lessons that even the most cynical and worldly-wise businessman can learn from and not feel patronized.

The chapters on networking range from “how to categorize the people you meet” and “how to catalogue and cross-reference their skills and interests” to “who else to invite to a dinner party for a guest you want for one of your projects.” On the way he explains how you find glorious opportunity in the phrase “everybody knows you can’t …”

When he covers risk, that essential element of business life, he notes “the plan that most successful and creative people tend to follow is to start a project and make corrections as they go along…” – a sentiment that I totally agree with.

This is a book that truly merits reading again and again. There are so many nuggets of useable wisdom that you won’t mine them all from the book on your first read. Nuggets such as when Hanes explains the three questions that helped his company get the CEO they deserved and who grew the company “like wildfire.”

Sales and marketing people shouldn’t miss a gem like “…many times, the quality of a proposal will overcome a price differential. But it needs to be an
attention grabber.” His fund-raising section should be required reading for anyone who wants sponsorship for any project. Once piece of advice he gives is that because he knows many wealthy people he understands and explains their attitude toward fund raising and sponsorship. Thankfully for everyone who needs to find out how to get money from the wealthy, he then explains exactly how to tap into their wealth and in fact get them coming forward enthusiastically.

Finally his section on problem solving advises looking at your situation in different ways — upside down, inside out, make it bigger, smaller and change in it many other ways. He suggests looking for what’s good about the situation and having persistence.

This book is a delightful read. It keeps up a cracking pace and doesn’t take itself too seriously while tossing out its gems of wisdom. R. Philip Hanes can be justly proud of recording timely and timeless wisdom for current and future generations of fund- raisers, networkers and business people.

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About Jim Symcox