I am writing this blog on account of a LinkedIn post by one of my contacts: Jaspal Kaur Sagoo who has bought and read The Humm Handbook. Of all the types of endorsements, unsolicited compliments are the best.
The story about the Humm Handbook begins in 1972 when I was halfway through completing an MBA course at the London Business School. Charles Handy was my tutor. This was before Charles had written his first book and had established himself as a leading British management guru. Nevertheless, Charles was already a quirky character and well-known even then for his lateral thinking.
I had just been offered a position with McKinseys in New York. When I told Charles about the offer (certainly the dream job of every MBA student at that time) he advised me to reject it! Instead he suggested I start my post MBA career as a salesperson!
His reasoning was as follows:
- Success in business occurs by being good in the one-on-one meetings. That is when you close the deal, get the financing, hire someone, fire someone, etc.
- MBAs teach you about analysis and decision making, but not how to deal with people one-on-one.
- The best way learn how to deal with people one-on-one is to become a salesperson.
- If you do not become good at dealing with people, you do not eat so the incentive to learn is compelling.
The move to Australia
At this time, England was suffering economically. In the beginning of 1972, the miners struck for nine weeks and in the summer, there was a national dock strike. In particular, I remember a debate at the London Business School on whether the LBS supports the miners. The vote in favour of the miners was 98-2. I should add that I was one of the two dissenting votes. At the time the English miner was working seams by hand that were less that 30cm thick. Australian coal miners were operating drag chutes that could fill a truck in about five minutes. I seem to remember that an Australian coal miner was 100 times more productive than a UK coal miner was and the subsidy to keep the UK miner in his job was something like four to five times his average wage. Yet here at the newly built temple of capitalism in the UK the vote was 98-2. I gave up. If you had said to me then in 1973 that England 30 years later would be the enterprise engine of Europe I would have said that was impossible. Anyway, the two of us who voted against the miners both decided to emigrate to Australia and I was one of the last of the ten pound Poms. International Computers Limited had offered me a job in Sydney and used the scheme to fly me to Australia in October 1973 about two weeks before the official opening of the Sydney Opera House.
The moment of epiphany
I manoeuvred my way into a job as a trainee salesperson. During an in-house training program Kevin Chandler of Chandler & Macleod introduced me to the Humm-Wadsworth personality model. (Kevin is the son of one of the two founders and is a qualified industrial psychologist.) It is fair to say that the workshop was a moment of epiphany. Until then I had believed that deep down all of us were the same. After the training course I realised how different we all are, particularly in how we react emotionally. Subsequently I used the Humm model very successfully in selling and management. In my first year on quota I took the only account off IBM for ICE in the world that year (the Electricity Commission of NSW.) In the last 18 months of a four stint as the General Manager of TNT’s Payroll Management Systems Division, the team who had all been thoroughly inculcated in the Humm were involved in 15 major tenders. On a market share basis, we should have won 1 or 2 but in reality we won all 15! Much of that success I would put down to the Humm.
In 1981, I switched careers and became a merchant banker with Bankers Trust Australia. I started the Retail Funds Management division and launched the BT Cash Management and Split Trusts. I also raised the initial $10 million for BT Innovation Limited, which was one of the first seven venture capital funds licensed by the Australian Government in 1984. I then became a venture capitalist and to raise my profile began writing articles and giving seminars. This activity resulted in Allen & Unwin asking me to write a book on Venture Capital. The book Enterprise and Venture Capital was first published in 1989 and now is its fifth edition. It has sold some 15,000 copies and is regarded as the handbook of the industry. It is a text for a number of Australian and Chinese university courses on entrepreneurship.
Following the success of the venture capital book, Allen & Unwin asked me if I had a second book inside me. I replied that I had a draft of a book on selling that I written in the late 1970s which I had tentatively titled Psycho-Selling. Allen & Unwin rejected the proposal on the basis “Books on selling don’t sell”.
Jill Hickson to the rescue
I then decided that I would try a different approach and in 1991 cold-called Jill Hickson, who at that time was probably Australia’s leading literary agent. She read the book and came back with the following comments. “The book needs a lot of work. We have to change the title. On the other hand, the chapter on the Hustler is probably the only thing I have ever read that gets inside the head of my husband, Neville Wran (Her husband was the Premier of New South Wales). I could not stop laughing about how on the mark it was. We are going to publish this book.”
Thus Empathy Selling was born. Jill convinced Lothian to publish the first edition in 1991 and subsequently Kogan Page (1992) in the UK and McGraw Hill (1995) in Australia brought out subsequent editions. There was also an Indonesian version published in 1993 by Penerbit PT Gramedia Pusaka Utama.
In the early 1990s I was, as we say in the venture capital industry, between funds working as an entrepreneur. For example I was chairman of Neverfail SpringWater and Scitec Communciation Systems. After the publication of Empathy Selling I approached Chandler & Macleod with a proposal to set up a joint venture that would create and market training courses using the Humm technology. We agreed on terms and for two years 1992-94 I worked full time on the JV. We developed three training courses on selling, managing and negotiating and I became fully immersed in the Humm technology. We signed up a number of distributors both in Australia and in the UK to market the programs and I ran a number of programs myself both for distributors and for conference organisations such as IIR and Euromoney.
I took the venture capital route
I was then approached in 1995 by St. George Bank to manage a venture capital fund. We negotiated a first fund of $20 million and thus Nanyang Ventures was born. Venture capital, if you can raise the funds, is generally more lucrative than being an author (unless you are Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling). Over the next five years Nanyang raised a total of $140 million. As part of the management contract I had to work full time at Nanyang Ventures so I sold my interest in the JV back to Chandler & Macleod.
In late 2006 I decided it was time to retire from venture capital. I was 62 and venture capital investors require that you are able to commit for 10 years to a fund. I was suffering from ‘deal fatigue’ having looked at some 5,000 business plans since 1984. I decided it was time to devote my efforts to The Humm Handbook.
The birth of The Humm Handbook: Lifting Your Level of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goldman was first published in 1995. The book, which promoted the concept that emotional intelligence (EQ) was more important than natural intelligence (IQ) in determining success in life, sold 5 million copies in the first five years of publication. Goldman popularly defined EQ using the marshmallow experiment. In the 1960s a group of four-year olds were tested by being given a marshmallow and promised another, if they could wait 10 minutes before eating the first one. Some children could wait and others could not. The experimenters then followed the progress of each child into adulthood, and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were more successful in life than those who could not. Delayed gratification is a key part of emotional intelligence.
Unfortunately, while Goldman was correct in his premise about the importance of EQ, he was unable to describe a theory of core emotions. His book defined what EQ is and why it is important but failed to describe a way of how you could improve your EQ. The reason is that Goldman did not have a theory of core emotions like the Humm. Goldman says he believed there are core emotions but admitted in the book that he did not know of an appropriate model.
When I read Emotional Intelligence for the first time in 1996 I realised that I had the answer to Goldman’s conundrum. I was familiar with the Humm-Wadsworth, which is a scientific model of people’s underlying emotions. At that moment, I promised myself that I would write a book for managers that would lift their level of emotional intelligence. Of course promising you are going to do something and actually doing it are two different things. For the next ten years, I was too involved in venture capital to consider writing a new book. However about two years ago, my elder daughter, Louisa began her career a supervisor for Skandia and then was head hunted to run a team of 30 people at Perpetual before she was 30. She asked me a good question, “What management books should she read?” After some thought, I realised that there was no practical handbook written to help new managers develop their people skills so I decided that I had to write one myself.
Thus The Humm Handbook: Lifting Your Level of Emotional Intelligence was born and published in 2007 by Wilkinson Publishing.
The Humm Handbook is 192 pages long and is divided into three parts.
- Part 1, The Seven Components, describes the Humm technology.
- Part II, The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, works though each four stages of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills using the Humm technology. The reader then learns how the Humm technology can help you as a manager succeed in a number of areas such as team building, management styles, and leadership.
- Part III, The Art of Decision Making, comprises the five case studies: Antigone, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, King Lear and Death of a Salesman. After a plot summary, the main characters in the play are analysed using the Humm technology. Did they succeed or fail and if so, how and why? Then the book looks at the key decisions made in each play and what it reveals about the emotional drivers of the various characters. Finally, each case study concludes by drawing some business lessons from the characters and the play. The basis for this section was an MBA elective organised by Charles Handy at the London Business School. Other than learning about the Humm it was easily the best course I have ever done
If you want to buy a hard copy of the book go to my website or kindle versions go to my website www.emotionalintelligencecourse.com
My core belief is that “People Drive Performance, Emotions Drive People; Temperament Drives Emotions”. If you want to lift your emotional intelligence you need to use a model of temperament that is practical, easy-to-use, and scientifically valid.
The model of temperament I like is the 7MTF which is the updated version of the Humm. If you want to learn more about the 7MTF watch this short 4-minute explainer video. If that awakens your appetite to lift your EQ this online-video course: Introduction to Practical Emotional Intelligence: The 7MTF is now available.
This blog was first posted on LinkedIn on 15 October 2020.
Add Your Comment
"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."
Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group
Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:
- Great presentation. Very informative.
- Excellent presentation.
- made me think.
Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web www.ceo.com.au.