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Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you? Don't let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Inside Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the Six Key Components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your co Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you? Don't let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Inside Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the Six Key Components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Based on years of real-world implementation in over 100 companies, the Entrepreneurial Operating System is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned. Successful organizations are applying it every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses -- and you can too.


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Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you? Don't let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Inside Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the Six Key Components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your co Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you? Don't let common problems and frustrations run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Inside Traction, you'll learn the secrets of strengthening the Six Key Components of your business. You'll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Based on years of real-world implementation in over 100 companies, the Entrepreneurial Operating System is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned. Successful organizations are applying it every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses -- and you can too.

30 review for Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    M.L.

    "This Review Goes to 11" Traction gets 4 stars for being the very bestest management book I have read. Unfortunately, that's a scale that maxes out at four. Thus I've proven that business management literature is the antithesis of SpinalTap. Here's what Traction does right: Everything. There are clear plans and tools and strategies for getting a business at least looking in the right direction. How do I know? I've been using them, and they seem to be working. At least nobody's punched me yet - whi "This Review Goes to 11" Traction gets 4 stars for being the very bestest management book I have read. Unfortunately, that's a scale that maxes out at four. Thus I've proven that business management literature is the antithesis of SpinalTap. Here's what Traction does right: Everything. There are clear plans and tools and strategies for getting a business at least looking in the right direction. How do I know? I've been using them, and they seem to be working. At least nobody's punched me yet - which might be as good as one could expect for anybody who takes a consultant's advice. Here's what Traction does wrong: Cute-ness. This isn't really a severe flaw - more likely it's a problem of the genre. Everything must have a special name in business books. It's a rule. "TO DO LIST" is far too simple, and wouldn't sell any books. "ACCOUNTABILITY ACTION MATRIX" sounds like an MBA, and an MBA = smarter than me. (this is not a real example from Traction. it's what English majors call hyperboleeeeeeeeeee - which means using too many letters to make a point.) Soooo, if you were really bad in a past life, and you now find yourself having to manage an organization, I highly recommend that you read this book. Also, "Five Disfunctions of a Team". Between those two books, you should at least have the skill set necessary to steer a small financial management company through the worst stock market since the Depression. Or so I've heard.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim B

    This book is very popular in business circles. I can see why. If you have ever tried to get a group of leaders organized but stumbled on the definitions of "goals," and "objectives" etc., you know that the vocabulary of planning and strategy are not universal. This book provides its own vocabulary (some of it trademarked) so everyone is clear on what each part is, how it is defined, why it is needed, etc. It also provides a tried and proven system of getting a entrepreneurial enterprise on the p This book is very popular in business circles. I can see why. If you have ever tried to get a group of leaders organized but stumbled on the definitions of "goals," and "objectives" etc., you know that the vocabulary of planning and strategy are not universal. This book provides its own vocabulary (some of it trademarked) so everyone is clear on what each part is, how it is defined, why it is needed, etc. It also provides a tried and proven system of getting a entrepreneurial enterprise on the path to achievement / success by acting the "vision" and the "goals" and the rest. I read the book as preparation for ministry planning. We will use some of the same language. But I wish that there was a version of this book for ministries, or at least for nonprofits. I've been taught the ideas in this book for earlier ministry planning events and I know their value. But I also miss the voice of Jesus and the challenge of leading the church as elements of this training. For example, Gino Wickman warns against consensus as a way to govern. Leaders lead by making decisions. Having grown up in the Christian Church, I have experienced the truth of this Fortune magazine quote of Jim Collins, "no major decision we've studied was ever taken at a point of unanimous agreement." I don't think you need total agreement (if that's the definition of consensus) but many church leaders -- adopting business strategies -- fail to realize that the members of the congregation are not their employees or clients, but fellow servants of Christ who deserve to be informed of the issues of the church (before decisions are made and with the humility that someone among Christ's people may have insight) and after action has been taken, deserve to have the reasons for the actions explained. I've heard congregation leaders say, "If they don't like our decisions, they can elect someone else." Decisiveness is expected of us as leaders, but Jesus Himself set different standards for leadership. On the other hand, just as knowledge of computer and Internet resources can be a great blessing to a church, and there is nothing about those in the Bible, so there is much about organizing to achieve a goal that is not mentioned, much less commanded or forbidden by God. We have freedom to organize and plan as seems to be the best way to lead. For that purpose, the structures offered by this book offer many useful concepts. One that I particularly enjoy is stating what your company's (ministry's) 3-5 core values are. Looking at the message I emphasize to others, here are the core values of my work: 1. Compassion for the “under served” – those often neglected, or with obstacles to usual ministry 2. Cooperation / Teamwork – together with our partners we can do more than working on our own 3. God has a way for His people to serve special needs – we can help! 4. Outreach -- Local special needs ministry is a call to reach out to others with those needs 5. Body of Christ -- It’s important for people with special needs to serve, not just be served I hope that this illustration shows how a suggestion in a business manual can lead to some significant reflection and focus on the way the people of God serve the Lord.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This is by far one of the most important books I have read as an entrepreneur and business owner. I have now read it 4 times and have built my business process based on this framework. There is so much to this book. I wish I would have had it 20 years ago when I started my first business. The first time through, you will catch the main points, but miss many details. It is all there, though. I recommend reading through quickly the first time just to get the concept. Then go back through, reading This is by far one of the most important books I have read as an entrepreneur and business owner. I have now read it 4 times and have built my business process based on this framework. There is so much to this book. I wish I would have had it 20 years ago when I started my first business. The first time through, you will catch the main points, but miss many details. It is all there, though. I recommend reading through quickly the first time just to get the concept. Then go back through, reading slowly, paying close attention to details. Then cross-reference the tools with the website for maximum effectiveness. Any business owner can increase their success by implementing this system, or even bits and pieces. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nick Richtsmeier

    This is not a review of the EOS management system explained in the book. This is a review of the book itself. EOS may well be a good system, but this book would not be sufficient for implementing it. I believe that a qualified EOS implementer may be able to use the tools from TRACTION to provide value to a small business, but the book itself stands alone quite poorly. The book, in the end, acts as an advertisement for Mr. Wickman's consulting practice and software. He goes to great lengths to exp This is not a review of the EOS management system explained in the book. This is a review of the book itself. EOS may well be a good system, but this book would not be sufficient for implementing it. I believe that a qualified EOS implementer may be able to use the tools from TRACTION to provide value to a small business, but the book itself stands alone quite poorly. The book, in the end, acts as an advertisement for Mr. Wickman's consulting practice and software. He goes to great lengths to explain how hard he has worked and how successful his clients are because of him. All of this may be true and germane, but does not help the reader in any way. (Nor does it make for a pleasant reading experience.) He borrows (with accreditation) ideas from betters who were more effective at explaining them. His tools may be revolutionary in practice, but come off as pedantic in written form. Without an objective third party managing the human element required for success in TRACTION, I have a difficult time seeing how the toolkit wouldn't create dangerous rabbit trails for a leadership team. I know people who have worked with an EOS implementer to some success and I can see the applicability of his reformatting of the Rockefeller Habits as a useful tool.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    One of the best business books I've read! It provides a comprehensive "operating system" (EOS) for running a business. See EOS Model. I'm installing this OS in my web agency, OptimWise, immediately! The book promises to help "leaders run better businesses, get better control, have better life balance, and gain more traction" with a functional, cohesive team. It's based on human nature; how people really operate. Wickman has been refining this system in the real world for over 20 years with over 4 One of the best business books I've read! It provides a comprehensive "operating system" (EOS) for running a business. See EOS Model. I'm installing this OS in my web agency, OptimWise, immediately! The book promises to help "leaders run better businesses, get better control, have better life balance, and gain more traction" with a functional, cohesive team. It's based on human nature; how people really operate. Wickman has been refining this system in the real world for over 20 years with over 400 clients. Here's a great summary from the book:"In summary, successful businesses operate with a crystal clear vision that is shared by everyone. They have the right people in the right seats. They have a pulse on their operations by watching and managing a handful of numbers on a weekly basis. They identify and solve issues promptly in an open and honest environment. They document their processes and ensure that they are followed by everyone. They establish priorities for each employee and ensure that a high level of trust, communication, and accountability exists on each team."There are many free EOS tools. I decided to read this after it was recommended by Brent Weaver of uGurus. I've learned that many of my fellow web agency owners in the uGurus community use EOS. I've also noticed other business owners mention it. It builds on popular business books by authors such as Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Verne Harnish, and Stephen Covey. Notes Vision Download V/TO template. Core Values List 3 people (preferably from your company) who, if you could clone them, would lead you to market domination. List characteristics, qualities, actions those people embody. Narrow values to 5-15, then pick the 3-7 truly core (fewer is better). Communicate values to company, backed by 3-5 examples of each. Core Focus Find focus, stick to it, devote resources to excelling at it. It's the combination of talents, passions, leadership. Why does your organization exist? What is its purpose, cause, or passion? You should be able to take it into any industry. What's your organization's niche? 10-Year Target Choose how far out you want to look (5-20 years). Determine revenue, then specific, measurable target that creates excitement for everyone in company. Marketing Strategy Choose target market (demographic, geographic, psychographic). Create The List of perfect prospects. 3 Uniques Differentiators, value proposition. List everything that makes your people, company, service. What do ideal customers think is unique about you? Ask them. Pick the 3 that, in combination, are truly unique to you. Proven Process Proven way you provide your service. Create 1-page visual showing each step (touch point) from 1st interaction to post-sale follow-up (3-7 major steps). Add 2-5 talking point bullets under each step. Name it, or call it "Our Proven Process." Have salespeople show it to prospects. Guarantee Pinpoint an industry-wide problem (service or quality problem) and solve it to ease prospects' minds. Think of prospects' frustrations, fears. Can call it promise instead. 3-Year Picture Pick future date at end of calendar year 3 years from now. Set future revenue, profit, specific measurables (number of clients, units produced, etc.). Write what company will look like (number and quality of people, resources, operations, systems, service mix, client mix, etc.). Have each leader describe their role in that timeframe. 1-Year Plan Pick future date within calendar year. Set year's revenue, profit, specific measurable. Choose 3-7 goals (top priorities) to hit 3-Year Picture. Budget for Plan. Quarterly Rocks Top quarterly priorities based on 1-Year Plan. Issues Identify all obstacles to your targets. They'll emerge as you work through previous steps; capture them. An issue is any unresolved problem, idea, or opportunity. Shared By All Communicate vision to everyone in company. All must understand and share. Have a quarterly state-of-the-company meeting to cover past, present, future and review V/TO. Have each dept. review V/TO quarterly. People Right people share core values and culture, make company better. Right seat means each person is in area of greatest skill, passion. Use People Analyzer to rate each person according to core values (+, +/-, -). Compare to your "bar" (minimum standards). Use Analyzer in quarterly reviews. Offer underperformers 3 strikes to improve. Accountability Chart 3 major functions: Sales & Marketing, Operations, Finance & Admin. These functions can split (Sales, Marketing, Project Management, Customer Service, Finance, Admin, IT, HR). May be 3-10 major functions. Only 1 person can be in charge of each function. Define 5 major roles for each. Sample Accountability Chart. When reviewing chart, ask: Will this structure get us to next level? Are right people in right seats? Does everyone have enough time? Visionary: creative, solves big problems, culture-focused, emotional. Only about half of organizations have one. Integrator: leads, manages, runs company, removes obstacles, integrates major functions; accountable for profit & business plan; logical. All organizations need one. GWC Get it, Want it, Capacity to do it. Each person must truly understand their role, culture, systems; genuinely like job; have time and mental, physical, emotional capacity to do job well. Include GWC in People Analyzer (as yes or no). Must get "yes" on all 3 (GWC). Data Scorecard List 5-15 (closer to 5) categories of numbers that you must track weekly to have absolute pulse (revenue, sales activity, AR, AP, production status, etc.). Use 1st step in process (e.g., trace sales back to leads or proposals). List who's accountable for each number. Fill in week's goal. Review weekly to see trends. Scorecard template. Everyone has a Number Give each person a number they're accountable for. Numbers create accountability, clarity, teamwork. Examples: sales/week, unresolved customer issues, turnaround time, on-time, margin, client satisfaction, quality standards. Look for numbers related to roles for their function. Issues Issues List 3 types of Issues Lists: V/TO (not high priority; issues for future quarterly meetings), weekly leadership (strategic; only what can't be solved at departmental level), weekly departmental. Issues Solving Pick top 3 issues. Identify: clearly identify real/root issue. Discuss: discuss without tangents. Solve: put solution on someone's weekly To-Do List. If time allows, repeat for next few issues. Process Core Processes Have person who's accountable for each core process document it. Document the high-level 20% that produces 80% of results. Each doc will be 2-10 pages. Common processes: HR, marketing, sales, operations (can contain 1-3 others, e.g., project management, production), accounting, customer-retention. Combine all docs and title "The CompanyName Way." Use for reference and training. Followed by All Create clear Circle of Life visual that shows people how new processes form system that will make their lives easier and company better. Traction Rocks Review V/TO. List everything that must be accomplished by end of quarter. Narrow to 3-7 (closer to 3) specific, measurable company Rocks. Assign owner of each. Next, each leader sets own Rocks, starting with those assigned in previous step, and adding own. Rocks not assigned can move to V/TO Issues List. Create Rock Sheet with prioritized company Rocks (and owners) and individual leaders' Rocks. As new ideas arise during quarter, put on V/TO Issues List. Also have each dept. set dept.-level and individual Rocks following same process. Those not in leadership should have 1-3 Rocks. Quarterly Meeting Agenda (Leadership) Each person brings V/TO, issues, proposed priorities. Meet close to quarter end. 1. Segue: each person share best business and personal news from past quarter, what's working and not. 2. Review previous quarter: review numbers and mark Rocks done or not. Aim for 80% completion. 3. Review V/TO. 4. Establish next quarter's Rocks. 5. Tackle key issues: ask team for issues. Then work through V/TO Issues List using Issues Solving. 6. Next steps: discuss who's doing what, messages to share with company. Annual Meeting Agenda (Leadership) Each person brings V/TO, proposed budget, thoughts on goals. Do this the day before last Quarterly Meeting of year. 1. Segue: each person share 3 business accomplishments from past year, 1 personal accomplishment. 2. Review previous year: review goals & numbers and mark goals & last quarter's Rocks done or not done. 3. SWOT/Issues List: each person share company SWOT and put issues on V/TO Issues List. 4. V/TO: create new 3-Year Picture and 1-Year Plan. 5. Establish next quarter's Rocks. 6. Tackle key issues from V/TO Issues List. 7. Next steps. Weekly Meeting (Leadership) Meet for 90 minutes. Review Scorecard. Numbers not on track go to weekly Issues List. Review Rock Sheet and report each as on track or off track. Off track Rocks to go to weekly Issues List. Review weekly To-Do List (commitments made over last week) and mark done or not. Spend 1 hr solving issues, starting with top 3 priorities. Have each dept. hold weekly meetings for 30-60 mins, spending half of time on issues. Pulling it All Together Fill out Organizational Checkup at least twice yearly. Put gaps on Issues List. Implementation Order 1. Accountability Chart (& People Analyzer, GWC) 2. Rocks 3. Meeting Pulse (& IDS, Level 10 Meeting, Quarterlies, Annuals) 4. Scorecard 5. V/TO (& core values, core focus, 10-year target, marketing strategy, 3-year picture, 1-year plan) 6. 3-Step Process Documenter 7. Everyone has a Number

  6. 5 out of 5

    Grant Callen

    Excellent management book. Now let’s see if I can implement this in my organization.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Pinatti

    Great book, I had the opportunity to work in a company that used the processes described in the book and I can assure that if they are implemented properly they work.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Manderson

    Great read. Top takeaways: The more clearly defined your vision is the more employees can make it happen. We have a clearer Vision in writing that has been properly communicated and is shared by everyone.  Our core values are clear and we are hiring reviewing and firing around them.  Our Core Business is clear and our systems and processes reflect that.  Our 10-year Target is clear and has been communicated to everyone.  Our target market is clear and our sales and marketing efforts are focused on it. Great read. Top takeaways: The more clearly defined your vision is the more employees can make it happen. We have a clearer Vision in writing that has been properly communicated and is shared by everyone.  Our core values are clear and we are hiring reviewing and firing around them.  Our Core Business is clear and our systems and processes reflect that.  Our 10-year Target is clear and has been communicated to everyone.  Our target market is clear and our sales and marketing efforts are focused on it. Our differentiators are clear and all of our sales and marketing efforts to communicate them.  We have a proven process for doing business with our customers it has been named and Visually Illustrated and everyone is adhering to it.  All of the people in our organization are the right people.  Our accountability chart organizational chart of roles and responsibilities is clear complete and constantly updated.  Everyone is in the right seat.  Our leadership team is open and honest and demonstrates a high level of trust.  Everyone has rocks and is focused on them three to seven priorities per quarter.  Everyone is engaged in weekly meetings. All meetings are at the same time each week have the same printed agenda start on time and end on time.  All teams clearly identify discuss and solve key issues for the greater good and long-term Our systems and processes are documented simplified and followed by all.  We have a system for receiving regular customer and employee feedback and we know their level of satisfaction.  A scorecard for weekly metrics and measurables is in place.  Everyone in the organization has a number.  We have a budget and are monitoring it regularly IE monthly or quarterly.  For vision they must see what you are saying. Every business has a sweet spot just like a golf club. This becomes your core focus and when you spend the most of your time in this area you get more profits and the business goes further.  By spending time on this core Focus, you must have void distractions of anything new and shiny.  REVERSE ENGINEER: where do you want your business to be in 10 years. Write out the clear picture of what that looks like and work backwards of what you need to start doing today to get there. HOW TO CREATE YOUR PROVEN PROCESS: Write out the steps of your proven process and give it a name. (3-7 steps.) Ex: Discovery. Solve issue. Bid. Etc.  Name it.  Print it.  Your goal as a leader should be to hold employees accountable and reward all around the core values and their unique abilities. Consensus management does not work, it will put you out of business. Must make decisions quickly and change your mind slowly. Live with it, end it, or change it. That's it. Choose short-term pain and suffering for longer-term benefits. Remember the 36-hour pain rule. That is where a decision was finally made and the CEO was uncomfortable for 36 hours however it took a year of pain to make the decision. Create 3-7 company rocks every quarter. Each Rock must have an owner. 90 days cycles are imperative as people get motivated and then lose their way. You go over proposed problems and priorities. This quarterly meeting happens offsite for a day.  Spend this time reviewing previous quarters rocks and create this upcoming quarters rocks. Share the best business and personal news from the quarter. What is working and not working. Expectations.  Stay committed to the 90-day runs. When things are running well you still need to meet. As this keeps them running well.  When you can't keep the time frame because things are so crazy is when you need to keep meeting. Schedule weekly a 1-hour appointment with yourself that you don't cancel. This is creative time where you look to develop new ideas, take care of problems that continue, Etc. This creates more Effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. The road to Hana analogy. The town of Hannah is Tiny and leaves much to be desired but the road to get there is worth the trip. Society trains to focus on the destination so when you avoid this constant pole and enjoy the journey you're able to enjoy it all. You can only grow as fast as you're able to absorb the changes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I left my previous job because I was frustrated, not just with the department I was working with, but the whole organization. I was looking for a reason to find out why I was stressed, felt like I wasn't getting anything done, and was wondering why the organization seemed to have so many initiatives, but failed in accomplishing any of them. Over a year later, I started working for an organization that uses Gino Wickman's EOS. However, several years later, I felt I was hitting another ceiling with I left my previous job because I was frustrated, not just with the department I was working with, but the whole organization. I was looking for a reason to find out why I was stressed, felt like I wasn't getting anything done, and was wondering why the organization seemed to have so many initiatives, but failed in accomplishing any of them. Over a year later, I started working for an organization that uses Gino Wickman's EOS. However, several years later, I felt I was hitting another ceiling with similar but different frustrations that I felt over six years ago. So I felt it was time to read this from start to finish. The book does drive home various points about how successful businesses run (though I feel his EOS is too focused towards real estate and possibly overly simplified SMBs - could you apply this to Theranos? Or NASA?) and I've seen the wisdom and adopted much of the practices. However, I'm going to rate (from 1-10) the chapters wondering if he'll get to that 80% golden mark: In Chapter 1 he makes his key sell of the Six Components: 6 - I get it but I'm not sold. I think it's oversimplified - not to the CEO of a company, but someone either as part of a leadership team or department head. Chaper 2: Letting Go of the Vine: 8 - he hits the nail on the head. It's why you're likely reading this book. Chaper 3: Vision. I had to laugh, because if you review the examples of everyone thinks what makes them unique they're pretty much the same. Whereas part of the V/TO has merit, I think it's often silly and oversimplified. I don't think it works with complex use cases: I'm going to give it an 8, because I see what he's aiming at, but too much of it was too buzz-wordy. Chapter 4: People. Calling a People Analyzer a "tool" I think is overstating its worth. However, I think of it as a good way of telling whether someone really is the right person for your organization. Potentially over-simplified, and definitely geared towards certain types of businesses: 7. Chapter 5: Data. Scorecard portion: 10. Everyone has a number: 4. Averages to 7. Chapter 6: Issues. Honestly, probably one of the better ways to actually address the what goes wrong in an organization with a prescription on how to try and solve them.9 Chapter 7: Process. So grossly oversimplified: 1 Chapter 8: Traction. I will give a 9. I think this is where it all comes together, and I actually felt I got most of the benefit. Chapter 9: Pulling it all together. Some weird stuff in here, but useful: 9. Chapter 10: Goes of the rails a bit. I feel like it should be a recapitulation of what the EOS and how it can work for your organization, but there just some things in here that felt like were added on right at the end. Get's buzz-wordy again and I feel like its the sell of the individual rather than a process: 5. So, the average comes in just under 7, which means it didn't quite get there for me. That said, it's an interesting read, and I can see why this type of pitch to a company that feels it is struggling might embrace Traction. But at the same time, I feel a lot of the same comes from stepping back, taking a break, and looking at your organization to see what is and isn't working. The ideas have merit, but this book is far from revolutionary.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katerina Trajchevska

    Practical guide for setting up strong processes in your business and regularly validating the progress towards achieving your goals and vision. As the author says, it's not enough to read the book - you need to do the work. Highly recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Excellent. If I could give this book 7 stars, I would. Essential reading for anyone leading a business or organization.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Very easy to understand and can be applied to more than just business.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Regina Ross

    Read for work. Lots of great strategies to help run a business in a more efficient way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nika

    I wish I had read this book before I started my business. I plan to reorganize and begin operating with these principles for managing a team.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pascal Wagner

    On duct-taping daily issues Most leaders are so buried in the day-to-day grind that they'll typically think up flimsy workarounds just to get nagging issues out of their way so they can make it to the next week. If this happens log enough, their whole organization will come to be held together by duct tape and twine, and it will ultimately implode. On defining the market: A crucial step to getting sales back on track during the turnaround of our real estate sales training company involved determini On duct-taping daily issues Most leaders are so buried in the day-to-day grind that they'll typically think up flimsy workarounds just to get nagging issues out of their way so they can make it to the next week. If this happens log enough, their whole organization will come to be held together by duct tape and twine, and it will ultimately implode. On defining the market: A crucial step to getting sales back on track during the turnaround of our real estate sales training company involved determining who our ideal target market was. Eventually, we realized that it was the presidents and CEOs of real estate organizations with 200 or more agents (demographic) in north America (geographic) that saw the value and need for outside sales training (psychographic). With this clarity, we ran the filter (which meant that we researched every publication, database, and resource) to find out who and how many there were. We came up with a total of 525. By focusing on, "The List" we were able to turn sales around. Ultimately, we were able to penetrate and maintain over 50% of The List as our clients. Every client that defines its target market creates this laser focus as a result. -- How to make the list: - The geographic characteristics of your ideal customers. Where are they? - The demographic characteristics of your ideal customers. What are they (If you're marketing business to business, consider characteristics such as job title, industry, size, and type of business. If business-to-consumer, then age, sex, income or profession.) - The psychographic characteristics of your ideal customers. How do they think? What do they need? What do they appreciate? Again, what you're creating here is focus. The most common mistake that most organizations make involves competing in too many sectors, markets, services, or product lines, and trying to be all things to all people. It's a game you will not win. Rather than your salespeople saying, "Yes, we do that, and oh yes, we'll do that," to everything, they should be saying, "If you're looking for that, we probably aren't the company for you. What we excel at are these three things." How to select your guarantee Your guarantee must drive more business or enable you to close more of what you're not winning. If it doesn't, you shouldn't waste your time using it. Go after all of the prospects on The List, communicating with them why you're unique, showing them your proven process for doing business, and offering them your guarantee. This incredible precision in your sales and marketing efforts will increase your sales dramatically. Creating your 3 year vision Write down bullet points of what the organization will look like on that date three years from now. Factors to consider include things such as number and quality of people, added resources, office environment and size, operational efficiencies, systemization, technology needs, product mix, and client mix. Misc Notes I also learned of a company that offered a weekly $20 gift card, albeit with a unique twist. The employee that received it the previous week would give it to the next employee who exhibited one of the company's core values. They had to email the entire organization adn tell everyone who they gave it to and what core value that person exhibited. The gift card could never go to the same employee until everyone received it, and it had to cross departments each time. On hiring the right people Envision all of your direct reports' responsibilities, problems, and issues as monkeys. When your direct report walks into your office with a problem, he or she is trying to leave his or her monkey with you. If someone walks in with a monkey, he or she needs to walk out with it. If he or she can't or won't, you've hired the wrong person. Tracking KPI's during the Traction meeting An example of activity-based numbers is client satisfaction. If you merely track customer complaints or lost customers, that's too late. Instead, go to the first step in the progress-finding out what factors drive both happy and unhappy customers. For instance, you might do a proactive numerical survey, such as asking three questions that require a number-based answer every time you close the business or deliver the product. The scorecard review is the leadership team's opportunity at a high level to examine the 5 to 15 most important numbers in the organization and to make sure they are on track for the goal. Any numbers that are not on track are dropped to the IDS portion of the meeting, which is your issues list. Avoid any discussion here. The reporting phase should merely identify problem areas. The biggest pitfall with most teams is that they launch right into discussing and trying to solve an issue. Commandments on solving issues during Traction - Thou shalt not rule by consensus - Thou shalt not rely on secondhand information (you cannot solve an issue involving multiple people without all the parties present) - Thou shalt not try to solve them all (take issues one at a time, in order of priority. Rock Review The owner is the person who drives the Rock to completion during the quarter by putting together a timeline, calling meetings, and pushing people. At the end of the quarter, the owner is the one that everyone looks at to assure the Rock was completed. Each person reports that his or her Rock is either "on track" or "off track." No discussion - the discussion will happen later. When a Rock is of track, it's dropped to the IDS portion of the agenda. Even if a Rock is on track but someone wants an update or has a concern, it should be dropped to IDS. Rock review should take no more than 5 minutes. On IDS: Decide which issues are number 1, 2, and 3. Start with only the top three because as a rule of thumb, you don't know how many you'll resolve. As long as you take them in order of priority, you're attacking the right ones. To repeat, it's a mistake to start at the top of the list and work your way down because sometimes the most important issue is near the bottom of the list. In addition, when you solve the most important issue, you tend to find out some of the other issues on the Issues List were symptoms of that core issue, and they drop off automatically. Adding Segue's to meetings Each member of the leadership team shares three things: (1) the organization's three greatest accomplishments in the previous year, (2) his or her one greatest personal accomplishment for the year, and (3) his or her expectations for the two-day annual planning session. The power of the annual segue, in addition to setting the stage and transitioning from working in the business to on the business, is that leaders have a chance to stop for a few minutes and reflection the company's successes and progress over the previous year. After the segue, one client said, "I was actually feeling like we had a bad year until I listened to everyone share the business accomplishments. We actually had a pretty good year." This is typically the mindset after the segue, and that sets the tone for what follows.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matt Crumpton

    If you manage an organization of 5 or more employees, the Traction EOS system is a gamechanger. My company has fully implemented the system and it has produced outstanding results, not to mention peace of mind. There are 6 components to running a business. That's what the book is focused around. It's all great stuff. But, as a practical matter the biggest/most notable changes to our business have been: - Things get done with nothing slipping through the cracks. The weekly recurring meetings + to If you manage an organization of 5 or more employees, the Traction EOS system is a gamechanger. My company has fully implemented the system and it has produced outstanding results, not to mention peace of mind. There are 6 components to running a business. That's what the book is focused around. It's all great stuff. But, as a practical matter the biggest/most notable changes to our business have been: - Things get done with nothing slipping through the cracks. The weekly recurring meetings + to dos + rocks focuses everyone's attention towards what matters. - The most important things get done first. Quarterly meetings focus our attention on our problems/Issues and we then dive in to details to identify and resolve the real underlying issues. - Life becomes less stressful. When you have unresolved long term problems + projects you have been meaning to get around to + new ideas+ daily fires, you deal with the fires first. And, if you are like me, you feel tremendous pressure to resolve everything immediately so that it will get done and not evaporate in to the shadow of a good idea you can vaguely remember. With EOS, we say "Put it on the list." Then, we prioritize those issues each quarter. This means that I no longer feel as much pressure because I trust the EOS system to prioritize issues and projects on a quarterly basis. - We get way more done, faster. With 4-6 rocks (90 day specific measurable project in addition to normal responsibilities), that means the company gets 4-6 X Each Employee more things done each quarter. I enthusiastically recommend this book and the system it teaches. It has materially improved my business and life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stefania

    I was asked to read this book at work, and I will admit I was a bit skeptical at first. It has been surprisingly good in many ways. After taking the recommendations, I find that my meetings are more efficient, and we are more focused on objectives. So much about successful business is alignment, and this book definitely creates that. It was good to have everything in one place, rather than having to read multiple books. A lot of it is common sense: yes, we need a vision. Yes, we need to have the I was asked to read this book at work, and I will admit I was a bit skeptical at first. It has been surprisingly good in many ways. After taking the recommendations, I find that my meetings are more efficient, and we are more focused on objectives. So much about successful business is alignment, and this book definitely creates that. It was good to have everything in one place, rather than having to read multiple books. A lot of it is common sense: yes, we need a vision. Yes, we need to have the right people in the right seats. What it does, is almost create a checklist for what you need to successfully bring a small-medium-sized business to the next level. The reason why it just gets 3 stars, is some of the over-simplification. The 3-step marketing technique, though likely works in the real-estate and training world where Wickman comes from, just does not jive in a business-consumer environment. As a Marketing professional, I found this advise grating, since, yes, having a list and a target market is important, and working the list is important but there is much more to it when you have a list that could be millions of people long. I also found, like many consultants, he relies too much on the dynamics of the industry he came from (real-estate). Some of the advise may be great for that industry, but not as much for people from others. Overall, I think this book is a positive force. I think it could just use a little more "thinking big" than it currently has.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke Gruber

    Traction is a practical book discussing an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This discusses how a company should operate, and how management keep accountability and stay on track for the long and short term goals. I found this book extremely rigid and interesting. Structure, when buy-in is won, can create a fruitful environment for success and growth. This book is very good and I’ll likely implement many of these systems as possible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deane Barker

    An explanation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This is a philosophy of management that my company is implementing. Your enjoyment of this book will correspond highly with your belief in EOS, but it's worth noting the the book is well-written and clear, and I think anyone can learn from it, whether they fully implement EOS or not.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fred Rose

    Basic but good templates, easy and effective.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz Lem

    A man gave me this book several years ago and it sat on my bookshelf until recently. Even though it’s 8 years old it’s still relevant and very useful. What I liked most was the practical tips about running a weekly meeting and the benefit of doing things a certain way in a business. The parts of the book I didn’t like were what felt like over the top examples of business success of certain clients; the part about long-range planning; and the lack of examples of women in business. Notes on what I A man gave me this book several years ago and it sat on my bookshelf until recently. Even though it’s 8 years old it’s still relevant and very useful. What I liked most was the practical tips about running a weekly meeting and the benefit of doing things a certain way in a business. The parts of the book I didn’t like were what felt like over the top examples of business success of certain clients; the part about long-range planning; and the lack of examples of women in business. Notes on what I found most useful: The author provides a framework, The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to run an existing business. He emphasizes that you can only run your business on one operating system. EOS Components Vision – Clear image of where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. Focus everyone’s energy toward one thing and amazing results will follow. People – The two essential ingredients of any great team: the right people in the right seats. The people must get it, want it and have the capacity to do the job. Data – The best leaders rely on a handful of metrics to help manage their businesses. Use a Scorecard; a weekly report containing 5 to 15 high level numbers for the organization Issues – are the obstacles that must be faced to execute your vision. By taking time to address a problem, you will save 2-10 times that amount of time in the future. Process – Your processes are your Way of doing business. It’s the most neglected of the Six Key Components. When applied correctly results in simplicity, efficiency and profitability. Traction summary.docx 1/20/2019 2 Traction – Vision without traction is merely hallucination. Two key components to gaining traction: Rocks which are 90-day priorities designed to keep focus on what’s important and Meeting Pulse a tool that provides a Level 10 meeting agenda. Vision Component Marketing Strategy 1. Your Target Market / “The List” – identifying your target market involves defining your ideal customers Who are they? Where are they? What are they? 2. Your three Uniques – What makes you different? What do your ideal customers think is unique about you? Ask them, it’s a ten-minute phone call. 3. Your proven process – Create a visual of “Your Way”. Use it as a sales tool so that ideal customers can visualize what steps you take to get them where they are trying to go. Get it professionally printed so that you can sell “Your Way” 4. Your guaranty – Customers might be nervous to work with you, they may have objections to ease their nerves to eliminate their objections provide some type of guarantee backed up by a tangible penalty if you don’t deliver on it. The Traction component A weekly level 10 meeting –1 page agenda placed in front of each attendee. The To-Dos identified from the prior week and include the IDS issues in the actual printed agenda.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Juan Chavez

    Great book on business. Really meant for a more established business that needs to regroup or feels that it has reached a plateau. Introduces the EOS - Entrepreneurship Operating System I agree that we need to find what works and systematize it. this book attempts to do that with the EOS. I am always surprised on the success of businesses. More times than not it seems that business is successful by accident. I say this because this book speaks what i would consider common sense and yet people that Great book on business. Really meant for a more established business that needs to regroup or feels that it has reached a plateau. Introduces the EOS - Entrepreneurship Operating System I agree that we need to find what works and systematize it. this book attempts to do that with the EOS. I am always surprised on the success of businesses. More times than not it seems that business is successful by accident. I say this because this book speaks what i would consider common sense and yet people that run businesses constantly have to be reminded. Letting go of the vine -Let go old ways - Trust change He identified 6 components. Vision - Do they see what you are saying. The transfer of belief is the greatest form of leadership; People - Put the right people in the right seats. Identify the seats and then find the right people for those seats. This is a critical step. Surround yourself with good people. Data - What gets measured gets better. Have your score card and remember to look at the numbers honestly. Issues - IDS - Identify - Discuss - Solve. Dont run away from issues. Meet them head on and resolve them. Process - Identify the process needed to make the system work. This reminds me of Principles by Ray Dailo. Identify the issue and use principles that have worked in the past for this specific scenario. Everything works in cycles. The issue has been resolved in the past. remember the steps of the solution and apply them again. Traction - Putting it all together will get the traction needed to get our business moving; Use tools such as the scorecoard, rocks, meeting pulse and the 90 day sprints. Like Ray Dailo encouraged tools and technology to make sure we are on track. I especially liked the parts where he mentioned that constant reminders and 90 day refresher courses are needed to keep the vision alive. Great book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gediminas

    Simple, convincing, actionable. 5 stars are not enough. The book starts with a top-down explanation of the proposed system for running the business: from defining vision and putting the right people in the right seats, through using data, solving issues, defining processes, to setting quarterly goals and running your meetings. (Nitpick: why must every tool/concept have a fancy trademarked name?) I would imagine that a person well-read in business literature might classify most of this book as comm Simple, convincing, actionable. 5 stars are not enough. The book starts with a top-down explanation of the proposed system for running the business: from defining vision and putting the right people in the right seats, through using data, solving issues, defining processes, to setting quarterly goals and running your meetings. (Nitpick: why must every tool/concept have a fancy trademarked name?) I would imagine that a person well-read in business literature might classify most of this book as common sense, but the simplicity of the system and the tools supporting it is attractive and credible to someone like me (who is relatively new to the field). What sets this book apart is how actionable it is. After getting through the top-down presentation of the proposed business system, chances are you might feel discouraged by the amount of high-level stuff you need to think through before you can see positive changes in your day-to-day business. Luckily, the last chapter of the book gives you an implementation sequence that should get you the best results in the shortest amount of time. It goes like this: start with establishing clear accountability, then add quarterly goals, then introduce effective meetings focused around problem solving, then use key numbers to monitor and predict business performance. Only then you should define your values/vision/strategy, followed by implementation of a few secondary tools and practices. Having worked as a team lead before, I feel that most of the tools and practices related to accountability, goals, meeting effectiveness, data-driven performance monitoring could be applied at team/department level as well. This realization was a cherry on top for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brian Swanick

    These books are hard to review, since I think they would impact the right person at the right time. I'm going to get all business-book-snob-elitist and say...it wasn't great. The problems I found are common in business books. #1 the incessant "when our/my clients did...they grew 40% YoY" I don't think the numbers were outrageous and I give the authors credit because they did downplay their impact at the right times. But it secured its place more like a business memoir than actionable and useful. These books are hard to review, since I think they would impact the right person at the right time. I'm going to get all business-book-snob-elitist and say...it wasn't great. The problems I found are common in business books. #1 the incessant "when our/my clients did...they grew 40% YoY" I don't think the numbers were outrageous and I give the authors credit because they did downplay their impact at the right times. But it secured its place more like a business memoir than actionable and useful. #2 is the terminology and inside baseball. I get it. I'm a marketer too. I say things that are slightly different than other people when I promote myself and I also see the value in repackaging old things as unique to you. But there are so many things that already have names that it's so strange to me to be reading through code words for things that already have names. It was very distracting. #3 is the repetition. I like that books force us to spend hours considering new ideas and that the authors even promote the idea that we need to hear something 7 times before it sinks in. But this should have been shorter. Who this is for: If you aren't familiar with operations and processes AT ALL, could be a very easy, enlightening read. The visionaries that he describes can find value because it will help them rein in their vision enough to get organized enough to execute it. If you have read some books or have experience in operations already, skip this one. I highly recommend other books like High Output Management for process and Elements of Scrum for organization of teams and priorities (even if you don't use scrum).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Mae

    I read this on my own time out of bitterness for my department not being included in the glorified book club (i.e. "leadership team") who read this book at work, so I will admit to going into it with a biased outlook. That being said, it is not a poorly written or "bad" book, so I cannot fairly classify it as such, but I cannot give anything of this genre more than 3 stars purely out of principle. It uses a bunch of catchy buzzwords to rephrase the same tautology of every other business manageme I read this on my own time out of bitterness for my department not being included in the glorified book club (i.e. "leadership team") who read this book at work, so I will admit to going into it with a biased outlook. That being said, it is not a poorly written or "bad" book, so I cannot fairly classify it as such, but I cannot give anything of this genre more than 3 stars purely out of principle. It uses a bunch of catchy buzzwords to rephrase the same tautology of every other business management book in existence. It has all the out of touch ideas and grandiose promises that most management guides (and managers) have touted since the beginning of modern business history. It uses pretty little phrases such as "free up the futures" to describe the process of firing employees. There are two pages worth of "EOS Worldwide Trademarked Terms" in the back of the book consisting of such groundbreaking word combinations as "Focus" and "Day." In other news, I hope to trademark this great new idea I have with an "apple" and "juice." I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm not responsible for the operation of an organization. I'm just a lowly, average Joe employee who isn't important enough to be included in the book club ("leadership team"), so maybe my opinion doesn't count for much, but for the most part, EOS seems like a somewhat sketchy sales pitch to me. They have a five-book "library" and encourage companies to hire an EOS Implementer® to implement EOS "purely throughout your organization." It seems a bit much considering all of the ideas in EOS are just cutesy words to describe extremely obvious and common sense organizational concepts.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Samson Sunny

    In this book author explains few principles which is very helpful to improve the company growth. Vision is the main component. Every company should have a vision and all employees must know the companies vision. It will motivate the employees to do well in their work. Then surround your self with great people. Companies should hire the right people and give a right seat. Managing people is the very important thing when you are running a business. Collect data on everything. Such as how the produ In this book author explains few principles which is very helpful to improve the company growth. Vision is the main component. Every company should have a vision and all employees must know the companies vision. It will motivate the employees to do well in their work. Then surround your self with great people. Companies should hire the right people and give a right seat. Managing people is the very important thing when you are running a business. Collect data on everything. Such as how the product is going. How many leads we are getting, what are the issues we are getting. How many employees are coming late such as everything should collect. This will help to predict the future and based on the data we can move further. Most of the companies are failing at the early stage itself. 80% of the business failing in 4 years only few business become succeeded. This is mainly happen when the organisation have no vision component. Follow KISS rule. Keep it super simple. Focus on one core thing and move towards that. Create a 10 year target also have 3 year goal then create 90 days priorities. Then work on those priority tasks. Solve issues in your organisation, Maintain the process and also document it. Also saying meetings are not a time waste. Meetings will help the organisation grow faster. Every meeting should be pre planned with fixed time box with limited agenda. Over all book is nice to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    In my opinion, no one actually reads a business/professional development book with the plan of implementing or duplicating the business practices in the book. If you want that, hire the author's company. With that said, I don't read these books and expect a business-changing revelation to overtake me. I do expect to find some powerful statements that resonate with me. Mix in some good common sense and a few ways to implement practical steps and I'm set. Sometimes, real-life examples (successful a In my opinion, no one actually reads a business/professional development book with the plan of implementing or duplicating the business practices in the book. If you want that, hire the author's company. With that said, I don't read these books and expect a business-changing revelation to overtake me. I do expect to find some powerful statements that resonate with me. Mix in some good common sense and a few ways to implement practical steps and I'm set. Sometimes, real-life examples (successful adapters of whatever is being sold) are helpful or interesting...sometimes they become space-takers and page-fillers. This book had some strong basic principles, enough 'make me think' statements for me to dwell on and eventually turn into something, and way too many acronyms. Not just acronyms, but words/phrases that don't resonate. For example, 'Rocks.' Every time it came up, I'd think, "Rocks? Seriously?" and find myself pulled from the flow. Overall, a good read for a business book. I think that most readers would find a few concepts they could apply, which makes the book worth it. I don't believe it has the cohesion to be a movement in corporate training programs, though. If you are thinking about reading this and the question "do I have the right people in the right seats?" is in your mind, read this book. To me, this is the strongest idea in it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Brooker

    Though it was clear that, as a pastor, I was not necessarily the target demographic for a book like this, it still ended up being a book full of helpful thoughts and ideas to implement either immediately or some progressively in the way I lead the church I pastor. That's because it's all about how to manage a team well for strong cohesion, clear communication, and effective results. And, after all, it's all about the Entrepreneurial Operating System and church planting is rather entrepreneurial Though it was clear that, as a pastor, I was not necessarily the target demographic for a book like this, it still ended up being a book full of helpful thoughts and ideas to implement either immediately or some progressively in the way I lead the church I pastor. That's because it's all about how to manage a team well for strong cohesion, clear communication, and effective results. And, after all, it's all about the Entrepreneurial Operating System and church planting is rather entrepreneurial in nature! A sign of a good book like this is when I have to put it down at points because I'm immediately having to implement an idea that was just shared, shooting a text to a team member, creating a new to-do list item, or stopping to dream or picture this in our context. I found myself doing that regularly. It's a very practical book that almost had me concerned that it was too basic, and yet at the same time it seemed very realistic, logical, and pragmatic for doing what it promised to do. The author wasn't parading around as though he had all of the keys to excellence, nor was he so vague that you leave wondering what really he's saying you should do. Any manager worth anything comes out of this book with at least a couple actionable items they could take to strengthen their team and bring the best out of them.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela Lam

    One of the best business guidebooks I've read on how to strategize and grow your business. It addresses 6 core fundamentals of any business (paraphrased): 1. Vision: Develop & communicate a strong vision 2. People: Have the right people in the right seats 3. Data: Get the pulse on your business 4. Issues: Build a solutions-oriented environment 5. Process: Systemize your Way of doing business 6. Traction: Bring the Vision to Life Great structure, clear writing, with a sound system for application. It's s One of the best business guidebooks I've read on how to strategize and grow your business. It addresses 6 core fundamentals of any business (paraphrased): 1. Vision: Develop & communicate a strong vision 2. People: Have the right people in the right seats 3. Data: Get the pulse on your business 4. Issues: Build a solutions-oriented environment 5. Process: Systemize your Way of doing business 6. Traction: Bring the Vision to Life Great structure, clear writing, with a sound system for application. It's succinct, yet detailed enough (with a nice blend of explanation, specific instructions, tips and illustrations) to function as an effective DIY guide. It incorporates ideas from some great business books into 1 integrated system. For example: - Builds on the Franchise Prototype of "The Emyth Revisited" - Taps on the timeless principles in "Good to Great" - Uses some of the concepts/steps from "Scaling Up" like quarterly Rocks (but is much simpler and intuitive than Scaling Up IMHO) - Incorporates some ideas from "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" etc. Strongly recommended for any entrepreneur/business owner who has developed a viable business model and is ready to refine it or stabilize the business for growth. Book Summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summa...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thegazzardian

    Good perspective A prescriptive description of how to run a business in what the author calls the EOS way. I can’t comment on how effective it is as we haven’t implemented it yet, but there are certainly many valuable ideas and I can imagine how everything goes together from this book. It was engaging and easy to follow along. My only frustration was how often the book fell into this pattern: “Technique X will improve your business by solving this stated problem. Company Y was struggling with th Good perspective A prescriptive description of how to run a business in what the author calls the EOS way. I can’t comment on how effective it is as we haven’t implemented it yet, but there are certainly many valuable ideas and I can imagine how everything goes together from this book. It was engaging and easy to follow along. My only frustration was how often the book fell into this pattern: “Technique X will improve your business by solving this stated problem. Company Y was struggling with the problem. Then they implemented technique X. Now they experience Z% growth every year. We have tried this with over 400 businesses and they all do it exactly this way, and it works.” Everything from Company Y onwards was unnecessary and didn’t go into enough detail to really justify that implementing said technique really lead to the growth they claim. Just struck me as self congratulatory sales talk. Reminds me, as business books often do, that the author is a consultant who makes his real bread and butter selling his time, and made the book feel more like an ad than a guide at times. Still, overall a really good read and lots of things in here I hope to have the chance to try over the next while.

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