Traction – Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

I lead a prTractionofessional book club for my fellow trusted advisors every month. Last month, we tackled Traction – Get a Grip on Your Business. Author Gino Wickman asks, “Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?” In his book, Wickman maintains that all entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations and that focus is often fragmented and spread thin. While attempting to attend to myriad aspects of the business, decisions are either not being made or, once made, not being properly implemented.

When we met to discuss the book, our group confirmed the fact that many businesses lose focus on their “rocks”, which are clear 90-day priorities that keep businesses aligned. His Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS, is based on six components of business which provide companies with a foundation for greater focus, growth, balance, and enjoyment. He suggests concentrating on the following six core elements rather than being distracted by hundreds of details:

Vision – Every team member must see the same clear image of where the business is going and direct their energy to getting there.

Takeaway: Simplify your strategic plan, distill your vision into simple points, and focus on the areas in which you excel most.

People – A great company cannot be built alone; essential ingredients of any great team are the right people in the right seats.

Takeaway: Identify who shares your core values, review your overall business structure, and clearly define roles and responsibilities.

Data – There are a handful of key metrics on which a business owner should focus.

Takeaway: Manage metrics through a Scorecard to keep a finger on the pulse on your business, predict developments, recognize when something is off track, and solve problems as they come up versus reacting to financial statements after the fact.

Issues – Business success is directly proportional to your ability to resolve issues that arise and face obstacles to the execution of your vision.

Takeaway: Work on eradicating issues by prioritizing them, discussing them (spend less time here) and determining a solution (spend more time here).

Process – Process can be powerful and, when applied correctly, yields simplicity, scalability, efficiency, and profitability.

Takeaway: Clearly define your processes in a single document, which you should constantly refine as your business evolves and use in training your team.

Traction – The most successful leaders are those with traction – those who know how to manifest their vision and make it work in the real world. Wickman advises business leaders to learn how to bring focus, accountability, discipline, alignment, and effective communication to their organization.

Our group’s discussion gravitated towards the simplicity of the EOS. A few participants shared how many of the companies we consult for fall into the trap of “100 different things” instead of a tried-and-true system that helps them gain traction. By going back to the basics and creating focus by developing and tracking 90-day goals, companies can see steady progress. I’ve since recommended Traction, which can be purchased from Amazon, to many of my clients and peers and would welcome your thoughts if you’ve read it.

Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.