If you’re like most entrepreneurs, there’s a fine line between your business and personal lives. When your business spins out of control, there’s a natural spillover into your personal life. The problem is that most business system books require a significant time investment before you start seeing a return. Few books can have as immediate of an impact on your life as much as Gino Wickman’s Traction.
Wickman lays out a six course business owners roadmap that’s easily digestible over two books: Get A Grip: How to Get Everything You Want from Your Entrepreneurial Business and Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.
On the surface, Traction might seem like just another book du jour for the solution hungry business owners set.
The beauty of Traction is the one-page business plan called the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). Instead of a 60-page plan that sits on a shelf and collects dust, Wickman’s philosophy lays out a guide that fits onto one page, front and back, of a letter-sized sheet.
For whatever reason, I read the books backwards. The prescribed order would be Get a Grip (the fable) and then Traction (the how-to guide). A fellow business owner turned me onto Traction so I took that one first. That turned out to be a happy accident. Reading the instructions first got me thinking tactically on how I could apply the principles to our business. Whichever order you read them, the books go hand-in-hand.
Traction is the owner’s manual for the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). The EOS is a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools that have helped thousands of entrepreneurs get their businesses on track.
The Six Key Components of EOS include:
Strengthening this component means getting everyone in the organization 100% on the same page with where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
Simply put, we can’t do it without great people. This means surrounding yourself with great people, top to bottom, because you can’t achieve a great vision without a great team.
Strengthening this component means becoming great at solving problems throughout the organization – setting them up, knocking them down, and making them go away forever.
This is the secret ingredient in your organization. This means “systemizing” your business by identifying and documenting the core processes that define the way to run your business.
This means cutting through all the feelings, personalities, opinions, and egos and boiling your organization down to a handful of objective numbers that give you an absolute pulse on where things are.
With the Vision, People, and Data components strong, you start to create a lucid, transparent, open, and honest organization where everything becomes more visible and you start to “smoke out all the issues,” which leads to ... Traction.
Traction and the EOS are by no means a silver bullet. You need to do the work and follow their process. You can either take advantage of the free tools available on their website or engage an EOS Implementer.
We’re just scratching the surface with Traction. As part of our strategic planning process, we created our own Vision/Traction Organizer. My hope is by embracing the V/TO, it will become a living, breathing document for our entire team and part of our daily toolbox for running our business.
Check back to see how we’re doing. The early returns are more peace and harmony on the business front. That, my friends, is music to any entrepreneurs' ears.
By Jason Piasecki, Partner + Happy Camper