Traction by Gino Wickman

Book Review: Traction by Gino Wickman

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

Gino Wickman has written a very clear, practical and implementable how to book for getting a grip on your business. He introduces his EOS or Entrepreneurial Operating System to us early on then methodically goes through the meaning and implementation of the system. There are six major components to his EOS:

VISION Successful business owners not only have compelling visions for their organizations, but also know how to communicate those visions to the people around them. They get everyone in the organization seeing the same clear image of where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. It sounds easy, but it’s not.

PEOPLE Successful leaders surround themselves with great people. You can’t build a great company without help. EOS cuts through buzzwords such as “A players,” “platinum,” “100 percenters,” and “superstars” to provide a practical understanding of the two essential ingredients of any great team: the right people in the right seats.

DATA The best leaders rely on a handful of metrics to help manage their businesses. The Data Component frees you from the quagmire of managing personalities, egos, subjective issues, emotions, and intangibles by teaching you which metrics to focus on.

ISSUES Issues are the obstacles that must be faced to execute your vision. Just as an individual’s success is directly proportionate to his or her ability to solve any issues that arise, the same holds true for a company.

PROCESS Your processes are your Way of doing business. Successful organizations see their Way clearly and constantly refine it. Due to lack of knowledge, this secret ingredient in business is the most neglected of the Six Key Components. Most entrepreneurs don’t understand how powerful process can be, but when you apply it correctly, it works like magic, resulting in simplicity, scalability, efficiency, and profitability.

TRACTION In the end, the most successful business leaders are the ones with traction. They execute well, and they know how to bring focus, accountability, and discipline to their organization.

According to Wickman, “Vision without traction is merely hallucination,” and I heartily agree. That’s why I appreciate this book very much. Not only is there learning from an experiential and academic point of view, but the suggestions and guidance for implementation (traction) make this an actionable book rather than simply a nice esoteric exercise.

Wickman writes clearly, logically and succinctly. He makes it clear from the beginning that you, as a business owner, are separate from your business. In order to be successful you must turn your business into a “self-sustaining organism.” Creating that organism requires that you develop your leadership team and that the team be crystal clear on two fundamental items: your reason for being and your niche.

You will hit several ceilings along the way to growing your business and there are prescriptions for helping you break through them. They are inevitable and surmountable. Through various tools and practices, Wickman defines how to: establish an inspiring vision, put in place a robust process for addressing issues, take care of the day-to-day operation, nurture the “why” of the business and build a leadership team with everyone contributing to success. I very much appreciate how Wickman’s approach supports and expands the work of Sinek (Start with Why), Pink (Drive) and Marquet (Turn The Ship Around).

From the front cover to the back and with helpful resources available on the website, this book provides a clear path to making your business a sustainable and growing concern. All business owners and leadership teams should read this book.

See this book on Amazon.