Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

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Gino Wickman's book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business offers the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a collection of tools and guidelines that aid entrepreneurs in managing their firms more effectively and efficiently. 

The six essential EOS elements—vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction—are covered in the book.


The creation and dissemination of an organization's clear vision is the first part of the EOS. A vision is a declaration of your identity, your work, your motivations, your destination, and your route there. It should be straightforward, motivating, and accessible to all employees. To create a vision, Wickman suggests using a tool called the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO), which consists of eight questions:
  1. What are your core values?
  2. What is your core focus?
  3. What is your 10-year target?
  4. What is your marketing strategy?
  5. What is your 3-year picture?
  6. What is your 1-year plan?
  7. What are your quarterly rocks?
  8. What are your issues?
You can clarify your vision and organize your team around it by providing answers to these questions. The V/TO can also be used to monitor your progress and assess your performance.


Having the right people around you is the second element of the EOS. The best candidates are those who align with your fundamental beliefs and culture. In other words, individuals have the responsibilities, talents, and seats in the right places that are appropriate for their tasks. To find the right people, Wickman recommends using a tool called the People Analyzer, which consists of four steps:
  1. List all the people in your organization by name and role.
  2. Rate each person on a scale of + (exceeds expectations), +/- (meets expectations) or - (falls below expectations) based on how well they demonstrate your core values.
  3. Rate each person on a scale of GWC (gets it, wants it, has the capacity to do it) based on how well they perform their role.
  4. Decide whether to keep, move, or remove each person based on their ratings.
Using the People Analyzer, you can find and keep the proper people while getting rid of or reassigning the incorrect ones.


The third element of the EOS is the utilization of data for management and monitoring of your company. Data is a collection of figures that provide a precise snapshot of the state of affairs and their future course. These figures ought to be accurate, quantifiable, and timely. To collect and display data, Wickman suggests using a tool called the Scorecard, which consists of three steps:
  1. Identify 5 to 15 key metrics that drive your business performance and growth.
  2. Assign an owner and a weekly goal for each metric.
  3. Review the scorecard every week and compare the actual results with the goals.
By using the Scorecard, you can track your progress, spot trends, identify issues and make adjustments as needed.


The fourth component of the EOS is to address issues as they arise and solve them permanently. Issues are any obstacles, challenges or problems that prevent you from achieving your vision or goals. They can be internal or external, big or small, urgent or important. To identify and resolve issues, Wickman advises using a tool called the Issues List, which consists of two steps:
  1. Create a list of all the issues that need to be solved in your organization.
  2. Prioritize and tackle them one by one using a simple method called IDS (Identity, Discuss and Solve).
By using the Issues List and IDS, you can clear away any barriers that hinder your success.


The fifth element of the EOS is to systematize your company by defining and adhering to the fundamental procedures that govern how you conduct business. Processes are the series of steps or deeds that result in a predictable result or outcome. They could be about the sales, marketing, operations, finances, or human resources of your company. To document and follow processes, Wickman proposes using a tool called the Process Documenter, which consists of four steps:
  1. Identify all the core processes in your organization.
  2. Document each process in 3 to 5 high-level steps using simple language.
  3. Assign an owner for each process who is responsible for maintaining and improving it.
  4. Train everyone in your organization on how to follow each process.
You may increase consistency, effectiveness, and scalability in your firm by using the Process Documenter.


Execute well, and bring focus, accountability, and discipline to your organization as the sixth and final element of the EOS. By acting and completing tasks, you may get traction and make your vision a reality. It also describes the sense of momentum and fulfillment you get after accomplishing your goals. To create and maintain traction, Wickman recommends using a tool called the Meeting Pulse, which consists of two types of meetings:
  1. Quarterly meetings: These are full-day sessions where you review your V/TO, scorecard, issues list, and process documenter, and set your quarterly rocks (3 to 7 priorities for the next 90 days).
  2. Weekly meetings: These are 90-minute sessions where you report on your scorecard, review your rocks, solve issues, and update your to-do list.
You can maintain everyone's agreement, alignment, and accountability by using the Meeting Pulse.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business is a helpful manual for business owners who desire to expand their enterprises using the EOS. You may overcome typical obstacles, take charge of your firm, run it effectively, and accomplish your goals by putting the six EOS components (vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction) to use.


The EOS is a comprehensive set of processes and tools designed to help leadership teams overcome key business challenges, gain control of the business, operate efficiently, and move forward as a cohesive team. It addresses common frustrations such as lack of control, lack of alignment, insufficient profits, hitting a growth ceiling, and lack of effective strategies.

The EOS model is built on six key components: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction. These components must be managed and strengthened to create a healthy, well-run business.

While the book doesn't mention specific companies, many small to mid-sized companies with revenues between $2-$50 million and 10-250 employees have successfully implemented the EOS to overcome their business challenges.

Some common mistakes include not fully embracing the mindset shifts required for EOS, such as letting go of control, accepting that growth happens in spurts, running the business on one operating system, and being open-minded.

EOS integrates proven principles, frameworks, and ideas from various sources into a complete system. It's often used in conjunction with other business tools and principles, such as those discussed in "The Emyth Revisited", "Scaling Up", "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" and "Good to Great".

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