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Don't let common problems run you and your business. Get a grip and gain control with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). Inside Traction, you’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company with more focus, growth and enjoyment. Based on years of real-world implementation, the EOS is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.


First published October 8, 2007

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About the author

Gino Wickman

15 books161 followers
An entrepreneur since the age of 21, Gino has always had an obsession for learning what makes businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.

At 25, Gino took over the family business, which was deeply in debt and in need of help. After turning the company around and running it for seven years, he and his partners successfully sold the company.

Gino then set out to help entrepreneurs and leaders get what they want from their businesses.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 687 reviews
Profile Image for M.L..
76 reviews
April 1, 2009
"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.
Profile Image for Tim.
17 reviews3 followers
November 28, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Mark Villareal.
Author 8 books279 followers
January 23, 2021
This book provides resources and tools to assist anyone in business to execute steps for consistent success. The thought process and realities have been discussed for years. The author does a good job of bringing them together for the reader to gain perspective for their industry and business. Many business leaders forget to place a key focus on repeatable systems and processes that systematically drive long-term success.
Profile Image for Jim B.
825 reviews38 followers
November 16, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Nick Richtsmeier.
197 reviews8 followers
February 14, 2018
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.
Profile Image for C.
1,109 reviews1,043 followers
September 10, 2021
One of the best business books I've read! It provides a comprehensive "operating system" (EOS) for running a business. See EOS Model.

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've 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 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.

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.

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
Profile Image for Lisa Woodruff.
Author 14 books329 followers
July 1, 2020
Watch my full YouTube video review here: https://youtu.be/XV8f9thObNk

The July book reviews are books that discuss the nuts and bolts of building a business. I also share some of the mentors I have chosen as I grow my own small business. Some of the books are from other business founders. Also check out the final Monday of every month when I share books from female business founders.

First in our business series are Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman and Get A Grip: How to Get Everything You Want from Your Entrepreneurial Business by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton.

As an entrepreneur, I am always looking for frameworks for my business and trying to grow myself as a leader. There is no road map for transitioning from a solo-preneur to having employees. The Traction model has 6 cogs in a wheel that work together to ensure a business has traction in growth and income. In the video, I share each of these six core ideas and how they apply to the Organize 365 Dream Team.

There are four books in this series, and I have read and benefited from all of them. I share how each of them has helped me to be a more effective business owner, and even some of my own mistakes and challenges in the video.
Profile Image for Jeremy Blanchard.
81 reviews4 followers
December 6, 2019
I'm using my review and my rating. Having gone on to read other Organizational design and startegy books, I see some of the big shortcomings of this book. It's very formulaic in it's approach. It approaches an organization as a linear "machine" that can be controlled rather than seeing it as it really is: a complex adaptive system that can only be "nudged" and learned about (like a garden).

I found Brave New Work to be a much more useful and modern in it's view of organizations.
Profile Image for Grant Callen.
45 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2019
Excellent management book. Now let’s see if I can implement this in my organization.
Profile Image for Pavel Annenkov.
442 reviews113 followers
October 29, 2019
Как превратить свой бизнес в систему и сделать все процессы прозрачными и открытыми. Джино представляет в книге свою авторскую методику управления компанией - "Предпринимательская операционная система" (Entrepreneurial Operating System — EOS). Она состоит из 6 элементов: Видение, Люди, Данные, Проблемы, Процесс и Управление и чем то похожа на подход Верна Харниша из его книги "Развитие бизнеса". Система Джино Викмана показалась мне более простой, но в тоже время чётко бьющей в самые важные места в бизнесе. Например, один из элементов его системы - это системный подход работы с проблемами, которые регулярно возникают в каждой компании. О них почему то большинство авторов бизнес-книг забывают.

- Разобраться какие еще есть инструменты я могу внедрить в управление компаниями, кроме тех, которые я сейчас использую.

- Часто рост бизнеса останавливается потому что не развивается команда ключевых сотрудников. Надо это отслеживать и сразу переключать свою деятельность с работы над системой на работу с людьми.

- Сотрудники должны услышать от руководства видение и цели компании 7 раз, прежде чем они в первый раз поймут их. Так устроены люди. Не надо думать, что я слишком мало говорю о целях и видении. На самом деле, даже если мне кажется, что это много, то этого всё равно мало)

- Структура компании - живой организм и должна изменяться под задачи компании. Хороший вопрос, который надо себе задавать в начале каждого года - "Какая должна быть структура у моей компании, чтобы достичь заданных годовых целей?"

- Надо перестать разговаривать с сотрудниками о текущих делах абстрактным языком. При оценке деят��льности, которую можно измерить, надо говорить только языком цифр.

- Невозможно построить успешную компанию без вывода сотрудников из зоны комфорта.

- Буду анализировать и перерисовывать структуру компании в начале каждого года. А если будет быстрый рост, то и чаще.

- Разработаю вместе с партнерами главные цифры для каждого сотрудника.

- На еженедельное совещание каждый должен приходить минимум с одной проблемой для обсуждения, иначе до совещания не допускается.

- Внедрю новый формат квартальных совещаний.

Верн Харниш "Развитие бизнеса"
Profile Image for Larissa.
31 reviews
February 6, 2023
A lot of this book is good. It lays out a clear way forward for a company that likely is without process and by and large winging it. Getting everyone on the same page, understanding the vision, etc is a huge win and I think possible following the steps outlined. I picked this up because I work for a company that uses this system and I wanted to know more about where some of the words, like "rocks" came from and now I think I understand some of where adherence could be improved. We do lack focus when it comes to rocks I believe and might float some thoughts up the chain.

This book was written over 15 years ago and some of it just didn't sit well with me. Some of the examples of "right people" reeked of hustle culture, like the person that was traveling and had a flight land late and made it to a meeting dressed correctly and on time (but probably without sleep and feeling like shit). There were also examples like Dominos 30 minute guarantee, which has been dropped as it proved dangerous and there were examples using Southwest as a model which has obviously had their share of failures as a company recently as well. I'd be curious to see an update to this book with more relevant examples.
Profile Image for Katerina Trajchevska.
37 reviews14 followers
February 8, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Ivan Pinatti.
5 reviews
February 6, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Kenzi Didericksen.
80 reviews221 followers
July 27, 2023
Corporate Kenzi has entered the chat. Yes, obviously, I’m counting this toward my reading goal.
Profile Image for Denis Vasilev.
648 reviews93 followers
April 30, 2019
Понятный фреймворк управления малой и средней компанией. Цели, встречи, команда, данные, прогресс, решение проблем. Похоже на фреймворк Харниша. Из минусов - значки торговых марок к каждому тривиальному термину
Profile Image for Sergey Morovshik.
59 reviews12 followers
February 19, 2020
Для ведения системного развития и управления компанией отлично подходит, 1 page стратегия, и все аспекты и понятные действия для проведения страт сессий и реализации тактики.
Profile Image for Mark Manderson.
535 reviews25 followers
April 4, 2019
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.


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.


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.
Profile Image for Stephen.
336 reviews
December 18, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Matt Crumpton.
6 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2017
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.
Profile Image for RTS.
128 reviews2 followers
January 31, 2022
Some books are 3 stars because they don't make an impression. This book is the opposite - it provoked a strong reaction from me, in good ways and bad.

I guess I'll start with the good: It's a lot of content. If you feel unsure about even a single aspect of your business, Gino's got an answer. That ranges across org, marketing, management, culture, and vision. It feels pretty cohesive, and honestly if you follow this book word-for-word, you'll probably build a decent business. It's an all-in-one starter kit.

At the same time, it feels divorced from reality? I just don't get the sense that the author has worked with enough companies to understand where things fall apart. At times it attempts to be theoretically perfect in a way that doesn't feel real or useful.

E.g., every fix has a jargony 3-letter acronym. In fact, there's even an acronym for fixes! "IDS" - Identify, Discuss, Solve.

If your management team needs the "IDS" acronym to simply have a conversation about work, maybe you should consider whether your teammates are adults or just 3 children stacked under a trenchcoat.

I think there's a lot that anyone could take from this book, but it requires you to be discerning about which things simply don't apply to your company (and there's a lot - I'd say 50% for me). The good parts are great. The others are too formal, too jargony, and too prescriptive.

Still a worthwhile read, but one that requires a lot of filtering.
1 review
September 21, 2021
To keep it brief:
Traction is a very practical book on how to organize and run a business. It’s all about getting the right people in the right seats/jobs and keeping everyone in the organization on the same page. Traction also dives into organizational problem solving and some organizational planning techniques. Good book, would recommend to any business owner/executive/manager.
Profile Image for Josiah DeGraaf.
852 reviews202 followers
April 28, 2022
Wasn't the most thrilling read (it was a business book) but it was helpful and made a lot of good recommendations I'm mulling over implementation-wise for my small business work. I'm glad I read it.

2022 Update: Probably even more helpful the second time through.

Rating: 4 Stars (Very Good).
Profile Image for Jim Tincher.
67 reviews2 followers
October 2, 2023
Traction introduces the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). It's a powerful system. However, I read this book twice, and then had to have my team read it, then assign somebody to lead the efforts, before we fully took advantage of it. The book can only take you so far!
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews3,341 followers
June 22, 2019
Read for work. Lots of great strategies to help run a business in a more efficient way.
Profile Image for Nika.
Author 8 books167 followers
October 25, 2019
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.
21 reviews
December 23, 2020
Not much to say. It's a bunch of nonsense trying to disguise itself as a business/management book. Read the book Rework instead.
67 reviews
December 9, 2022
Good principles to run and operate a business: how to set up a vision, put people in the right positions, maintain a smooth operation…

Look up the EOS Process by Jim Wickman

evaluate applicants’ core values before their skill.

Find your core focus, stick to it, and devote your time and resources to excelling at it.

analysis of several hundred millionaires revealed that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly and changing them slowly.

More is lost by indecision than by wrong decisions.

The Issues Solving Track consists of three steps: 1. Identify 2. Discuss 3. Solve

STEP 1: IDENTIFY Clearly identify the real issue, because the stated problem is rarely the real one. The underlying issue is always a few layers down. Most of the time, the stated problem is a symptom of the real issue, so you must find the root of the matter. By batting the issue back and forth, you will reach the true cause.

Everyone should say what they believe but they should say it only once, because more than once is politicking.

The more clearly everyone can see your vision, the likelier you are to achieve it.

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.

Each of your departmental heads should be better than you in his or her respective position. Of course, you will need to give them clear expectations and instill a system for effective communication and accountability. Once you have the right people in the right seats, let them run with it.

Simplifying your organization is key.

Delegate- When you let go, however, you need to make sure you’re letting go of the right duties. The responsibilities that you delegate to other people have to be tasks that you have outgrown. These include things such as opening mail, writing proposals, approving invoices, and handling customer complaints. Sometimes we’re afraid to pass off jobs that aren’t much fun for others, but, at a certain point, you’ll have to. The beauty of this transition is that there are people who have the skills and enthusiasm to do these jobs. Not only will

Structure- Unfortunately, the structures of most small companies are either too loose or non-existent.

five leadership abilities to reach the next level: (1) simplify the organization, (2) delegate and elevate, (3) predict both long-term and short-term, (4) systemize, and (5) structure your company the right way.

Clarify your vision and you will make better decisions about people, processes, finances, strategies, and customers.

your 10-year target must be specific and measurable so that there can’t be any gray areas.

What’s the moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you’re going to lose your ass.

choose only three goals for the coming year.

When everything is important, nothing is important.

Remember, measurable means you can measure it. “Sales” is not a specific goal, but “$1 million in new sales” is.

“Attainable” means that it’s doable. Setting unrealistic goals is the biggest trap entrepreneurs fall into.

The People Analyzer is designed to clarify whether you have the right person in place or not. www.eosworldwide.com/ The three-strike rule works as follows: Strike One: Discuss the issues and your expectations with the person, and give him or her 30 days to correct the problem. Strike Two: If you don’t see improvement, discuss his or her performance again and give him or her another 30 days. Strike Three: If you still don’t see improvement, he or she is not going to change and must go. When the termination finally happens, all of those who are the right people will thank you for it and wonder what took you so long.

When you’re evaluating your people, the rating on GWC should be a black-and-white “yes” or “no,” unlike the pluses and minuses for core values. You must get a “yes” on all three, or the person is in the wrong seat.

What gets measured gets done.

Great leaders have a habit of taking quiet thinking time. That means escaping the office on a regular basis for an hour or so. By working on yourself and the business, you will rise above feeling frustrated and overwhelmed to a clearheaded and confident state.

Successful companies solve their issues.

The journey should be enjoyable. If you’re racing to get to the end of the journey, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Profile Image for Pascal Wagner.
114 reviews29 followers
January 10, 2019
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.

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.
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