Book Review: Gino Wickman, Traction, Get a Grip on your Business

Book Review: Gino Wickman, Traction, Get a Grip on your Business

This book about is about pure business development, without theoretical discussions and complex incomprehensible advices. Traction, Get a grip on your business includes only useable, practical advices, easy suggestions, which you can implement into your business.  With the help of Gino Wickman, you will figure out, how you can build a business, which will stand on its foot and grow by itself. In includes an operating system for every business, which the author calls “Entrepreneurial Operating System”, EOS.

EOS contains 6 main focus area, which you have to need to manage to build a successful organization. These areas:

  • Vision
  • People
  • Data
  • Issues
  • Process
  • The Traction component


First, you need a vision for your company. To create a vision, you need to follow 8 steps.


You can use the Vision/Traction organizer: It give us a practical, easy to use exercise, how we can form and cultivate the core values for businesses. The exercise is quite simple. Go for an outside meeting with your leadership team, imagine your best employee and list the best behaviors of this best employee. List all of these competencies, behavior, and sort out the 5-7 most important ones. That is all. You have your core values.

Vision/Traction organizer

Core focus

You have to figure out, based on your values, what your company the best at, and you should be laser focused on this thing. Do not chase for other business opportunities, just focus on what you are the best of. To figure it out you need to answer only 2 questions: your reason for being and your niche.

10 year plan

Based on your core values and focus, you need a 10 year plan. It needs to be SMART (Simple, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound).

Marketing strategy

To achieve this plan (and others to grow), you need a laser sharp marketing strategy. It involves:

  • Your target market
    • A list about the best possible costumers, based on their demographic, geographic and psychographic character. (Who they are, where they are, etc.)
  • Your three unique
    • 3 things which differentiate you from your competitors
  • Your proven process
    • A process, how you reach your potential customer, and the road, how you sell your service/product to them. Add a name to this sales process, and use it for every sales.
  • Your guarantee

With these steps, you have created the basics. The next steps are taking action.

3 years plan, 1 year plan, 90 days plan (quarterly rocks) and a list

Define your 3 year plan, 1 year plan and 90 days plan (quaterly rocks). After this clear plan, you even will face with problems, obstacles. Do not hide them. Create a list about them, write those down and face with them.

Share your vision with everyone in the company

If you followed these steps, and fulfilled the vision planner, you now have a clear vision which you have to share with your team, company.


The best what you can do is to find the right people for the right place. Right people are the ones, who share your vision. And right place means that every employee uses his or her greatest skill and passion to move the company forward.

If you want to figure out, if you have the right people, you can use the people analyzer: (The recommended best people for a company have five core values is three pluses, two plus/minuses, and the aggregated summary never minus.)

People Analyzer

Fort the right place, you need a structure, an accountability chart, which best fit for your business. 3 mean areas build up a good organization: Sales/Marketing, Operation, Finance and Administration. To harmonize these 3 main groups, you need an „Integrator” (CEO, President, etc.). These big groups may have departments (like HR inside Finance and administration). One role is quite unique between the integrator and the big teams, the Visionary (mainly owners, founders, partners, etc.). The one who has 10 idea per week, and has a good attitude to solve big problems, keep contact with huge customers, etc.
Creating an accountability chart, you need to draw down you major function groups, and make sure, that each position’s accountability is clear. When you have it communicate it all around your company

Accountability chart

The accountability chart shows your leadership team. It clarifies who is responsible for what.

When it is ready, you can implement GWC stands for get it, want it, and capacity to do it. You need to find people, who want a seat, have time/effort/skillset/capacity to do it, and also know, what the job what needs to be done is.

When you start a company, you are alone the head of everything. But when the company grows, you and your leadership team need to learn the art of delegating and elevating.

From time to time, you should ask these 3 simple question, and have honest answer. Based on the answers, you may change in the future. The accountability chart always evaluates.

  1. Is this the right structure to get us to the next level?
  2. Are all of the right people in the right seats?
  3. Does everyone have enough time to do the job well?

It can turn out, that somebody is not a good fit. He or she is not a good people or not in a good place. If it turns out, you should use a 3 step process. Sit down, discuss the issue and give 30 days to make improvement. If it does not help, sit down again, and again give another 30 days to solve the problem. If it is not successful again, then let she or he goes.


With your vision and the best people in the best seats, you need to focus on data.


Based on data, you can predict the future, how it will go. You need categories, what you need to track on a weekly basis to have the pulse of your business. Name 5-15 of these huge categories, what you want to measure on a weekly basis (like revenue, sales activity, cash balance, etc.). Write it down into a spreadsheet format. Next to the categories, you need a responsible person, who will deliver the numbers, and who will be accountable for the activity. Next, you need to define an expected goal for the categories for every week, based on your 1 year plan. When it is ready, you need to collect and review you scorecard on a weekly basis.

The issue component

As you grow, have a vision, good people are in good place and you start to collect data based on your goals, you will face issues. It is a matter of fact. But it is important to solve them as fast as you can. Close issues to free up your time, resource and energy. To do it, the most important is to decide. It is even better to have a bad decision than to have no decision.

You should collect all of your issues and have it on a separated list, based on the involvement. If it is a department problem, put it on the department list, if it is a leadership problem, put it on the leadership list. Bring it together, prioritize it and then discuss on a regular meeting starting with the most important. The goal is to

  •  Identify,
  • Discuss and
  • Solve the problems.

The most important is to identify, find the root cause of a problem. If you have it, you can move on. Be aware to stay focused, and avoid tangibles.

Keep this 10 rules when you make a decision:

  1. Not rule by consensus (one person may decide, if it is no consensus)
  2. Be weenie (have a tough decision and implement it, even if it is not easy)
  3. Be decisive (make decisions, even they are not the best ones)
  4. Not rely on secondhand information
  5. Fight for the greater good
  6. Not try to solve them all (one issue at a time, in order of priority)
  7. Live with it, end it or change it
  8. Choose short term pain and suffering
  9. Enter the danger
  10. Take a shot (propose a solution, if you can, not wait for others)

The process component

Consistency. That is the basic. You need to find your way, how you run your business. It has two main components

  • document the processes
  • make sure, processes are followed by all


First, you should define your core processes. These are the big buckets, which holds the daily todos. You also need to standardize the names, and make sure, everybody understand the same when they hear, like, Marketing process, HR process, Sales process, stc. Mainly the leadership team is responsible to define these bug buckets.

When you defined the „Big buckets”, you can start do break them down on the high level. It is important, it should be like bullet points, and keep the big picture, to make sure, you see the whole picture, and even you can optimize it, if you need it. Responsible leaders need to make this high level picture about your process.

When you make these 2 steps, you have the backbone of how your company works. It is good to have it, because it will be easier to train new people, and even you can be sure, that if someone leaves the company, the knowledge how to manage the work on a daily basis will stay in the company. Even employees can write down, how they do a process which has been defined by his line manager/leader.

The Traction component

Now you have everything what you need to have a successful company. The next step is to make it work. 2 main components guarantee, that you plans and vision will take place:

  • Rocks
  • Meeting pulse


Rocks are the priorities for the next 90 days. These rocks need to be smart, and no more than 3 to 7. They need to be specific, and when a rock is agreed for the 90 days, it cannot be changed. In the upcoming 90 days no more rocks will be added. It something come up, it should be added onto the List.

Meeting pulse

Meetings just a waste of time, if you do not do it on a proper way. Interestingly, if you run an organization, having meetings is one of your main job. The other interesting fact is, that if you make everyone accountable, and make it during a meeting, they will prepare. Every preparation take place at the latest time, mainly a day before deadline. So if you increase the numbers of the meetings, the more can be done. 2 kind of meetings are important for you. Weekly meeting, 90 days meetings and annual meetings. Weekly meetings are about the daily to-dos, checking scorecards and rocks. 90 days about 90 days plans, reviewing the previous 90 days and planning the next 90 days. 1 year meetings are about the vision review, 3 year plan, budgeting.


Start the implementation of EOS is the following:

  1. Accountability Chart (which includes People Analyzer and GWC)
  2. Rocks
  3. Meeting Pulse (which includes IDS, Level 10 Meeting, Quarterlies, and Annuals)
  4. Scorecard
  5. V/TO (which includes core values, core focus, 10-year target, marketing strategy, three-year picture, and one-year plan)
  6. Three-Step Process Documenter
  7. Everyone Has a Number

As you can see, I tried to summarize what I have learned from this book. The main reason, that I want to implement these steps to build my company. I will do it with my coach, I will be responsible for him, and I will summarize how the process goes year by year.

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