Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – Book Review

Written By: Eric Gjerdevig

from December 11, 2013

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
Author:  Gino Wickman
ISBN-13: 9781936661831

Over the last few years, I have received no fewer than a dozen recommendations to read Traction: Get a Grip on your Business.  I have read a lot of business books and Traction, by Gino Wickman, is now firmly in my top five list.  It contains a lot of applicable content around six key factors for running a business and is an excellent book to use for growing and leading any small to medium sized organization.  Traction is written from the perspective of starting from the top with the leadership team and expanding the concepts throughout the organization as the tools are implemented and proven.

Traction covers a wide scope of items, but also focuses on the leadership component itself and what is called the Entrepreneurship Operating System (EOS).  The EOS is Wickman’s term for the overall system used to run the organization and it is what the book teaches very well with example company implementations. One of the unique things about this book is that it is more of a handbook and one that gives an excellent set of steps for implementation.

As the author explains, most entrepreneurs experience one or (usually) more of five common frustrations: lack of control, underperforming workers, insufficient (if any) profits, limited growth potential, and dysfunctional operations. Simply put, they cannot “get a grip” on their business. What the entrepreneurs need is what Wickman characterizes as a “holistic, self-sustaining system that addresses the six aspects of a business”: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction. What Wickman offers is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) that, if “mastered” (i.e. installed and then maintained properly), will enable business leaders to integrate the six components of their organization “into a powerful framework that will help [them] gain Traction and realize the vision [they’ve] always had for [their] company.”

Traction spends a lot of time encouraging the reader to focus on goal setting and analysis. Are your goals appropriate for what you are doing? Is what you are doing appropriate for your goals? The idea is to stop spinning wheels so much and get down to the business of running the business in an effective and efficient manner.

This book can really help those running a business to both start and set goals from the beginning and get a wayward business back on track. Perhaps your organization is bordering the line between profit and disaster.  Traction has some good tips and advice for how to pull in and focus on the important aspects of the organization. Not every person runs a business the same way and Traction will help the reader learn the best way to run his or her organization.

I found the writing style to be easily understandable and conducive to a casual reader looking for good advice. This is not a textbook with dry language. Furthermore, his advice seems very realistic. While I have personally not had the opportunity to put that advice effect yet, this book is the kind that anyone running an organization could use effectively.