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200 Best Traction Quotes By Gino Wickman (2023)

1. “Assuming you’re all in agreement, you throw out the old Three-Year Picture and create a brand-new one. You want to make sure that everyone agrees on the same image three years from now. Once everyone’s mind’s eye can see it, the odds are greater that you will achieve it. Once the new Three-Year Picture is clear, go to work on next year’s plan. Set the revenue, profit, and numbers for the coming year and then set your three to seven most important goals. Remember, less is more, so be careful.”


2. “To repeat, 90 days is about as long as a human being can stay focused. It’s human nature, so stop fighting it and solve the problem by following the Quarterly Meeting Pulse, thereby creating a 90-Day World for your company.”


3. “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 three-year picture? 6. What is your one-year plan? 7. What are your quarterly Rocks? 8. What are your issues?”


4. “Most leaders know that bringing discipline and accountability to the organization will make people a little uncomfortable. That’s an inevitable part of creating traction. What usually holds an organization back is the fear of creating this discomfort.”


5. “Vision without traction is merely hallucination.”


6. “Assign who owns each Rock. This is vital for clear accountability. Each of the three to seven company Rocks must be owned by one and only one person on the leadership team. When more than one person is accountable for a Rock, no one is accountable. 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.”


7. “A guarantee is your opportunity to pinpoint an industry-wide problem and solve it. This is typically a service or quality problem. You must determine what your customers can count on from you. If you guarantee it, that will put their minds at ease and enable you to close more business.”


8. “Once your one-year plan is clear, you need to narrow your vision all the way down to what really matters: the next 90 days. You should determine what the most important priorities are in the coming quarter. Those priorities are called Rocks.”


9. “If you’re not growing, be it internally or externally, you’re dying. Most companies strive for external growth, but internal growth also leads to future greatness. In fact, most companies need to start with a focus on internal growth before they can even think about external growth. The paradox is that they will actually grow faster externally in the long run if they are focused internally from the outset.”


10. “You must look forward. You cannot look back or get caught up in the present. It will distort your judgment.”


11. “Imagine you’re on a desert island somewhere. None of you can talk to anyone, access e-mail, or talk on the phone. All you have is a piece of paper with a handful of numbers on it. These numbers must allow you to have an absolute pulse on your business. What are all of the numbers that must be on that piece of paper?”


12. “Sales and marketing generate business. Operations provides the service or manufactures the product, and takes care of the customer. Finance and administration manage the monies flowing in and out as well as the infrastructure.”


13. “The Scorecard is much more of a proactive tool, helping you to anticipate problems before they actually happen.”


14. “You just need to capture the basic steps in the process, because the real problem is that people are skipping steps, and not always on purpose.”


15. “People need to hear the vision seven times before they really hear it for the first time. Human beings have short attention spans and are a little jaded when it comes to new messages.”


16. “You can have one name in two seats, just not two names in one seat.”


17. “In its simplest form, the discussion step is everyone’s opportunity to say everything they have to say about the issue. You get everything on the table in an open environment where nothing is sacred.”


18. “Here’s the brutal truth: Not everyone in your organization will share your vision. The responsibility that you have as the leadership team is to share your V/TO and inspire your people with a compelling vision. As long as they understand it, they want to be a part of it, and their actions perpetuate the vision, they share it. The ones that don’t will stand out by contrast. Most of the time, they’ll leave before you have to let them go. But as a good manager, you’ll be doing them and others in the company a disservice by keeping them around. You may have to help free up the futures of the ones that don’t willingly leave.”


19. “Each of your departmental heads should be better than you in his or her respective position.”


20. “Use it! You must review your scorecard every week to ensure that you are on track for your vision. You will soon see 13 weeks at a glance which will enable you to see patterns and trends.”


21. “The time spent identifying the real issue can take far longer than the time used for the second and third steps, and that’s okay. That’s because the root problem may have multiple symptoms. Put another way, sometimes you will spend most of your time identifying the issue. As a result, the Discuss and Solve steps will take just a few minutes because the real issue is now clear.”


22. “Once you start to document, you’re going to uncover some hidden bones. Some steps will be in place that don’t have to be. You won’t understand how the heck they ever got there in the first place. When you ask why, you’ll hear responses such as, “Well, we’ve always done it that way.”


23. “share your vision with your employees. The number one reason employees don’t share a company vision is that they don’t know what it is. The only way you can determine if your vision is shared by all is simply to tell them. A Harris Interactive/FranklinCovey poll of over 23,000 employees in key industries and employed in key functional areas sheds a sharp light on this issue. The poll revealed that 37 percent of employees didn’t understand their companies’ priorities. Only one in five was enthusiastic about their organization’s goals, and only one in five saw a clear connection between their tasks and their organization’s goals.”


24. “When everyone follows their process, it’s much easier for managers to manage, troubleshoot, identify and solve issues, and therefore grow the business. The clear lines of process enable you to let go and gain more control. Your business now becomes more scalable, which means that you can add more customers, transactions, revenue, and employees while reducing complexity.”


25. “In most entrepreneurial companies, the urgent is the enemy of the important. Leaders get sucked into the day-to-day, distracted by daily tasks and countless interruptions. The stuff that really matters to the organization keeps getting pushed off. Ultimately, you’re all staring at a growing list of twenty to thirty priorities and falling further and further behind.”


26. “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.”


27. “Unique Ability® + Accountability Chart = Right Seats”


28. “Integrator.” One sees the future, and the other makes it happen.”


29. “Combine these results, and after some discussion and debate, your three-year picture will typically contain 10 to 20 bullet points that describe what your organization will look like.”


30. “To paraphrase philosopher and logician Kurt Gödel, you can’t be in a system while at the same time understanding the system you’re in. In other words, you need to raise your head from time to time and see the system for what it is, whether it’s good or bad. We are normally so buried in the day-to-day scramble that we never take the time to do this. Yet, you’ll see something new every time you do.”


31. “Complete mastery of your Data Component is achieved when you boil the organization’s numbers down to the point where everyone has a single meaningful, manageable number to guide them in their work.”


32. “It all comes down to getting the right people in the right seats.”


33. “Brainstorm with your leadership team and list what you believe to be the biggest frustrations, fears, and worries for your potential customer when doing business with you. The ideal guarantee is backed up by a tangible penalty if you don’t deliver on it. Your guarantee must drive more business or enable you to close more of what you’re not winning.”


34. “What makes the Accountability Chart more than just an organizational chart is that once the major functions are clear, each is defined by five major roles. As an example, the visionary function’s five roles might be as follows: • R&D/ideas • Creative problem-solving • Major relationships • Culture • Selling”


35. “You will establish the three to seven most important priorities for the company, the ones that must be done in the next 90 days. Those priorities are called Rocks.”


36. “The next step is to agree on the profit number. This will be a similar conversation, but should be settled much more quickly. After that, you’ll want to determine your specific measurables. Measurables give everyone scope and size. Every organization has one or two very specific figures that are a telltale sign of the size of the organization. It might be a number of clients, large clients, units, or widgets produced.”


37. “Don’t mistake activity for productivity. Creativity is productivity—it just doesn’t feel like it at first.”


38. “Entrepreneurs must get their vision out of their heads and down onto paper. From there, they must share it with their organization so that everyone can see where the company is going and determine if they want to go there with you.”


39. “If you don’t continue to align quarterly, your organization will fragment to the point that you will get far off track, you will start to lose great people, you will lose sight of your vision, and you will end up right back where you started—in chaos.”


40. “Your guarantee has a secondary benefit. It forces all the people in your organization to deliver on it. That in turn forces you to look inward and make sure you’ve got all the right people, processes, and systems in place to do so. If not, you’ll be forced to improve upon it. Your client will never need to make good on that guarantee if you’re at your absolute best.”


41. “A Scorecard is a weekly report containing five to 15 high-level numbers for the organization. In the Data Component chapter, you will learn to create and implement this powerful tool into your company. It will enable you to have a pulse of your business on a weekly basis, predict future developments, and quickly identify when things have fallen off the track. Because you’re regularly reviewing the numbers, you’ll be able to quickly spot and solve problems as they come up as opposed to reacting to bad numbers in a financial statement long after the fact.”


42. “Numbers create accountability. When you set a number, everyone knows what the expectation is.”


43. “The more clearly everyone can see your vision, the likelier you are to achieve it. Focus everyone’s energy toward one thing and amazing results will follow. In his book Focus, Al Ries illustrates the point in this way: The sun provides the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy, yet if you stand in it for an hour, the worst you will get is a little sunburn. On the other hand, a few watts of energy focused in one direction is all a laser beam needs to cut through diamonds.”


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


45. “Numbers cut through murky subjective communication between manager and direct reports.”


46. “Your ability to succeed is in direct proportion to your ability to solve your problems.”


47. “It’s common for a company to have a visionary but no integrator. This causes a real struggle, because the visionary is constantly frustrated with his or her lack of traction. In addition, he or she has to keep acting as the integrator and get pulled into the day-to-day management of the business.”


48. “The culmination of identifying, documenting, and having everyone follow the core processes of your business is your Way. When you have a clear Way, you immediately increase the value of your business, strengthen your control over it, and give yourself options.”


49. “1. Be careful what you wish for because you’ll get it. If you want to grow, you have to understand that not everyone is going to be able to keep up and remain in the same seat forever. 2. Keeping people around just because you like them is destructive. You’re doing a disservice to the company, to everyone in it, and to the person. People must add value. I realize this may sound cold, but to the degree people are in the right seats, everyone is happier, especially them.”


50. “The good news is that there are only a handful of issues in the history of business. The same ones crop up over and over again.”


51. “With that list of 10 to 20 items in front of you, discuss, debate, and determine the most important priorities for the company in the next 90 days. Make a decision on each one whether to keep it, kill it, or combine it as a company Rock for the quarter. You make as many passes at the list as necessary until you’re down to three to seven. As a result, the right ones will rise to the top.”


52. “When documenting the processes, you should follow the 20/80 rule. That means document the 20 percent that produces 80 percent of the results. In other words, document at a very high level. You should not be creating a 500-page document. The 20/80 rule gives you the highest return on your time invested. The trap many organizations fall into is wasting valuable time trying to document 100 percent of everything. If you document 100 percent of a core process, it might take 30 pages. If you document the most important 20 percent, you should need around six pages.”


53. “I highly recommend an exercise I call One Thing. Each member of the team receives feedback from the others on his or her single greatest strength or most admirable ability and his or her biggest weakness or hindrance to the success of the company. The exercise is done out in the open, with the entire leadership team present. I believe the peer-evaluation methods that are conducted anonymously actually do more harm than good.”


54. “You must always hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize with your Core Values in mind. Within one year of doing this, you’ll be happier.”


55. “Once the company Rocks are set, the members of the leadership team each set their own Rocks. They first carry forward any company Rocks that they own to their individual list of Rocks and then come up with their most important three to seven. Some of the Rocks that were discarded in Step 2 for the company can end up becoming individual Rocks for leadership team members. Please remember—no more than three to seven.”


56. “Imagine coaching a sports team with two distinct methods or running a country with two governments. When systems work at cross purposes, your company is the ultimate loser. You cannot build a great organization on multiple operating systems—you must choose one.”


57. “What is vision? It’s clearly defining who and what your organization is, where it’s going and how it’s going to get there.”


58. “which you will complete at the end of this section. Most companies realize that the best way to reach their newly clarified target market is through referrals, using their clients to connect with their prospects.”


59. “How to Create Your Proven Process


60. “the traction side of the V/TO, which is about bringing your long-range vision down to the ground and making it real. That means deciding on what must get done this year. Remember, less is always more. Most companies make the mistake of trying to accomplish too many objectives per year. By trying to get everything done all at once, they end up accomplishing very little and feeling frustrated”


61. “When all that great work is done, you then create what is called the Rock Sheet, which is just a landscaped piece of paper. At the top are the organization’s Rocks, and below that are each of the leadership team’s individuals Rocks. This Rock Sheet is brought into your weekly meetings to review your Rocks.”


62. “In the left-hand column, list who is accountable for each of the numbers. Only one person is ultimately accountable for each, and it’s usually the person heading up that major function. This is the person who must deliver that weekly number to the organization, not the person who simply enters the number.”


63. “A similar common problem is trying to document every single little detail down to the nth degree. This is overkill. You just need to capture the basic steps in the process, because the real problem is that people are skipping steps, and not always on purpose. Festering problems then blow up weeks or months down the road. In the heat of the uproar, you treat the symptom and not the root cause, which was that someone skipped a step. There is always an uncomfortable laugh when I share this truth. You need to document the steps in the process at a very high level, with several bullets under each step, which are procedures. This way, you can make sure everyone is following the process.”


64. “STEP 8 Have each department set their Rocks as a team. Just as the leadership team sets their Rocks, each department team follows the exact same process to set theirs as well. In the end, each employee will have his or her own Rocks for the quarter.”


65. “Segue This is the transition from a full 90 days of working hard in the business to starting to work on the business. Each person should share three things: (1) best business and personal news in the last 90 days, (2) what is working and not working in the organization, and (3) expectations for the day. Not only will this elevate everyone to working on the business, but it will also help set the stage for the quarterly meeting.”


66. “Give your proven process a name. If you cannot come up with a name, simply call it “Our Proven Process” or “The (your company name) Difference,” as many EOS clients do.”


67. “As goes the leadership team, so goes the company. If the leadership team is open and honest, issues will flow freely.”


68. “When you’re finished, the Accountability Chart should look like an organizational chart, with five bullets that illustrate the major roles of each function. Important note: The Accountability Chart will clarify function, role, and reporting structure, but it will not define communication structure. Your communication should flow freely across all lines and departments where necessary, creating an open and honest culture. With each position’s accountability clear and communication crossing all departments, you will avoid cross-departmental issues. The Accountability Chart should in no way create silos or divisions.”


69. “A client that had clarified its 10-Year Target in the first session was a partnership, and the two partners realized they had two completely different goals. One wanted rapid growth, and the other was content.”


70. “If you’re truly going to commit to building a great company, a strong leadership team, and getting the right people in the right seats, you must prepare for change on your leadership team.”


71. “No matter how difficult the issue is, you have to make a good business decision here for the long haul. If you have a wrong person in the right seat, ultimately that person must go for the sake of the greater good.”


72. “Use it! You must review your Scorecard every week to ensure that you’re on track for your vision. The real magic of using a Scorecard is not limited to managing it on a weekly basis. You will soon see 13 weeks (three months) at a glance, which enables you to see patterns and trends.”


73. “When it’s structured correctly, the dynamic that exists between the two Unique Abilities® can be magical.”


74. “Decide and fill in what the expected goal is for the week in each category.”


75. “Otra cosa acerca de las Rocas es que necesitan ser SMART, que, por sus siglas en inglés, significa: •​Específica (Specific)- ¿Es lo suficientemente clara para que todos sepan cuándo está terminada? •​Cuantificable (Measurable)- ¿Puedes medir (generalmente con un número) la ejecución de tu Roca? •​Alcanzable (Attainable)- ¿Puedes lograr el objetivo cuantificable? •​Realista (Realistic)- ¿Puedes completar la Roca en 90 días? •​Oportuna (Timely)- ¿Es trascendental que completes esta Roca en los próximos 90 días? ¿Es éste el momento oportuno?”


76. “What gets measured gets done.”


77. “As an example, the Visionary function’s five roles might be as follows (these are the most common): • New ideas/R&D • Creative problem solving • Major external relationships • Culture • Selling big deals The Integrator function’s five roles might be as follows (these are the most common): • Leading, Managing, and holding people Accountable (LMA) • Executing the business plan/P&L results • Integrating the other major functions • Resolving cross-functional issues • Communication across the organization”


78. “Numbers create clarity and commitment.”


79. “The solve step is a conclusion or solution that usually becomes an action item for someone to do. The item ends up on the To-Do List, and when the action item is completed, the issue goes away forever.”


80. “Numbers aren’t just for the person. They become a communication tool between manager and direct report,”


81. “I would tell him to limit the company goals between three and seven, and each year we set goals, he would keep piling on more. When we were done, the company would have 12 to 15 goals for the year. Like clockwork, at the end of the year, they would accomplish very little and end up frustrated. Going into the third year, he finally had a revelation: They were taking on too much. With this awareness, we agreed that the team could choose only three goals for the”


82. “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.”


83. “I can’t tell you how many of my clients start out trying to be all things to all people. They say, “Oh, you need that? Yes, we do that,” and, “You want those? No problem.” Over time, though, they, their customers, and their employees become frustrated, and the business becomes less profitable. This helter-skelter method may have gotten you to where you are today and helped you survive the early drought, but to break through the ceiling, you have to create some focus.”


84. “As with all goal-setting activities, your 10-year target must be specific and measurable so that there can’t be any gray areas. You will know the right goal when you have it. It will be the one that creates passion, excitement, and energy for every single person in the organization whenever it’s repeated.”


85. “When managing a Scorecard, many clients find value in red-flagging categories that are off track. Red-flagging occurs when one of your numbers does not hit or exceed the goal for the week.”


86. “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.”


87. “The Issues Solving Track consists of three steps: 1. Identify 2. Discuss 3. Solve To start, you must first examine your Issues List and quickly decide on the top three issues to be solved.”


88. “There should be three types of Issues Lists in your organization: 1. The Issues List in your Vision/ Traction Organizer (V/ TO). These are all company issues that can be shelved beyond 90 days. These issues are tackled in future quarterly meetings. The issues that are not a big enough priority for this week or this quarter must be stored somewhere so that you don’t lose sight of them. The V/ TO Issues List is the place for that. This list will include issues as diverse as new product ideas, key employee issues, technology needs, office relocation, capital needs, and the need for HR policies.”


89. “When everything is important, nothing is important.”


90. “With life and business moving as fast as it does in the 21st century, there is little value in detailed strategic planning beyond a three-year window. A lot can change during that time span.”


91. “Your ability to succeed is in direct proportion to your ability to solve your problems. The better you are at solving problems, the more successful you become.”


92. “The departmental Issues List. These issues are on a more local level. These include all the relevant departmental issues for the week that must be tackled during the weekly departmental meetings.”


93. “Most people are sitting on their own diamond mines. The surest ways to lose your diamond mine are to get bored, become overambitious, or start thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Find your core focus, stick to it, and devote your time and resources to excelling at it.”


94. “your leadership team lists everything on the whiteboard that has to be accomplished in the next 90 days. On average, you’ll discover about 10 to 20 things that you’d like to close out,”


95. “Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus On a healthy team where the vision is clear and everyone is on the same page, eight out of 10 times, everyone will agree with the solution. However, sometimes they won’t, and someone needs to make the final decision. Consensus management does not work, period. Eventually, it will put you out of business. Not everyone will be pleased in these situations, but as long as they have been heard and if the team is healthy, they can usually live with it and will support the decision. From there, you must present a united front moving forward.”


96. “What you need to show is how the new system will create efficiencies to make their lives easier and the company more successful. They need to understand how the process ties together into a complete system”


97. “All success organizations and companies have a system — a system that they flow — throughout the organization.”


98. “organization”


99. “the Pittsburgh Steelers during their heyday in the 1970s. He said, “We made every decision like we were going to the Super Bowl,” and they ended up winning the Super Bowl four times. That is what every leadership team needs to do. You should make all of your decisions as though you are going to your own Super Bowl—as though you were achieving your vision.”


100. “Some clients wrestle with the approach of throwing out the old three-year picture and starting with a new one. It’s important to take this approach for two reasons. One is that a full year has gone by and things have changed, so it’s important to take all of your knowledge and experience and incorporate it into a newly created vision. The second reason is that you’re smarter, better, faster planners than you were a year ago, and as a result, you’ll do much better work.”


101. “you challenge the company vision. This is the Annual Meeting Pulse, and nothing is sacred. Working your way through the V/TO, take a hard look at your core values, challenge the core focus, make sure everyone is still on board for the 10-year target, and confirm that the marketing strategy is still unique and valuable to the customer. Where you’re not on the same page, discuss and debate until everyone is in sync.”


102. “Now that you clearly know where you’re going, you have to identify all of the obstacles that could prevent you from reaching your targets.”


103. “Problems are like mushrooms: When it’s dark and rainy, they multiply. Under bright light, they diminish.”


104. “It is less important what you decide than it is that you decide.” More is lost by indecision than by wrong decisions.”


105. “Once they’re defined, you must hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize people based on these core values.”


106. “As a rule of thumb, you should end up with five to 15 numbers—hopefully closer to five. There is such a thing as too much information, so keep it simple. Once you’ve identified all the categories, you then plug them into your Scorecard template.”


107. “Numbers create teamwork. When a team composed of the the right people in the right seats agree to a number to hit, they ask themselves “how can we hit it,” creating camaraderie and peer pressure.”


108. “determine the revenue picture. Start by asking your team this question: What is the annual revenue going to be three years from now? This is always fun, because you find out if your leadership is in sync with how fast you want to grow.”


109. “GWC stands for get it, want it, and capacity to do it.”


110. “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.”


111. “As you simplify, most of the time you will find that your core processes are too complex. By documenting the process, you will find many opportunities to dumb them down by eliminating redundant steps, taking out any confusion and any complexity. The goal is to streamline.”


112. “With the answer to the first question on the V/TO—“What are your core values?”—you now have the ability to define who the right people are for your organization. It’s important to note that whatever your core values are, they don’t make the people who don’t possess them right or wrong, nor do they make them good or bad. They just don’t fit in your company culture. If they go somewhere that has their values, they’ll be fine and they’ll probably thrive.”


113. “Your company will have Rocks, each member of your leadership team will have Rocks, and your employees will also have Rocks. The reason to limit Rocks to three to seven (preferably closer to three) is that you’re going to break the organization of the habit of trying to focus on everything at once. It simply can’t be done. By limiting priorities, you can focus on what is most important. With the increased intensity of focusing on a limited number of Rocks, your people will accomplish more. Remember the old saying: When everything is important, nothing is important. The way you move the company forward is one 90-day period at a time.”


114. “The fourth essential component of gaining traction is having the discipline to face and solve your organization’s issues as they arise.”


115. “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.”


116. “The Scorecard review is the leadership team’s opportunity at a high level to examine the five to 15 most important numbers in the organization and to make sure they are on track for the goal.”


117. “The recommended bar for a company with five core values is three pluses, two plus/minuses, and never a minus.”


118. “Everyone should have a copy of the agenda placed in front of them. Your to-dos and your IDS Issues List should be included in the actual printed agenda. Your agenda should fit on one sheet so that you’re only managing one piece of paper. You no longer need to take meeting minutes. They should be a thing of the past. If you want to know what was covered in a meeting, check that week’s agenda.”


119. “Life is much easier for everyone when you have people around you who genuinely get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it.”


120. “the Weekly Meeting Pulse is your opportunity to make sure that everything is on track. If you’re on track for the week, then you’re on track for the quarter, and if you’re on track for the quarter, then you’re on track for the year, and so on. The Meeting Pulse, like a heartbeat, creates a consistent flow that keeps the company healthy. Put another way, the Meeting Pulse creates a consistent cadence that keeps the organization in step.”


121. “There should be three types of Issues Lists in your organization: 1. The Issues List in your Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). These are all company issues that can be shelved beyond 90 days. These issues are tackled in future quarterly meetings. The issues that are not a big enough priority for this week or this quarter must be stored somewhere so that you don’t lose sight of them. The V/TO Issues List is the place for that. This list will include issues as diverse as new product ideas, key employee issues, technology needs, office relocation, capital needs, and the need for HR policies.”


122. “The issue that you fear the most is the one you most need to discuss and resolve.”


123. “My dad always teaches, “Never tell someone something you can show them.”


124. “Assuming that three major functions exist in all organizations, the next truth is that they must all be strong.”


125. “When everyone follows their process, it’s much easier for managers to manage, to troubleshoot, identify and solve issues and therefore grow the business. The clear lines enable you to let go and gain more control”


126. “Don’t mistake activity for productivity. Creativity is productivity – it just doesn’t feel like it at first.”


127. “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. Are your staff all rowing in the same direction? Chances are they’re not. Some are rowing to the right, some are rowing to the left, and some probably aren’t rowing at all. If you met individually with each of your employees and asked them what the company’s vision was, you’d likely get a range of different answers. The more clearly everyone can see your vision, the likelier you are to achieve it. Focus everyone’s energy toward one thing and amazing results will follow. In his book Focus, Al Ries illustrates the point in this way: The sun provides the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy, yet if you stand in it for an hour, the worst you will get is a little sunburn. On the other hand, a few watts of energy focused in one direction is all a laser beam needs to cut through diamonds.”


128. “A vital first step is creating a workplace where people feel comfortable calling out the issues that stand in the way of your vision. To do this, your leadership team must be comfortable with this type of environment.”


129. “That’s why you create a 90-Day World. Rather than be overwhelmed by the monumental task of accomplishing your vision, this allows you to break it down into bite-size chunks called Rocks”


130. “Patrick Lencioni says it best: “Your meetings should be passionate, intense, exhausting, and never boring.”


131. “Luftmensch is a Yiddish word made from two others; luft means “air” and mensch means “person.” A luftmensch is an “air-person,” someone who has his or her head in the clouds. I don’t mean this as an insult. Ideas come from having your head in the clouds. Most visionaries would agree with me. That is their gift, their strength, and their value. Nothing exists without visionaries. Yet once the vision is clear, you need to go from luftmensch to action.”


132. “you’ll be faced with two types of issues regarding your people. The first is having the right person in the wrong seat. The second is having the wrong person in the right seat. In order to gain traction, you’ll need to address both.”


133. “In solving an issue, you have three options: You can either live with it, end it, or change it. There are no others. With this understanding, you must decide which of the three it’s going to be. If you can no longer live with the issue, you have two options: Change it or end it. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do those, then agree to live with it and stop complaining. Living with it should, however, be the last resort.”


134. “WRONG PERSON, RIGHT SEAT In this case, the person excels at what he or she does, is extremely productive, and is clearly in his or her Unique Ability®. What makes this person the wrong person is that he or she doesn’t share your core values. While this obstacle may seem like something you can live with in the short term, that person is killing your organization in the long run. He or she is chipping away at what you’re trying to build, in little ways that, most of the time, you don’t even see. It’s that wry comment in the hallway, the dirty look behind your back, and the dissension that this person spreads.”


135. “The process works like this: Your team meets for a full day every 90 days. You review your vision, and then determine what the Rocks are for the organization for the next 90-day period to keep you on track for your vision.”


136. “Clarify your vision and you will make better decisions about people, processes, finances, strategies, and customers.” — Gino Wickman


137. “It is less important what you decide than it is that you decide.”


138. “Accountable people appreciate numbers. Wrong people in the wrong seats usually resist measurables. Right people in the right seats love clarity. Knowing the numbers they need to hit, they enjoy being part of a culture where all are held accountable”


139. “RIGHT PERSON, WRONG SEAT In this case, you have the right person (i.e., one who shares your core values), but he or she is truly not operating in his or her Unique Ability®. This person has been promoted to a seat that is too big, has outgrown a seat that is too small, or has been put in a position that does not utilize his or her Unique Ability®. Generally, this person is where he or she is because he or she has been around a long time, you like him or her, and he or she is a great addition to the team. Until now, you probably”


140. “Have everyone on the leadership team brainstorm what they believe to be the following: • 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? With the answers to these questions, go to work on creating The List, which consists of the key contact information for each prospect. I won’t kid you—creating The List will take some work.”


141. “When your purpose, cause, or passion is clear, you won’t be able to tell what business you’re in. You should be able to take it into any industry. This will also keep you from confusing it with your niche.”


142. “A Harris Interactive/FranklinCovey poll of over 23,000 employees in key industries and employed in key functional areas sheds a sharp light on this issue. The poll revealed that 37 percent of employees didn’t understand their companies’ priorities. Only one in five was enthusiastic about their organization’s goals, and only one in five saw a clear connection between their tasks and their organization’s goals.”


143. “Once they’re defined, you must hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize people based on these core values. This is how to build a thriving culture around them.”


144. “This is where the magic happens. It’s time to tackle your Issues List. Great meetings are created by solving problems. You should have 60 minutes for solving issues. This part should always take up most of your meeting.”


145. “An Integrator is a person who has the Unique Ability® to harmoniously integrate the major functions of the business, run the organization, and manage the day-to-day issues that arise. The Integrator is the glue that holds the people, processes, systems, priorities, and strategy of the company together.”


146. “Two roles are vital in the Level 10 Meeting. One person must run the meeting. This person will move the team through the agenda and keep them on track. Second, someone must manage the agenda. This person makes sure that the agenda, Scorecard, and Rock Sheet are updated and in front of everyone in each meeting. They update the To-Do and Issues Lists in the agenda each week.”


147. “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.”


148. “4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information You cannot solve an issue involving multiple people without all the parties present. If the issue at hand involves more than the people in the room, schedule a time when everyone can attend. Tyler Smith of Niche Retail calls these “pow-wows.” When someone brings him an issue involving others or secondhand information, he says, “Time for a pow-wow” and pulls everyone involved together and solves it.”


149. “Once you’ve narrowed your list, set the date that the Rocks are due. This is typically by the end of the quarter (i.e., March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). Now define each one by making sure the objectives are clear. This is vital. A Rock is specific, measurable, and attainable.”


150. “The first element of marketing strategy is your target market, or “The List.” Identifying your target market involves defining your ideal customers. Who are they? Where are they? What are they?”


151. “With that, a wall goes up, and no one is allowed to throw anything else over it, whether it’s a genius-level new idea or a hand grenade. Once the priorities are set for this quarter, no new priorities can be added! If someone does try to throw something else over, you get to throw it back because you all agreed on the current Rocks as being the most important priorities for this quarter. New ideas and thoughts that arise during the quarter should be put on the V/TO Issues List for next quarter.”


152. “Simplifying your organization is key. This entails streamlining the rules you operate under as well as how they’re communicated. The same goes for your processes, systems, messages, and vision. Most organizations are too complex when they begin.”


153. “Above all else, your leaders need to be able to simplify, delegate, predict, systemize, and structure. To the degree that you and your team apply these five abilities, you will grow to the next level. Let’s take a look at them one by one.”


154. “If you’re a golfer, you know that the face of a golf club has a sweet spot. While its actual size varies depending on the club, let’s assume it’s about 50 percent of the face. To the degree you hit the ball on the sweet spot, the ball goes farther and straighter, contact feels better, and you’ll score better. The same applies to your business. Just like a golf club, your business has a sweet spot, and now that you have clarified your core focus, you now know what it is. Assuming you stay in your sweet spot, which might be about 50 percent of your market, your business will go further and score better in terms of profitability.”


155. “THE FIVE POINTS OF THE WEEKLY MEETING PULSE A productive Meeting Pulse should meet the following five criteria. The meetings must 1. be on the same day each week, 2. be at the same time each week, 3. have the same printed agenda, 4. start on time, and 5. end on time. Making the meeting the same day and time creates a routine. Using the same agenda discourages reinventing the wheel; once you have an agenda that works, stick to it. Plus, it also helps to keep the meetings consistent. Start on time, because when you start the meeting late, the part of the meeting that always suffers is the issues-solving time, and that’s what matters most in the meeting. You will cut down the best part. And end on time so that you don’t push back any following meetings.”


156. “You must have one abiding vision, one voice, one culture, and one operating system. This includes a uniform approach to how you meet, how you set priorities, how you plan and set your vision, the terminology you use, and the way you communicate with employees.”


157. “When more than one person is accountable, nobody is.”


158. “What is vision? It’s clearly defining who and what your organization is, where it’s going and how it’s going to get there. It should be simple to articulate your vision, because it’s probably already in your head. Unfortunately, if there are five people on your leadership team, there may be five different variations of the company vision. The goal is to get you all on the same page. To the degree everyone on the team can answer the following eight questions and absolutely agree, you will have a clear vision.”


159. “That’s one of the main differences between a 10-year target and any shorter ones you might set. This is the one larger-than-life goal that everyone is working toward, the thing that gives everyone in the organization a long-range direction. Once your 10-year target is clear, you and your leadership team will start doing things differently in the here and now so as to get you there.”


160. He discusses the components that must be strengthened for a firm to adapt and prosper. It is a classic business self-help book that will undoubtedly be useful to you.


161. “Good news! Now that your core processes are documented, Step 3 is the easiest of all. Here’s where you take all of the great work you’ve done in Steps 1 and 2 and package it. The titles of your core processes now become your table of contents. Each documented process in Step 2 becomes one of your sections. You put them in a binder or on your company intranet. On the cover, put your company name followed by the word “Way.” If your company name is the ABC Company, then it should read “The ABC Company Way.”


162. “To take structure a step further, these three functions cannot operate independently of each other. That’s why all great organizations have another major function, a role that I like to call the integrator.”


163. “With the vision clear, people in place, and data being managed through a Scorecard, you’re creating a transparent organization where there is nowhere to hide. Your company is open and honest. Any obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your vision will be apparent. Your job is to now remove these barriers and solve the issues holding you back.”


164. “Core Values + People Analyzer = Right People”


165. “It is crucial to have a crystal clear picture of what you want to accomplish … Rivet your attention on that spot where you are to land at the end of your quantum leap”


166. “It’s still valuable, however, to create a picture of the future organization three years out. This will accomplish two vital objectives. First, your people will be able to “see” what you’re saying and determine if they want to be part of that scenario. Assuming they do, if they can see the vision, it’s more likely to happen. Second, it greatly improves the one-year planning process. With the three-year picture clearly in mind, you can more easily determine what you have to do in the next 12 months to stay on track.”


167. “The visionary and the integrator couldn’t be more different. In a small to mid-size company, the visionary is typically the owner, co-owner, or founder. In a partnership, most of the time, one partner is the visionary and the other is the integrator. It’s a dynamic that has elevated them to where they are. The visionary typically has 10 new ideas a week. Nine of them might not be so great, but one usually is, and it’s that one idea each week that keeps the organization growing. For this reason, visionaries are invaluable. They’re typically very creative. They’re great solvers of big ugly problems (not the little practical ones), and fantastic with important clients, vendors, suppliers, and banking relationships. The culture of the organization is very important to them, because they usually operate more on emotion and therefore have a better barometer of how people are feeling. If you’re one, know thyself and be free.”


168. “There are really only a handful of core processes that make any organization function. Systemizing involves clearly identifying what those core processes are and integrating them into a fully functioning machine. You will have a human resource process, a marketing process, a sales process, an operating process, a customer-retention process, an accounting process, and so on. These must all work together in harmony, and the methods you use should be crystal clear to everyone at all levels of the organization. The first step is to agree as a leadership team on what these processes are and then to give them a name. This is your company’s Way of doing business. Once you all agree on your Way, you will simplify, apply technology to, document, and fine-tune these core processes. In doing so, you will realize tremendous efficiencies, eliminate mistakes, and make it easier for managers to manage and for you to increase your profitability.”


169. “Your job as a leadership team is to establish your organization’s core focus and not to let anything distract you from that.”


170. “The ability to create accountability and discipline, and then execute, is the area of greatest weakness in most organizations. If I asked you to rate the level of accountability in your organization on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being your perfect level of accountability, how would you rate it? Successful leaders rate themselves high because they know how to gain traction. When meeting with the average new client for the first time, though, they typically rate their current accountability at 4.”


171. “Due to fear and lack of discipline, the Traction Component is typically most organizations’ weakest link. The inability to make a business vision a reality is epidemic. Consider it a new take on an old quote: Vision without traction is merely hallucination. All over the world, business consultants frequently conduct multiple-day strategic planning sessions and charge tens of thousands of dollars for teaching what is theoretically great material. The downside is that after making you feel warm and fuzzy about your direction, these same consultants rarely teach how to bring your vision down to the ground and make it work in the real world.”


172. “Entrepreneurs must get their vision out of their heads and down onto paper. From there, they must share it with their organization so that everyone can see where the company is going and determine if they want to go there with you. By getting everyone on the same page, you will find that problems get solved more quickly.”


173. “YOUR THREE UNIQUES Other common marketing terms for this are “differentiators” and “value proposition.” Plainly put, these are what make you different, what make you stand out, and what you’re competing with. If you line yourself up against 10 of your competitors, you might all share one of these uniques. Some of you may even share two, but no one else should have the three you do. You need to settle on three qualities that will truly make your company unique to the ideal customer.”


174. “The integrator is the person who harmoniously integrates the major functions of the business. When those major functions are strong and you have strong people accountable for each, great healthy friction and tension will occur between them. The integrator blends that friction into greater energy for the company as a whole.”


175. “With the three-year picture in mind, discuss, debate, and decide on the three to seven most important priorities that must be completed this year in order for you to be on track for your three-year picture. These become your goals. They need to be specific, measurable, and attainable. This is an important point.”


176. “The key question is this: What is the right structure to move your organization forward in the next six to 12 months?”


177. “The fourth and final element of your marketing strategy is your guarantee. Think of what Federal Express did with overnight delivery: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”


178. “Share the company Rocks with the entire organization. As you learned in the Vision Component, the vision must be shared by all.”


179. “The late Dr. David Viscott, author of Risking, wrote, “If you cannot risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot become your best. If you cannot become your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else matters?”


180. “THE QUARTERLY MEETING AGENDA • Segue • Review previous quarter • Review the V/TO • Establish next quarter’s Rocks • Tackle key issues • Next steps • Conclude”


181. “Gaining traction requires two disciplines. First, everyone in the organization should have Rocks, which are clear 90-day priorities designed to keep them focused on what is most important. The second discipline requires implementing what is called a Meeting Pulse at all levels in the organization, which will keep everyone focused, aligned, and in communication.”


182. “Please know that $2–$50 million companies really need you. We”


183. “Quarterly Rocks create a 90-Day World for your organization, a powerful concept that enables you to gain tremendous traction. How do they work? Every 90 days, your leadership team comes together to establish its priorities for the next 90 days based on your one-year plan.”


184. “Annual Planning is an opportunity to build team health, reset the vision, and create a clear plan for the next year.”


185. “Once you’ve determined your numbers, have everyone on the leadership team take a few minutes and 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.”


186. “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.”


187. “this Scorecard is not a P&L. It’s based on numbers showing activity and telling you whether you’re on track for a strong P&L. In other words, your Scorecard predicts your P&L.”


188. “Review all to-dos from last week’s meeting. To-dos are seven-day action items. From a weekly review comes accountability. By incorporating this agenda item, you will accomplish more as a team. To distinguish a Rock from a to-do, remember that a Rock is a 90-day priority while a to-do is a seven-day action item. To-dos consist of the commitments people make throughout the week that typically don’t get captured. For example, “I’ll call the printers tomorrow,” “It will be shipped tonight,” or “I will have every prospect on the list contacted by Friday.”


189. “A profit and loss statement is a trailing indicator. Its data comes after the fact, and you can’t change the past. With a Scorecard, however, you can change the future.”


190. “The right seat means that each of your employees is operating within his or her area of greatest skill and passion inside your organization and that the roles and responsibilities expected of each employee fit with his or her Unique Ability®.”


191. “You are not your business. Your business is an entity in and of itself. Yes, you created it, but in order to find success, you have to turn it into a self-sustaining organism. Reaching the next level requires more than just a product or service, or a simple determination to succeed. You need skills, tools, and a system to optimize your people, processes, execution, management, and communication. You need strong guiding principles that will work for your company day in and day out.”


192. “When addressing issues, leadership teams spend most of their time discussing the heck out of everything, rarely identifying anything, and hardly ever solving something. It’s truly an epidemic within the business world. Most teams suffer from different challenges when solving issues. The common ones include fear of conflict, lack of focus, lack of discipline, lack of commitment, and personal ego.”


193. “One of the obstacles in gaining traction and achieving your vision is that roles, responsibilities, expectations, and job descriptions are unclear due to structural issues.”


194. “Once your team is in place, each member needs to agree that the problems in the organization are also his or her responsibility.”


195. “You must do a little pruning from time to time for the organization to flourish. Merely hoping that poorly fitting people will make it, sending them to a seminar, or giving them a pep talk is like overwatering the plant. It isn’t going to solve the problem. Once you do the necessary pruning, your organization will be revitalized.”


196. “You solve problems faster. When an activity-based number is off track, you can attack it and solve the problem proactively, unlike with an end-result based number that shows up after it’s too late to change it.”


197. “The real goal is 80 percent or better. If you’re above that level, you have a well-oiled machine with the traction you require. The highest score ever achieved is 88 percent, by The Benefits Company, a 10-person organization that is one of the best small companies I’ve ever seen. Rob Tamblyn, the owner and a pure visionary, had a vision to create the best service company in the benefits business. Since beginning The EOS Process, The Benefits Company has experienced 30 percent growth on average every year for the last five years. To say that it’s gaining traction would be an understatement.”


198. “What you need to show is how the new system will create efficiencies to make their lives easier and the company more successful. They need to understand how the processes tie together into a complete system.”


199. “The right people are the ones who share your company’s core values. They fit and thrive in your culture. They are people you enjoy being around and who make your organization a better place to be.”


200. “If you didn’t complete 80% you need to understand why and learn from it.”


201. “The weekly leadership team Issues List. The time frame on these items is much shorter. These are all of the relevant issues for this week and quarter that must be tackled at the highest level. These issues will be resolved in your weekly leadership team meetings. You should not be solving departmental issues. These will typically be more strategic in nature. If it can be solved at a departmental level, push it down. Leadership issues include things as diverse as company Rocks being off track, a bad number in the Scorecard, key employee issues, major client difficulties, and process-and system-related problems.”


202. “Review all of your numbers (quarterly revenue, profit, gross margin, and any other relevant key numbers) and your Rocks (company and leadership teams on the Rock Sheet) from the previous quarter to confirm which ones were achieved and which were not. I highly recommend simply stating “done” or “not done” for each. This will give you a clear, black-and-white picture of how you performed. Don’t get caught up in believing you can complete 100 percent of your Rocks every quarter. It’s perfectionist thinking and not realistic. You always want to strive for 80 percent completion or better—that’s enough to be truly great.”


203. “All over the world, business consultants frequently conduct multiple-day strategic planning sessions and charge tens of thousands of dollars for teaching what is theoretically great material. The downside is that after making you feel warm and fuzzy about your direction, these same consultants rarely teach how to bring your vision down to the ground and make it work in the real world.”


204. “Organizations usually expand in spurts, by smashing through a series of ceilings. Reaching the natural limits of your existing resources is a by-product of growth, and a company continually needs to adjust its existing state if it hopes to expand through the next ceiling. You and your leadership team need to understand this, because you will hit the ceiling on three different levels: as an organization, departmentally, and as individuals.”


205. “Please ask these three questions with your leadership team: 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?”


206. “There are three stages in documenting your Way. First, identify your core processes. Then break down what happens in each one and document it. Finally, compile the information into a single package for everyone in your company.”


207. “Some businesses are not suitable for guarantees. Fifty percent of EOS clients do not have guarantees because they haven’t been able to come up with a great one that will drive more business.”


208. “Your company is open and honest. Any obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your vision will be apparent. Your job is to now remove these barriers and solve the issues holding you back.”


209. “If you cannot risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot become your best. If you cannot become your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else matters?”


210. “The quarterly state-of-the-company has proven to be the most effective discipline for helping people share, understand, and buy into the company vision. In its purest form, the meeting has a three-part agenda. 1. Where you’ve been 2. Where you are 3. Where you are going”


211. “People need to hear the vision seven times before they really hear it for the first time.”


212. “there are only three major functions in any business and those three functions make every organization run, regardless of whether it’s a start-up business or the largest company in the world.”


213. “Do you see what I’m saying?”


214. “Above all else, your leaders need to be able to simplify, delegate, predict, systemize, and structure.”


215. “when you have finished setting your Rocks and all the dust has settled, you should all be united on what objectives take precedence in the coming quarter. The focus of the Rocks is what makes this process so productive. Most organizations enter the next quarter battling on all fronts. They make everything a priority and accomplish very little. By setting Rocks every quarter as a team, you gain considerably more traction and finally reach your goals.”


216. “By answering the following eight questions and filling out the V/TO, we will clarify exactly what your vision is. Let’s get started. The eight questions are as follows: 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 three-year picture? 6. What is your one-year plan? 7. What are your quarterly Rocks? 8. What are your issues? Please note that it’s recommended that you try to answer all eight questions in a full one-or two-day off-site session.”


217. “a Visionary, you choose who works for you. As a leadership team member, you choose who works with you. Only choose people that have your Core Values.”


218. “The Scorecard should cause an organizational shift. Your leadership team will become more proactive at solving problems because you’ll have hard data that not only points out current problems but also predicts future ones.”


219. “By contrast, integrators are typically very good at leading, managing, and holding people accountable. They love running the day-to-day aspects of the business. They are accountable for profit and loss, plus the overall business plan for the organization. They remove obstacles so that people running the major functions can execute. They’re great at special projects. In sum, they operate more on logic. If you are one, know thyself and be stressed.”


220. “most entrepreneurs can clearly see their vision. Their problem is that they make the mistake of thinking that everyone else in the organization sees it too. In most cases, they don’t, and as a result, leaders end up frustrated, staff ends up confused, and great visions are left unrealized.”

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