I often hear “This sounds like Traction” or “Are you familiar with Traction” when making a sales presentation to a prospective client.
Recently, when presenting my Succession Planning Coaching scope of work with a father and his 26-year-old son, leading a company with about 150 employees, I explained that our work would likely transition at some point to working with the leaders and managers on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to hold weekly meetings, monthly one-on-one coaching calls and quarterly strategic thinking and execution planning sessions.
It's at this point in my presentation that I hear something like, “This sounds like Traction.”
Why is this? Or perhaps you might ask, “What is Traction?”
The reason, as I explain to people, is that Traction is a book written by Gino Wickman, who founded EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) and has become enormously popular among small and medium-sized businesses. At its core, it is remarkably similar to Verne Harnish's Rockefeller Habits book and Scaling Up book (Verne founded Gazelles, now called Scaling Up).
This is because Gino was one of the first highly successful coaches implementing the Rockefeller Habits before leaving to found EOS. And I was a Rockefeller Habits/Scaling Up certified coach for over 5 years and utilized their One Page Strategic Plan format from pre-2010 when I used materials I learned from The Coaches Coach. Although I adopted the title EOS Implementer in 2020, after six months of that affiliation, I dropped it because it didn't fit me. However, I continue to use software with my clients originally born out of the EOS ecosystem.
The difference between what I offer as a team coach (consultant and advisor) from EOS and Scaling Up is several-fold:
- My clients usually identify as family businesses or having family business issues, i.e., succession issues, family team dynamics, communication conflict, etc. None of these issues are addressed by EOS or Scaling Up.
- My clients typically need something more than EOS offers and less than what Scaling Up has. The first is too simple or reductive for some people. The latter is too complex or more comprehensive for other people. EOS is limited to execution (they call it Traction). Its materials are okay on the people element but it doesn't go deep enough. It's entirely lacking in strategy and financial analysis. In my mind, EOS is biblical (i.e., it doesn't reference its source material). Scaling Up is bibliographical (it references tons of other books and thought leaders).
- For my clients, I can't advocate for the concept of teaching EOS pure. Most of my clients come to me because they want something more tailored to their situation. This is why I chose to educate my clients using a more agnostic approach.
- My clients see the benefit of one-on-one coaching with their leadership team members so those individuals can work ON themselves and ON the business.
- My clients see the benefit of having an “embedded” coach – one who participates in weekly team meetings and integrates the team with my teachings and the tools.
In short, yes. What I offer is like Traction and Scaling Up, but my work has evolved over the past 30 years and has been influenced by many programs and thought leaders. Many business coaching schools of thought swim in similar waters so that they will look alike.
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