Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) with Mike Paton

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

What system do you use to operate your company?

In this video, Mike Paton breaks down Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), a set of tools that entrepreneurs use to steer their companies to success. EOS® gives a framework for managing your Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction.

After the Interview

About Mike Paton

Mike Paton is the co-author of “Get A Grip: An Entrepreneurial Fable.” Paton has conducted more than 1,200 full-day sessions with the leadership teams of more than 110 companies and helped thousands more entrepreneurs by sharing EOS® in dynamic talks and workshops the world over.

Read the Transcript

Allison Dunn:  Welcome to the Deliberate Leaders podcast, I’m Allison Dunn, your host and today I am super excited with the guest that we have today.

His name is Mike Paton and he goes by Paton so I’m going to drop the Mike from here on out.

Paton is the author of “Get A Grip.” Were you co-author of “Traction” as well?

Mike Paton:  No. Gino wrote “Traction.” He and I co-authored “Get A Grip.”

Allison:  “Get A Grip” OK.

I just want to give “Get A Grip” the full authority.

How to get everything you want from your entrepreneurial business and it is an awesome read. I highly encourage you to read the book.

Today, he also works with co-author Gino at the EOS worldwide. In his role he works hands on with hundreds of leadership teams to help them implement the operating system in their business.

Thank you very much for joining us here today, Paton. It’s great to have you.

Mike: Absolutely. My pleasure, Allison. Thanks for having me.

Allison: Absolutely.

I know what EOS stands for but I’m hoping that you’ll kindly introduce the concept to my listeners.

Mike: Sure.

It stands for the Entrepreneurial Operating System and my longtime friend and co-author and business partner, Gino Wickman, created EOS because when he was trying to run his family business as a young entrepreneur, he discovered that all the tools in the marketplace available for people to become better leaders, managers, or runners of businesses were oriented around corporate leadership and he detected a massive difference between the person who owns and runs a small, fast paced, rapidly growing business, and somebody who leads a large corporation with the teams that come to you with strategic decisions to make and he really sought to create a simple set of timeless tools and disciplines that would help entrepreneurs get more of what they want from their businesses.

Allison: Are you saying that you feel like the EOS was designed for a larger organization?

Mike: Privately held organizations with between 10 and 250 people whose owners are growth oriented, open minded, more afraid of the status quo than they are of change and want help.

That’s what it was built for and absolutely not the larger organization.

Allison: Ok. I would say there’s a few books that I will consistently recommend that support my general principles of what I teach as an executive coach and “Traction” is I’d say in one my top 2 most commonly like you’ve got to read this and help business owners and organizations understand some systems, right?

Mike: Yes, and Allison I’m regular listener. Should know I’m here because I had the same impression when I read “Traction” for the first time. 13 years ago, I was running a $7 million company and I was frustrated and stuck and neighbor introduced me to Gino and the book “Traction” had just been printed for the first time and it’s simple, timeless stuff but it just really resonated with me and felt like we were on the verge of helping ourselves and the ability to help a lot of other people and that’s what I’ve been enjoying doing ever since.

Allison: For sure. I’m curious because I would like to know, you’ve run a $7 million business, what industry what type of business was it?

Mike: Yes, I ran or helped run 4 entrepreneurial companies and the last one was market research firm.

Allison: Interesting.

Mike: Interspatial headquartered here in Minneapolis, the 3 prior to that were in various service industries but always a member of the leadership team, always typically on the go to market sales and marketing side and 2 great successes and 2 dismal failures and obviously you learn a lot more and grow a lot faster when you’re struggling.

Allison: Truly.

Mike: I’ve struggled plenty for almost everybody tuning into their [Inaudible 00:04:32].

Allison: Well, I appreciate that humble honesty. I think the best learnings come from when you struggle through how things sometimes don’t work to figure out how they do work.

I’m hoping we can spend a few minutes doing a little bit of a deep dive on the EOS system and there’s a few key elements for me and how I look at organizations that I work with and I’m hoping when we tune into those, I’ll have you dive deeper into those particular topics but OK, Yes. All right.

Could you do a general breakdown for my audience of what the EOS model is?

Mike: Yes. One of the discoveries, made early on when he was working with fellow entrepreneurs to help them solve common business challenges they were facing is that all the issues we tend to wrestle with and entrepreneurs love to wrestle with issues. We got 136 at the same drivers power hole and God forbid everything be running along smoothly.

That’s scary and what he found was the common problems, challenges, and obstacles tended to fall into 6 areas or what we now call the 6 key components and to the extent an organization can be great at these 6 things are strong in these 6 key components.

All those 136 issues just tend to fall into place and its vision, which is getting everybody in the organization 100% on the same page with where you’re going and how you plan to get there.

People, which is the art and science of attracting and retaining great people and great is a definition we work to create for every unique organization because there’s no standard definition of great person. It’s unique from organization to organization.

Data, which is running your business on objective information, facts, and figures, rather than feelings, egos, emotions, and using that data to make better, stronger, faster decisions and from there, what we find is when you’re strong in the vision people in data components, your organization becomes a lot more transparent, which is a blessing and a curse because that means you smoke out a lot of issues.

The 4th key component is the issues component and the issues component is about getting better at recognizing when you have issues, getting them on a list, and solving them for the long term record good.

We’re not trying to make people better at creating issues, we’re trying to make them better at resolving those issues and then the process component is the ability to get the most important stuff in your business done the right and best way every time without you having to be there to coach, mentor, manage, and redirect people and that’s what allows you to create consistency and scalability in your business so you can grow at any size you choose.

Then the final component, the 6th key component is called the traction component and it’s at the bottom of the EOS model for a reason because we find if you have a clear vision and you can’t bring it down to the ground and execute on that vision, you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and that’s what frustrates so many entrepreneurs.

Traction’s about instilling discipline and accountability throughout the company and giving you the feeling that everywhere you look people are helping get you closer to achieving that vision rather than spinning wheels or actually pulling you away from achieving.

Allison: One of the things on the topic of vision is that I work with a lot of people who truly are the visionary of their business and I loved the introduction of the role of the integrator that so many businesses wait too long to get in a lot of cases and then once they get them, they don’t know what to do with them.

Do you have any guidance on how to get your organization aligned with the visionary allowing an integrator to come in and do?

Mike: Yes, and before I go into the details of how, I want to share a little context.

Visionary entrepreneurs are by nature great builders of things. Often from scratch with as many obstacles as possible and the more people telling you can’t possibly succeed, the better, right?

The way that feels to do that successfully and the skills required to do that successfully are just so vastly different from the skills required to keep 40 trains running on time every day.

Allison: Truly.

Mike: That’s the context I like to share when we’re talking about visionary integrator because I don’t want to make anybody feel bad that it took them a little while to recognize their business was less about building something and overcoming obstacles and more about keeping trains running on time.

It’s normal to have a little delay there, right? And what visionary entrepreneurs recognize when they’re stuck in that place is that they feel out of place in their own business. They lose their passion.

Allison: Absolutely.

Mike: They’re frustrated by their people and lack of profit and nobody really cares enough or gets it and people watching this podcast, please know you’re normal if that’s the way you feel and it is not your lot in life to have to make that transition and change who you are to be a great leader of your organization.

That’s the power of the visionary integrator partnership is a great visionary paired with a person whose genetic encoding is keeping trains running on time. Man, what a powerful combination that is and that’s how it’s easy to let go is when you embrace your inner visionary and you welcome in somebody whose job is distinctly different from your genetic encoding and you work together as partners with healthy productive conflict for the greater good of the organization.

Hopefully, that helps.

Allison: That is super helpful. I recognize that when an organization or can confine that pair, that’s really when truly the magic does happen and having the right people in the right seats.

That leads me to my next question. Just generally, people.

What are the most common things that you find when someone is not in the right position inside of an organization?

How often people go like,

“How do I know when I’m supposed to let them go?”

And I’m like,

“Well, if you’re thinking it, then maybe or have you not already let them go in your head?”


Mike: Yes, that’s exactly right.

6 months earlier than when the first thought of [Inaudible 00:11:25] and again, when we talk about the people component in a vacuum, it’s a little dangerous because it can come off sounding cold hearted.

What we’re teaching entrepreneurs to do is accept the responsibility of defining what a great person means for your organization because nobody can be successful in a company, no matter how well intentioned they are and how skilled they are. If they don’t know what your expectations are and we use Jim Collins terminology, “Right person in the right seat,” to identify 2 distinct attributes that are really critical of a great person.

  • You got to fit our culture or consistently exhibit our core values and
  • You got to be really good at your job without a lot of coaching, mentoring, or redirection necessary for me. Otherwise, I’m never going to get any of my own stuff done. Right?

Those are 2 reasonable expectations and we try and bring clarity and simplicity to those 2 expectations by clearly defining core values and communicating them consistently to everybody in the organization and then clearly defining everyone’s 5 roles in the seat they own on an accountability chart and which enables a leader or a manager to say to their people,

“Hey, if you share our core values and you’re really good at this job, man, we’ve got a great partnership here.”

And that’s the number 1 reason you have people issues is you’re not taking enough time to create clarity around that. Once you do create clarity, 80% of the time, they say,

“Thank you very much. I’m glad you’ve made yourself clear. I’ll work harder at these things.”

And they’re good to go and 20% of the time, they’re not a fit and that’s when you have to have open and honest, direct 2 way conversations with your people. Sit them down and let them know there’s a gap. It’s not your job to figure out why there’s a gap, just let them know there’s a gap, offer a partnership to them so that you can coach them up and if you can’t coach them up, you got to replace them with somebody who shares your core values and is really good at his or her job.

It’s very simple stuff but because humans are involved, it’s very difficult.

Allison: It’s incredible how long organizations do keep someone and keep them in a very unclear position about how to actually be successful and I’d say that is probably the most common challenge that I see.

Mike: Yes, go ahead.

Allison: The lack of clarity on what it is that you expect.

Mike: Yes, and of course, the danger isn’t necessarily the impact that has on that one relationship but when that lack of clarity fasters and everybody in your organization knows there’s somebody here that doesn’t fit, they don’t fit our culture, you’re not good at their job, you run the risk of losing some people who do fit the culture and are great at their jobs because we’re not dealing with this obvious problem and that’s reflecting poorly on me and that’s where I get concerned and very passionate about.

We’ve given you a set of tools that help you identify the issue. Now, we’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do to go solve that issue and that’s what he brings to the table.

Allison: People are the most difficult part of an organization for sure.

Let’s go to the easier stuff. Let’s talk about data. How’s that?

Mike: Unless we’re talking about how data will let you know that it might be time to make a change to the people.

Allison: What type of data would help someone understand when they do need to make a people change?

Mike: Yes, I’ll share a little philosophy first of all.

What we’re trying to do is help the people who own, run, and work in the business use data to be great. The same way a championship team uses data to be great.

The data component isn’t strong when you have a lot of data. It’s strong when you’re good at using the data. You have to make better, stronger, faster decisions and what’s ironic to me being in the business world, as long as I have now, when I first started, there was little to no data in almost every organization and today, more companies than not seem to be drowning in data and it’s not helping to make better, stronger, faster decisions.

What we teach the leadership team to do is focus on 5 to 15 leading indicators that give you an ability to predict the future, how our results going to come out next month or next quarter, and react to those off track leading indicators to prevent failure from happening in the future and then we migrate that discipline down into the organization so that every team, every department, every team, and every individual in the company has at least one number.

They all feel accountable for keeping on track and then what happens when you do that well is you don’t have to proactively manage to the data because if you’ve got somebody reporting to you,

“Allison, that has a number that’s off track.”

They’re coming to you as a manager and saying,

“Hey, Allie, why is this number? I can’t get it back on track. Help me.”

What a great relationship that is, as opposed to the way I used to manage back in the pre data days where I was laying in bed awake at night, wondering if my people were being successful or not and scared to death to go ask them or assuming they lie anyway so what was the point, right?

Numbers just help bring clarity to a relationship that allow you to go have a healthy, constructive conversation when stuff isn’t working. That’s the approach we like to take with the tools.

Allison: Is there any one specific data point that is typically consistent among all scorecards?

Mike: I will tell you, most entrepreneurs like to see cash balance on their [Inaudible 00:17:31].

Allison: Me too.

Mike: We laugh because that is not a leading indicator.

Allison: It is not.

Mike: But it is a sign that you’re an entrepreneur, right?

I want to know when I’m about to run out of money is a common thing but yes, no, leading indicators that I see a lot are the number of leads, the number of proposals sent, the dollar amount of those proposals, opportunities, qualified, and quantified that we just put into our pipeline and a great example I saw recently is a client of mine that runs medical industry offices.

They had been measuring customer satisfaction survey scores and we had a conversation about leading indicators and the question I asked was,

“What are the leading indicators to dissatisfied customers?”

And one of the things they came up with is when they have to wait more than 5 minutes beyond their appointment time before they’re seen by the specialist and they put that on their scorecard.

Those are the conversations we have that lead people to build the right scorecard for them that gives them the absolute ability to predict.

Allison: I will share. I was a part of an employee ownership ESOPcompany, we were an engineering firm and we still are an engineering firm, just to clarify that.

Our leading indicator after we went through probably maybe 9 or 10 different scorecards to try to figure out how we could drive the changes that we wanted to inside of our organization. Some people think, well, I did a scorecard.

Honestly, you probably did it wrong the first time.

Mike: Yes. We call it the first cut of the scorecard and it will evolve over time.

Allison: And ours did and we honed it into what ended up becoming the mantra of our entire organization which was billable hours and that seems simplistic and I almost felt like it was constricting in some way.

Mike: That’s right. Yes, and when you measure everything, you measure nothing, right?

And what we preach at the leadership level of the organization is 5 to 15 leading indicators that give you an absolute pulse on how things are working throughout the business and a lot of teams do tend to galvanize around 1, 2, or 3 bellwether measurables but I’ve got clients that trend to the 15 side of that spectrum and clients that trend to the 5 and you got to find your own and an engineering company, talk about people who understand data and want to see a lot of it.

I applaud you for being able to narrow it down to something that would give you a leading indicator that you need to dive deeper and then on the second look, you can dive deeper and look at additional data but if you’re looking at all that data at once, what I see a lot Allison is there, people are sitting around the table scratching their head saying,

“What is this really telling me?” When you’re drowning in data.

And what we want you to do is look at these leading indicators and be able to make better, stronger, faster decisions.

Allison: I love that. I love data a lot.

Let’s talk about issues and issues from the point of like, I refer to your level 10 meeting.

For me, I look at that’s an issue. That’s not part of what we’re talking about today and it goes to the issues list.

How long can an issue stay on the issues list before it ever gets addressed or falls off?

Mike: Well, let’s define what an issue is and what we do to solve it and then we’ll answer that specific.

An issue is a problem, challenge, obstacle roadblock but that’s a Western Hemisphere definition of the word issue. It’s also a new idea that you can’t seem to find the time to pursue a great opportunity out there in the marketplace and now we’re so busy keeping the trains running on time, we don’t have time for that.

Good and bad issues and the 2 tools and disciplines we teach to strengthen the issue solving component is something we call an issues list which if to the uninitiated is just like having a suggestion box in your building and that’s not what we’re talking about at all.

We’re talking about changing the culture of an organization from a don’t shoot the messenger, fear of bringing things forward to a culture where everybody celebrates the person who’s got the courage to raise his or her hand and says,

“Hey, I don’t know how to do my job.”

“That piece of direction you gave me last week that you thought was crystal clear. It didn’t make any sense to me at all.”

Those are the cultural changes we’re trying to make here where people feel comfortable raising their hand and say,

“We got to get better at this”


“We’ve got a problem we need to once you do that.”

We simply teach a discipline of solving the issue at the root. Digging past the symptom that often gets itself on to the issues list,

“Oh, our sales are off track.”

That’s a symptom of some larger root cause and really figuring out why our sales are off track and then solving that. That is how you prevent issues from lingering on your issues list for weeks, months, quarters, and even years and there’s 2 ways of doing that.

You just ignore it, you wrap duct tape and twine around it and you convince yourself it’s so big and airy. If we untie that little piece of twine, all hell’s going to break loose and you sit in your office open, it doesn’t blow up on you or you’ve been trying to solve it every quarter since the first day of your business and you just keep solving symptoms and never really solve it at the root and EOS gives you a framework for getting better at that over time.

Allison: Is it simple enough to ask you could you share the general framework for how to identify the issue?

Mike: Yes, it is such a simple framework. Half of your viewers are going to click leave this meeting right now.

Allison: No, they’re not. I promise.


Ask questions. My job as a facilitator, when this is happening in my session room is, I’ll say,

“All right, who’s teeing up the issue and who you’re talking to?”

It’s always somebody who’s got a question leader issue and somebody else who’s got to make a decision and I’ll say in one sentence with no commas, which is very important for some people.

“Can you hit the nerve? What’s the root cause of this issue?”

And if we don’t hear the root cause right out of the gate, I just keep asking,

“Gosh! Whoa. I haven’t heard the real issue yet. Could you try and re articulate that issue? What do you need?”

And I’m literally just asking questions, until everybody in the room goes,

“OK. There’s the issue.”

Until you hear that sweet sound of agreement, that’s the issue we’ve got to solve. Then we jump to discuss and when the issue is crystal clear and we all agree the discussion is usually really short and then usually a decision needs to be made and decisions are almost always simple.

When the issue is clear, that doesn’t make them easy. Sometimes you got to let somebody go or shut down a business unit that you’ve got some passion for, disappoint a customer and employee, those are hard decisions but that they’re not complex decisions and that’s how EOS works to help you really pinpoint what you need to solve and make the decisions necessary to move the business forward.

Allison: OK, thank you for explaining that.

I think we often look at issues and it’s really a symptom and how to dive down to find actually the issue itself.

Mike: Sure.

Allison: Let’s talk about processes. I would consider this to be the 5th step of the EOS system and stumbling block that a lot of organizations have on the best way to document the process and then once it’s written that it goes on a shelf and no one follows the process.

What are your tips for all of us that have that or know people who have that?

Mike: Yes, what we teach is a 20-80 approach to documenting, simplifying, and getting your core processes followed by all the anti SLP manual approach.

Number 1, we start this endeavor at the leadership team and we make the case that if we don’t all agree what the handful of truly core processes are, the things that make us unique, our secret sauce, well, then what are we documenting in the first place and we get the leadership team to agree on what they are and every organization has an HR process.

For example, a marketing process, a sales process, ample of operating processes, and a counter customer retention or satisfaction process, and maybe an accounting process. It’s literally just a hammer and then we agree what they are, where they start and stuff, and what their names are, and then one process at a time we go document and simplify them by identifying the 20% of the steps that get us 80% of the results and we work to get on the same page.

When we’re selling something, we should start with this step and then do this and then do that and yes, my goodness, I know that every customer is different and every sale is different but if we have our druthers, how should we manage the process.

If we can control it start to finish and I know we can’t and we get that on paper and we all look at it. We try and poke holes in it and when we all agree, then we say,

“All right, let’s just teach everybody who’s engaged in even one step in the sales process.”

This is the way we do it at ABC company and if you do that for your handful of core processes, you’re going to have a 5 to 25 page process manual, a series of pilots checklists that everybody in the organization will use because they’re 1 or 2 pages long and you can use that to train people in on the basics, knowing that as they become more experienced or ask questions of your more senior staff or your managers, they’ll learn to fill in the blanks between those major steps in the processes in a way that you’d be proud of them.

That’s our philosophy and it is again, painfully simple that it is difficult to believe it actually works and I’ve just seen it work so darn many times, is super powerful.

Allison: I can just speak from my own experience, I would get serious pushback on suggesting that 100% would go into a system that my engineering firm, it’s like this is the structure. If we follow just this general structure and they’re like the detail.

Is that uncommon to get pushback on?

Mike: Yes, and the engineering and accounting firms, its super common that I hear that all the time and I say,

“There’s a little karate in this work, right where you use the momentum against you.”

What I’ll say to a leader who’s advocating for that is I’ll tell you what we’re focused on at the leadership level is building an executive summary of the detailed process you want to go build.

OK, if you’re accountable for sales in the engineering company and you think we need a 25 page document, I’m not going to die on that hill, Allison but what I am going to say is,

“Before you go build that 25 page document, wouldn’t it benefit you to make sure your entire leadership team agrees that this is the executive summary of the major steps in that process, and then we can say goodbye at any way you want? As long as you follow these major steps, I like that, then if you want to make a change, come back and talk to us about the high level document because that’s the other thing. If you want to get everybody in the company on the same page with something an 87 page document is the worst possible way to do that. Nobody ever reads those doctors in enough detail to get on the same page.”

That’s the philosophy of EOS is let’s start at a high level, get aligned, and then go to the level of detail that’s necessary for you and your team.

Allison: I like that. I’m not a detail gal but working with 100 other engineers, it forced me to swing in a different direction and I was hard and I’m not.

I don’t mean to be dissing my engineers, I love my engineers but.

Mike: You know that but again, you are who you are, that’s great.

That’s the great thing about this work is, we got people around the table and it’s better when they are who they are than it is when they try and be something else.

Allison: Let’s talk about the final step in the ecosystem and “Traction,” and I love the word “Traction.”

It implies action, it implies like moving forward. It’s a strong word.

What holds people back from getting traction? What holds businesses back from getting traction?

Mike: Well, one of the things I hear a lot when I go do a talk or a workshop with a roomful of visionary entrepreneurs is, I’ll get a handful of people come up afterwards and say that “Traction” component when you talk about discipline and accountability paid and that’s what we really need and I say out,

“Is that right? What do you mean?”

“I’m thinking, if I put this in the people around, we will be more disciplined and accountable.”

And I get to say,

“Aha, I think we might have identified the root cause here because you can’t have a group of people around you that are disciplined and accountable if you the owner, founder, leader, visionary, aren’t willing to be a little bit more disciplined and accountable to.”

And one of the things that I think help CEOs be effective as we start by working with the entire leadership team, including the visionary.

Now, the cool thing about visionaries is we’re only holding them accountable to being great visionaries and we’re trying to relieve them from the duty to be also great at owning the finance seat and approving all the expenses and selling everything and making all the key strategic decisions.

We’re building a team around him to be accountable for the parts of the job that have worn them out but you got to be willing to be accountable and discipline yourself in order to create an organization that runs on discipline and accountability and that’s the number one challenge.

I see entrepreneurial companies. We’re the world’s greatest rationalizers. Yes, I didn’t get any of the 3 things I said I was going to do when we met a quarter ago done but I didn’t do these 3 new ideas that popped on my desk.

Why are you looking at me like that? I’m as guilty as the next guy.

Allison: You just alluded to it which was my next question is.

I’m working with the leadership team identifying the 3 and you reference them as rocks for the quarter. When are you allowed to not work on the rock that you’ve identified? When is that OK?

Mike: Yes, just a little context.

We first set company rocks with the leadership team. What are the 3 to 7 essential life or death priorities for our organization this quarter? And then once we’ve set those rocks, we assign each rock to a member of the leadership team and then we ask them to fill out the rest of their rocks for the quarter.

Everybody walks out of this session clear on the 3 to 7 priorities for our organization and my 3 to 7 priorities and they should consume your time and attention.

At all of my leadership team members have day jobs too. They learn very painfully how to allow for the typical day job and stuff that happens and the crises that occur in the middle of the quarter and ideally, you’re laser focused on pushing those priorities over the finish line, quarter in and quarter app on rare occasion, a new priority crops up and, it is going to take some time and energy and you make a strategic decision that this new thing that just landed on my desk today is more important than one of my 3 to 7 rocks this quarter and you talk to your leadership team members just you don’t get to make this decision unilaterally and say,

“I’m feeling like this new thing is more important than this and I can’t do both. I’m going to quit working on this rock.”

That happens 2 or three times a year. It’s not the end of the world any more than 2 times a year for the whole team. I’m not just talking about each individual, whole team. You just need to get better at predicting.

Allison: OK. Can swap them out but it’s improving your prediction of what’s going to be?

Mike: I wouldn’t say swap them out I what we call that a non-rock, I’m going to stop working on this thing. I’ve got another priority that’s consuming some bandwidth. It’s not going to be a rock for me until we’re writing rocks next quarter but I need your permission to quit working on this thing we agreed was a priority. That’s called a non-rock.

Allison: I like it.

What would you say is the number one benefit that people have expressed from working through or starting your EOS model?

Mike: Yes, great question. We actually did a survey almost 9 years ago now where we were hoping to get a lot of really powerful data about the impact on businesses that EOS has had and the number one response to this survey was,

“You gave me my life back.”

And I can’t tell you the number of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs’ family members who have emailed or called me to say thank you for that because you know what? People who aren’t entrepreneurs don’t understand is on the cover of the magazine at all looks fabulous but it is a lonely, frightening, painful existence many days out of the year and my big message to everybody I talked to is,

“It is not your lot in life to be unhappy every day when you go to the office to have lost your passion for your business to feel like you’ve got to make a choice between being a good entrepreneur and a good husband or wife or a parent to your family. You don’t need to make that choice. You just got to figure out how to break through the ceiling. Find a great group of people around you can trust to help you achieve your vision and generate a little traction and that’s the number one benefit.”

Allison: Yes. Kindred spirits in that respect. I love the fact that I get to do that every day.

I’ve got to 2 more questions and I if you don’t know the answer to this that’s perfectly fine.

I’ve got “Get A Grip” in my hand and then on my bookshelf, which is right over here. I’ve got “Traction.” I’ve got “Rocket Fuel.” I’ve got maybe a few more on my nightstand at home, what order do I read? What order should someone?

Mike: Consider it depends on who you are and where you are in the organization. The best place to start in my opinion is “Traction.” It is the definitive how to guide for an entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial leadership team member. How do I put the system Gino created to work in my own business and you’re going to get the most lift from that book.

He and I wrote “Get A Grip” for a number of reasons. One of which was a lot of visionaries and other leaders are more experiential learners than they are how to learners and “Get A Grip” tells a story. It’s a business fable about a real life company implementing EOS and if you happen to be an experiential learner, you’ve learned more by doing or watching than you do by reading or studying. That’s a great read.

“How To Be A Great Boss” is a great book for people who lead and manage others it’s the EOS way of driving accountability.


Allison: Is the title of that one “How To Be A Great Boss?”

Mike: “How To Be A Boss,”

Allison: I don’t own that one.

Mike: Yes, I run to the store immediately I where books are sold but that’s written by my by Gino and my longtime friend and colleague Rene Bohr and it’s a fabulous piece of work. Very simple, very high level, will make everybody a better leader and manager.

“Rocket Fuel” is a good book for visionaries or integrators or other leadership team members to read understand the visionary integrator partnership and then “What The Heck is EOS?” is the basic primer.

A lot of frontline staff or mid managers, frontline leaders, managers, team leaders get real value from just understanding why EOS is important? And what each of the basic foundational tools are? What my job is? And making sure we’re using them properly. Those are the 5 books in the “Traction” library and that’s why you should read each of them.

Allison: Awesome. Well, I’m missing one. I will go out,

Mike: Renee says,

“Thank you.”

Allison: I’m just curious, how many implementers do you have nationwide?

Mike: Around the world, it’s 350.

Now I’d say that’s about 320 in the US and 30 internationally and the growth rate internationally is significantly higher than the growth rate.

Locally, I’m not so the growth has been amazing and we’re excited about 350 World Class individuals I’m proud to call friends and colleagues.

Allison: No doubt. I’m sure Paton.

What would be the best way for people to be able to find you or follow you online? What would you recommend?

Mike:  Yes, from a resource center standpoint, our website eosworldwide.com is a place you can find everything.

I’m there on the implementer directory so people can connect to me direct from there.

My email, I know my assistant will provide you for you to put your show notes but I welcome anybody reaching out directly to me.

We’re all here to help the community of professional EOS implementer is just excited about the opportunity to help entrepreneurs and their leadership team so we can help please reach out and we’ll be here to help you.

Allison:  Awesome, Paton.

It has been such a pleasure speaking to you today.

Thank you for your time and all that you’re doing for the world.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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