Book review: Traction

The book Traction is an interesting read. Not being an expert in business, I’m not sure how useful it is, but seems to have practical ideas such as:

  • make sure you have measurable metrics – everyone has a number. Seems like this could be useful even at a person level (measure and track billable hours per week, hours coding, etc).
  • ideas to make meetings more productive
  • narrowing focus is important for success
  • vision is important, and it is important to work with people who have the same values/vision
  • suggests weekly and 90-day meetings are important

Overall, I have a fairly negative attitude about meetings – perhaps because many of the meetings I’ve been in were not all that productive. However, many experts suggest they are a good solution – more on this in the future …

The author provides worksheets to help implement the ideas.

Some quotes from the book:

  • 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 the time, one partner is the visionary, and the other is the integrator.
  • Do as I say, not as I do" is not effective management. I say this because most of the time this step fails because the owner or owners are not willing to follow the process.
  • The ability to create accountability and discipline, and then execute, is the are of greatest weakness in most organizations.
  • After more than 20 years of observing failures, I realized how to bridge the bap between vision and execution.
  • Less is always better, and a few priorities are better than many. Do less, accomplish more.
  • Just make sure that at least 50 percent of the meeting time is spent solving issues.
  • Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
  • If you’re racing to get to the end of the journey, you’ll be sorely disappointed. By embracing this journey-focused approach, you’re going against the grain of what most believe is right. As a result, it’s hard to understand the truth.