As a Certified EOS Implementer, a lot of folks ask me how to self implement EOS. The truth is that I advise against self implementation for most teams. If you’re big enough to really need the Entrepreneurial Operating System, you’re big enough to afford an implementer. And the amount of time, money, and stress you save by getting an implementer is well worth the cost.
That said, when people are dead set of self implementing EOS, or when they are still too small to really benefit, I give them a few simple steps to follow.
1: Read Traction
First off you need to read the book Traction by Gino Wickman.
Gino is a pretty good friend of mine and I can tell you right now that the book changed my life. You can download the first chapter for free right here.
Before I met Gino I was doing complex change management systems. He gave me the book at a conference and I agreed to read it. The next time I saw him he asked what I thought and I said, “Well, Gino. It seems kinda simple, doesn’t it?” He looked me dead in the eye and just said, “Thanks, Jeff.”
That’s when it dawned on me. A system doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. So, the first step to learning how to self implement EOS is reading the book that started the movement. Just remember that you can’t stop at just reading the book. There’s a lot more to do.
2: Decide if Self Implementation Is Right For You
As I said, I don’t recommend self implementing EOS to everyone. There are a number of factors that play into it. Here’s a quick check list of who does and doesn’t fit the bill for self implementing EOS.
Should Self Implement EOS
- Small team (under 20)
- Young business
- Very open communicators
- Never give up on commitments
- Good at objective self-criticism
- Open to feedback from the team
- Lots of recent short term expansion
Shouldn’t Self Implement EOS
- Teams of 20 or more
- Business with established traditions, processes, and ways of doing things
- Struggle with communication and openness
- Tend to get distracted / give up on long-term projects
- Don’t reflect on actions to self-improve
- Don’t actively seek feedback
- Long term, steady growth
3: Get The Team On Board
If you’re 100% sure your team can self-implement EOS, it’s time to get everyone on board.
The EOS Implementer community has a saying: Drag em in, drag em around. What we mean is that, if a leadership team doesn’t seem totally motivated to get their hands dirty with EOS, they are going to be a massive pain during the process.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System requires a significant amount of work. The leadership team will need to change how they do their jobs. There will be days that you just want to pull your hair out and go back to the easy way of doing things. But, a motivated team sees the light at the end of the tunnel and knows they are working towards end game.
Talk to your team, and be very open to their opinions. Ask them to read Traction and see if this is a system that they really believe they can use. If members of the team don’t seem into the idea, it’s your job as a leader to gauge if it’s still worth moving forward.
Of course, if one person in particular is fighting the idea, it may be because they are just plain stuck in their ways, or don’t want to have to do the extra work. We call those sacred cows.
Regardless, you absolutely don’t move forward with self implementing EOS without talking to your team first.
4: Join Basecamp
The team is on board, you’re ready to move forward. You get everyone together for the first meeting and….you just kind of look at each other. No one knows how to self implement EOS.
Reading the book is all well and good, but there is a substantial amount more to it than that. If you’re going to do this right, you’ll need the training.
Our blog, podcast, and Youtube channel provide a great resource for self-implementers, giving advice on using the tools. However, you need the basics first. And, you can get those on Basecamp, the training program provided by EOS Worldwide.
5: Never Give Up
You’ve got this.
The EOS Journey is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be times you want to quit. But, if you see this through to the end your business and your life will be much better off.
And, if you are truly struggling, you can reach out to me personally. I don’t like to give away all the secrets, of course, but I am always happy to give advice to people self implementing EOS.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.