Two books – re-thinking business

I was given a book two years ago by my accountants – “Traction” by Gino Wickman. Since that time, I have bought a number of copies – for two reasons. The first was that I wanted my fellow Directors to buy into the principles. The second was that I have gifted it to a number of other business leaders who I think can benefit from its system.


The second book is “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. I came across this accidentally after watch a TED talk – which is now one of the most watched of all times. It is subtle but powerful.

If you haven’t read either I recommend you do.

Our business model is now based on the principles in Traction. We haven’t introduced it all, but we are adding to the gameplan gradually. It did help us set a 10, 5, 3 and 1-year plan. The quarter rocks are really useful in keeping everyone focussed. It is brilliant in breaking down the business into some critical components – which we all probably do, but not with clarity and purpose.

Our 10-year business plan is not a 40-page ‘book’ – it exists on a single sheet of A3 paper. It is a live document – which changes daily, weekly and monthly.

Simon Sinek’s book helped us find our ‘why’. It was crucial in setting our new branding – with a lot of help from Fifteen. The book contains some brilliant examples about why we should stop selling ‘what we do’ to selling ‘why we do it’.

After a lot of thought, we settled on our core values – trusted, peerless, courageous and legacy-conscious. And our why? Well, we want the East Midlands to thrive and we want to help our clients make a great decision.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding…


3 thoughts on “Two books – re-thinking business

  1. Thanks for these Tim. I’ve just bought Traction, sounds like a useful read. I think the ‘Start with Why’ is a question that is SO often overlooked, but is critical for business. We used to call it the SFW question. (So What?) as it’s all very well creating differences and things that make you stand out as a business, but not much use if no one actually cares about it. I’d add to that the book ‘Why Johnny can’t brand’ – Nothing to do with me – as it also helps you define why anyone should care and what need you are aiming to fulfill.

    1. John, we have been using (a slightly modified version of) Traction for 18 months. It is very good for focussing on clerly defined targets. It has transformed meeitngs – there are no agendas now – just an issues list. We have quarter targets (called Rocks) … It isn’t all for us, but a lot of it makes sense.

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