The Business Growth Blog

  • All
  • Buyable
  • EOS
  • Summit OS

Business Operating System #10: The 3HAG Way

Like Gino Wickman, Shannon Byrne Susko started as a member of Verne Harnish’s Gazelle program and she was inculcated in Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up principles. Her system, documented in her books (The Metronome Effect (2014) and The 3HAG Way (2018)), evolved from Scaling Up’s toolset. However, there are some notable differences. Susko recognizes the […]

Business Operating System #9: OKRs

John Doerr was an electrical engineer who started at Andy Grove’s Intel, which he left to become one of the most successful venture capitalists in America. He has backed Amazon, AOL, Compaq, Google, Netscape, Twitter, Slack, and other successful tech businesses. Doerr took Andy Grove’s objectives and key results (OKRs) management tool with him and […]

Business Operating System #8: 4DX

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) program, created by FranklinCovey, drives organizational results through behavior change. 4DX focuses on articulating your major, definite objective, the one it calls the Wildly Important Goal (WIG or The War) and then breaking it down into a handful of “WIG Battles” and quarterly execution steps. The process includes keeping […]

Business Operating System #7: Scaling Up

Following the publication of Traction, Verne Harnish came up with “Rockefeller Habits 2.0” and titled it Scaling Up. This is a system directed at strengthening fast-growth companies, organized around four areas: people, strategy, execution, and cash. In Scaling Up, Harnish updated the One Page Strategic Plan and added a thinking tool he calls the 7 […]

Business Operating System #6: The Advantage

Patrick Lencioni is a management consultant and alumnus of Bain & Company and Oracle who struck out on his own and has published a dozen business books since 1998. He runs the Table Group. Lencioni writes about team dynamics and how to make organizations perform better. Most of his books, such as “Five Dysfunctions of […]

Business Operating System #5: Rapid Enterprise Development

Keith McFarland, former CEO of twice Inc. 500 winning Colletech Systems, credits a chance meeting with Jim Collins for inspiring his research that led to The Breakthrough Company. McFarland replicated Collins’s Good to Great process, conducted for the elite of the Fortune 500, and applied it to small, fast-growing companies. The Rapid Enterprise Development team […]

Business Operating System #4: The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

Gino Wickman joined his family sales training business at age 25. He soon discovered that his father was more of an entrepreneur than a manager, more excited about ideas, strategy, and clients than managing a profitable business. Gino jumped in and helped to right the ship and grow and sell the business. Wickman embraced the […]

Manufacture a Brand with Ed Delia

With so many brands out there vying for attention, the question of what makes a brand stand out becomes increasingly pertinent. How does a brand become more than just a name or a logo, evolving into a recognizable identity synonymous with unique values and quality? That is something that this week’s featured guest is sharing. […]

Business Operating System #3: The Rockefeller Habits

Verne Harnish studied as a mechanical engineer, after which he decided on a business career and earned an MBA. While studying at Wichita State University, he founded the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs and then expanded the concept nationally and later globally when, in 1987, he founded the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (now: EO). Working and consulting […]

Is Fractional Integrating a Hoax? – by Thomas Rechtien

Is Fractional Integrating a Hoax? – by Thomas Rechtien

What is Fractional Integrating? Fractional integrating is an approach to company management that involves hiring part-time executives or specialists to fulfill specific roles within an organization. It is seen as very cost efficient, gives access to a diverse skill set and gives access to scalability. Ideally, fractional integrating allows businesses to adapt quickly to changes […]

Become a Serendipity Magnet with Noah Graff

Ever glance at someone’s success and think that it was just luck?  It’s easy to imagine that some people are just born under a lucky star, always finding themselves in the right place at the right time. But what if I told you that there’s more to luck than mere chance. This is where serendipity […]

Business Operating Systems #2: The Great Game of Business

In 1983, 13 employees of International Harvester purchased a part of the company that rebuilt  truck engines, called Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation (SRC). They put in $100,000 in cash and assumed $8.9 million in loans; a share in SRC was worth 10 cents. Twenty-five years later, SRC group’s revenue had grown from $16 million to more […]

Business Operating System #1 – The E-Myth

The E-Myth, written by Michael Gerber, was first published in 1986 as a non-fiction book and re-released in 1995 as a business fable, titled The E-Myth Revisited. According to Michael Gerber, the e-myth, or entrepreneur myth, is that most companies are started by heroic business visionaries. However, in reality most businesses are launched by technicians, […]

Profit with Purpose: The Secret to Business Success in the 21st Century

Did you know that most employees are more inspired to work at companies that have a strong sense of purpose? When individuals believe their work contributes to a greater cause, they become more committed and productive. In a crowded marketplace, purpose becomes a powerful differentiator. These organizations go beyond mere profit-making; they actively contribute to […]

The 4 R’s To Discover Your Ideal Self

How well do you know yourself? Most of the time, we are not always in our ideal selves but that is a great thing. Why? Because it gives us the opportunity to get better each time. This implies that there is no end to better. You’ll feel good knowing that everyday, you have this chance […]

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Being Offended

Who do you blame when something goes wrong? Or do you reflect on the situation instead of pointing fingers at others? Oftentimes, we find ourselves wondering how to never be offended. Why? Because when we are offended, we are not productive. @Ben Johnson, CEO of, says during his episode on the Management Blueprint podcast that […]

6 Steps To Grow Your Business With Little Marketing Budget

Your business can actually grow organically WITHOUT relying on venture capital. Yes, you read that right! You might say, “But, Steve, that sounds impossible!” Well, let go of that mindset. Remember that in every business, whether big or small, owners need to learn how to grow their organization without depending on investor funding. This is […]

4 Things You Need to Align Your Business and Personal Goals

Picture this: your business is thriving but you’re overworked and have no life outside your business. You might not even know what your life purpose is… The thing is, YOU CAN succeed in both life and business without sacrificing one for the other. Yes, you could go out with your family during the weekends without […]

Your Ultimate Checklist for Starting a Networking Group

Do you also struggle to network with fellow business leaders? What if I tell you that there is a possibility to cultivate your own networking group? No, we are not talking about exchanging business cards but a more lasting type of connection. One that will benefit you and your business in the long-run. Brian Jue, […]

3 Things All Startups Need to Get Right To Secure Success

How sure are you that your startup is a candidate for long-term success? Of course, you want your business to succeed. But the question is: “How do you do it right?” You must find a market fit first before giving it everything you have. You don’t want to waste your investment and hard work just […]

Follow These 3 Stages to Succeed In The First 15 Years of Your Business

Do you wonder how companies go from a start-up to one of the industry’s leading businesses? The secret? You need to learn how to start right and do it correctly in the process. Greg Alexander, founder of Collective54, shares about the Boutique Framework (or Life Cycle Framework) designed to help firms to start their business […]

5 Proven Methods to Boost Remote Team Engagement During Meetings

One of the struggles when leading a virtual team is the lack of participation during Zoom meetings. I could talk for an hour straight and they would be fine not interrupting me from my virtual stage. As much as I encourage them to also chime in their ideas, they would only do so when I […]

5 Steps To Influence Buyer Decisions With Your Brand

In this day and age, branding and marketing can make or break a business. So, it is important to know how to brand your business for your target market. One of the things that businesses struggle with is identifying their ideal customers, knowing their needs and wants, and effectively targeting them. However, the struggle does […]

4 Steps to Start a Remote Service Business in 2024

There is a ton of opportunity in the digital marketplace. Everyone knows (or assumes) that this type of business offers flexibility, scalability, and the potential to tap into a global market. However, not many understand that not every business can be remote. Why? Because of the effort it takes to manage one. Dan Brownsher, CEO […]

5 Ways to Attract Buyer Attention the Right Way

There is much content on the internet with claims, and guarantees that make buyers more skeptical than ever. You cannot blame your customers for craving authenticity and transparency. They have the right to wonder if the experience showcased in front of them accurately reflects what awaits behind the paywall. It’s very hard to stand out […]

3 Strategies For Managing A Remote Team

Running a successful remote team might seem like an impossible task. As a business owner who manages a remote team myself, I can assure you, it’s not only possible but also potentially more efficient—provided you adapt your management style to the unique challenges of remote work. Contrary to what some might think, successfully managing a remote […]

3 Things To Consider When Starting A Business With A Partner

Have you ever thought about partnering with someone to jumpstart your business career? I have always thought that a partnership, particularly a 50-50 one, is a challenging one. Why? See, two individuals could have two different talents and styles of management. So, both need to learn how to work together but also work independently so […]

Patience, Belief and a Desire to Help

Grandma Ica Shares Her Values When I was sixteen, and our parents become more prosperous, they decided to build a house for our family. My mothers’ parents sold their apartment and moved in with us. There was plenty of room and since they had great personalities, the cohabitation worked surprisingly well. It was a great [...]

What is an end run and why avoid it?

Several of my clients have complained over the years about how tricky it is to hold their direct reports accountable. Impatient CEOs try to fix perceived problems or lack of information by going direct to employees reporting to others. We call these actions end-runs and they have the potential to derail your company. When you […]

Four Ways for Selling Your Strategy to Potential Investors

Following last week’s blog  on “Fixing Your Financials“, Selling Your Strategy is the second of five grooming strategies.  You should execute as many of these as you can when preparing your Buyable Business for an equity harvesting transaction. Selling Your Strategy is made up of seven tactics, the four of which are the subject of […]

Fixing Your Financials to Make Your Business Buyable

In my upcoming book, that I will reveal soon, there is a chapter about grooming a business for sale including 5 strategies. The first of these I call: Fixing Your Financials.  Here are the four areas to focus on to cover this strategy. Provide Three Years of Financials The financial statements are the first and […]

Grooming Your Business

Here is a real-life story about what grooming your business looks like. János Gréczi is the quintessential self-made entrepreneur. He started importing apparel and nonalcoholic beverages after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and over time he developed the latter concern into a full-fledged beverage distribution business. Later he invested in production equipment using government […]

Three Ways to Build a Business

I believe there are three ways to grow a company. Each is valid and a fit for a different type of entrepreneur. Each has the potential to make a business buyable. Let’s look at each approach in turn. Build Your Business by Buying a Franchise The first approach is the “franchise prototype way,” advocated by […]

Are You Building a Buyable Business?

As you may have guessed a “Buyable business” is a company that others find valuable and would want to buy. Doesn’t that seem redundant? Why should anyone want to build an “unbuyable’ business? Why would they want a business that does not come across as valuable and desirable to others? Who would want to own […]

Don’t let Covid Be Your Excuse

In the past 10 days, three of my Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) clients arrived at exactly the same conclusion: “Don’t let Covid be our excuse”. This is remarkable and obvious for different reasons.   Let me explain.   Let PPP be our bonus It is remarkable to see the resilience of American companies in this […]

Why ROcKs trump OKRs (unless you run a hyper-growth tech firm)

I recently met with a construction company committed to using the “OKR” (Objectives and Key Results) approach. This reminded me, that the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) uses a modified version of OKRs, called Rocks. In my experience Rocks work better than OKRs, most of the time.  The reason is, that EOS wraps Rocks into a […]

The EOS of Everything

“Can you find me the EOS of software development?” – asked Nick Beavers, the owner of a prospering software company. “I have been looking for a simple self-sustaining system for writing code and was wondering if there was one out there.” — he explained. I pinged my EOS Implementer friends on Slack, but Agile was […]

Accountability for 47 Roles

A headhunter approached me today for a C-Level position at a large advertising agency. I have been self-employed for the last 19 years and have doubts whether I would even be capable of working at a large organization, but my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked to learn more.   They had […]

Mindless Processes: When Systemizing Gets out of Hand

You have been and will be reading a lot about the importance of processes, including mindless process, in this newsletter. I am a fervent believer in them as they can help create scalable, manageable and fun businesses, where people at all levels execute efficiently, without hesitation, delivering quality performance. Isadore Sharp, founder of Four Seasons, […]

Be the Doctor, not the Nurse!

At a recent visit to my ophthalmologist, I was struck by how little time the doctor spent with me and nevertheless how satisfied I was with the visit. Of the 75 minutes I lingered, five were spent with the receptionist, and an hour with two medical associates. One of them conducted measurements and gave me […]

Time blocking: A critical ingredient to business success

Time management has long been my obsession. It’s really a euphemism for self-management and the end-all and be-all of productivity. (The Entrepreneurial Operating System [EOS] is, at its essence, a self-management program for companies.) One major time management tactic is time blocking. Recently, I was reminded of this when reading Gary Keller’s “everywhere bestseller”, titled […]

Visionaries Taking Back the Integrator Seat

I have come across multiple businesses lately where a “Visionary” decided to descend from the strategic heights to retrieve the reins of the business from their number two “Integrator” whom they had earlier appointed to run the show.

Breaking the Survival Habit — MBP_05

Welcome back to the Management Blueprint, including: (1) Why is the Survival Habit bad for you and how to shake it; (2) How to engineer the sales you want; (3) What happens when a Visionary retakes the Integrator seat; (4) My favorite Time Management tactic; and (5) The business lessons of the decade from 8 […]

Mindless Processes — MBP#04

Welcome to the January edition of the Management Blueprint, including: (1) tips about leveraging your time, (2) how to supercharge your sales organization; (3) a rant about how NOT to systemize your business; and (4) six local entrepreneurs sharing their favorite business books. Be sure to read this issue and start the ’20s with the […]

The Grandfather of Management – MBP#03

Welcome to the December edition of the Management Blueprint. Read about the originator of the principle management ideas of our times; what it means to run your business on multiple operating systems; and what a handful of entrepreneurs think about the skillset you need in the 20’s.  

The CEO is the Rising Tide – Management Blueprint #02

Dear Reader, Welcome to the November edition of the Management Blueprint newsletter, with the following articles: The CEO is the Rising Tide Individual Rocks: To Share or Not to Share Management Blueprints and Why Use One Entrepreneurs’ Corner Feel free to download your latest Management Blueprint here.  

Launching the Management Blueprint

Dear Reader, You are holding in your hand the inaugural edition of Management Blueprint, a newsletter written by and for the business owner and leader. Management Blueprints, such as the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), are social systems, that allow small and medium size privately owned businesses to succeed. This newsletter is the medium through which […]

Why is EOS good for Your Health?

Shared a bagel with Jamie Ledwith, a great business banker with Village Bank in Richmond, this morning and he helped me understand another angle how an EOS Implementer helps business leaders. And it comes back to why we are social animals and how it helps us survive and evolve. According to, married men live […]

How to Downsize your EOS Leadership Group?

How to Downsize your EOS Leadership Group, without disappointing leavers? I often get this question from clients who start EOS with a large leadership group of over 5-7 people. There are multiple reasons for starting with a big team. Some CEOs want to use EOS to engage middle management in the vision building process. Sometimes […]

Why rate Level 10 Meetings?

The idea of the Level 10 Meeting is that we all take responsibility to make it a highly useful time investment. We rate the meetings to confirm that people find it valuable and if they don’t (ratings lower than 8) we process the issue and find out what is causing frustration / can be improved. Let the process do the heavy lifting for you, and via the rating process, force people to be forthright about their assessments of the meeting and to have to deal with the issues in the open, rather than in the corridors.

There is Just One Team

I answered a question on Quora this week: How do we get employees to recognize that there is just one team? When employees feel disconnected from the purpose of the company than they will look to fulfill their belonging needs at their department’s level, or even outside the company. Conversely, for the employees to feel […]

Delegate the Outcome, not the Process

If you are, or ever wanted to build a business, the art of delegation is a critical skill to learn. But is this really true? – you ask. Can one not build a fully automated business with technology, that needs no people to employ? Possibly.  But I would challenge you to show me a business […]

5 Reasons to Always “Over-Communicate”

I recently hired a lawn care company to remove a few bushes and a tree trunk and build drainage in my back yard. The contractor is a friend, a great guy whom I have know for a couple of years and he ended up doing a great job at a reasonable price. However, during the […]

Kick the Visionary Upstairs

One of the superpowers of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is making the distinction between the roles of the “Integrator” and those of the “Visionary”. Who is the Integrator The Integrator is the person who runs the business. He or she makes sure all executives work together as harmoniously as possible, keeps leaders on task […]

5 Things To Do When You Have Too Many To Dos?

One of my clients implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) asked me today how he should handle his overwhelming to do list. No doubt, this is an affliction impacting most if not all of us. We have more things than we can ever hope to accomplish and every successful action begets more tasks that we […]

Let Peers Hold Each Other Accountable (Don’t Be The Bad Guy)

If you are a boss, you know that holding people accountable can be a bear. You probably recall many occasions where you have delegated a task to someone, who promised to do it, but something came up and they ended up not delivering. When you followed up you got a reasonable excuse that was hard […]

The Lure or Shiny Objects and Why Stop the CEO Chasing Them

Distracting Ideas Unfocus CEOS In this late hour video, I talk about the Shiny Objects Syndrome that affects CEOs and business owners, who are addicted to exciting ideas and are willing to sacrifice growth and profitability for the thrill of chasing them. Shiny Objects are ideas and opportunities that excite the business owners and distract […]

Assigning Rocks or Letting Them Pick. (Does it Matter?)

One of my EOS clients asked about involving teams below the executive level in rock setting, instead of assigning rocks top down. His team had apparently asked for the opportunity to pick their own rocks, but he felt apprehensive about letting go of that process, besides not seeing a distinction between the top down delegating […]

Mergers are about Integration (Hint: use EOS)

Mergers are about integration. They are not about finding the partner company, nor affecting the transaction, however complicated either of these may be.  Most mergers fail due to a lack of integration after the merger.  The two companies hold on to their own identities far too long and miss the opportunity to create a future […]

Welcome the constraint you can push back against

Welcome the Tension of Having a Constraint in Your Business. When there is no clear constraint, you have nothing to focus your efforts on. Your energy gets diffused and you lack the tension to push back against. Think about the great tennis rivalry of Federer and Nadal.  If it wasn’t for the tension they faced […]

Decisions: The Good, the Bad and the Worst

There Are 3 Types of Decisions You Can Make. The best decision is a GOOD decision.  This happens when you make a decision that turns out to take your organization in a good direction, as born out by subsequent events and information. The second best decision you can make is a BAD decision.  A bad […]

Wooden’s Pyramid, part 5: Cooperation (Why is it better than Dictating)

Cooperation: The Final Block The final block in the lowest rung of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is Cooperation. Listening, evaluating, embracing van be a tough job for the string-willed leader, but it is the only way to leverage the collective brainpower and commitment of your group. Cooperation is the only difference between the Leader […]

Is your business Healthy or Smart? (Read this if You Prefer Ripe and Low Hanging Fruits)

Pat Lencioni speaks in his latest book, The Advantage, at length about why companies, if they want to succeed, having to be Smart and Healthy at the same time. He defines Smart as being an expert in your business. Understanding your market, how to serve it and being intimately familiar with your costumers, products, services […]

Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

New Vlog Series on Leadership Philosophy Check out my new vlog series on LinkedIn about UCLA Bruins 10-times champion coach, John Wooden’s leadership philosophy, including his Pyramid of Success. Today’s first episode is about Limestone #01 in the pyramid, which is called Hard Work (Industriousness). Stay tuned for upcoming vlog episodes about the other limestones […]

Carpe PM = EOS Rocks after lunch. (Seriously, would you hire that guy?)

Central Virginia is full of custom license plates. It seems to be a local fad to come up with weird plates, often a riddle which help drivers forget the frustration of a slow traffic light. Some license plates are questionably sensible, however, like the one on the picture: “Carpe PM”. — I guess it wants […]

Long Term Objectives vs. Company Rocks (You Need Meat too, on the Bone)

I recently received an email from one of my EOS Implementation clients, which read as follows: “I understand that Rocks are defined as not urgent but important projects, they need to be SMART and achievable in 60-90 days. What I don’t fully grasp is how rocks relate to company objectives, which I feel like will […]

How to manage your greed and fear with EOS®

Greed and Fear are the two of the strongest human motivators, including for us entrepreneurs. When your business is on a roll, it will wet your appetite for more growth and success. 2007 was the best year for my investment banking business, and as we moved into 2008 with a full pipeline, I decided to […]

How to Self-Implement EOS? (A 7-Step Tough Love Guide)

Self-implementing EOS® is one of the options available for making your business run on the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. It is an alternative to hiring a Professional EOS Implementer and paying him or her several thousand dollars for facilitating on average 5 days of leadership meetings a year, to implement and maintain Traction® in your business. […]

Put Yourself on the Path to Traction® TODAY

Another new year has arrived giving you the chance to begin with a fresh approach and finally create the kind of year that your company deserves. For many businesses the last quarter is the busiest time, making sure all orders are delivered and client budgets are used to the maximum extent. Beyond seasonality, the last […]

EOS® Gets You to Traction by Stopping Things

If you have drive and ambition, than I would bet that you have a lot more stuff to do than time to do it. This is normal and even desirable. Nobel laureate chemist, Linus Pauling famously stated: “The way to get good ideas is to have many ideas”.  The same principle holds for business: The […]

Carve Them Resolutions in Stone with EOS®

People tell me that they don’t make New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) anymore… I am skeptical. You may not call them such, but are you telling me that you have not taken stock of 2017 over the holidays and crafted some plans for the New Year? To me, NYRs include planned revenue numbers, profits, paying off the […]

How to Triple Your Profit in 3 Years? (Hint: Implement Traction®)

If your business is like most small and medium size companies, you have incredible upside opportunities, if you start doing several things just a little bit better. Skeptical? Let me elaborate why I believe that. Most small businesses are founded by individuals who feel passionate about a commercial idea, or the very idea of running […]

(Let EOS®) Turn Your Business Into “Miracle on Ice”

How does running a $5-million sales revenue company compares to running a $50 million company? How about a $500 million company? Does it require the same skills? The answer is kind of obvious. The complexity of the business increases with size. You need more skills to lead more people, compete with more professional peers, address […]

Don’t Cut the Target, Expand the Activity (using an EOS® Scorecard)

You are 3 months into your fiscal year and your sales are 15% behind plan.What do you do? Some companies would rationalize the lag with “having a couple of slow months”, “losing a key client”, or “the departure of a key salesperson”. These things happen all the time, so the explanations are logical. Hopefully, we can […]

Success is a Flywheel, Not a Propeller (Use EOS® to Gain Traction)

Jim Collins in Good to Great describes the Flywheel Effect. Picture an enormous wheel like the London Eye, which weighs hundreds of tons and which requires a giant engine to spin. Contrast the flywheel with an airplane propeller, which kicks in suddenly and reaches maximum speed within seconds. Inexperienced entrepreneurs, as well as seasoned wishful […]

Run Your Business for Power or Profit? (Try EOS® if the Latter)

“For both” – I hear you responding internally. This is the obvious answer that most entrepreneurs would give if they were to be honest about it. Let’s be clear: We all want profit, but most of us also enjoy the feeling of importance attached to being the owner or the CEO. It is our brilliance […]

Why EOS® Rocks Rock

My EOS clients love Rocks. They cringe when we prioritize them, fear when they are asked to own them, may be cursing inside when they are held to doing them, but rejoice when they complete them. I define Rocks as not urgent but important projects that require more than a couple of hours of focused effort, and […]

Welcome to Steve’s EOS® Blog

EOS® Enthusiast, If you are intrigued about how the Entrepreneurial Operating System® works and wish to read about my insights and experiences as an EOS Implementer and Entrepreneur Coach, earmark these virtual pages and visit me often. I will regularly update you with what is happening in my world of implementing EOS and coaching business […]