A Conversation with: Gino Wickman

A conversation with: Gino Wickman

Small Business Monthly
A conversation with: Gino Wickman
By Nancy Kaffer

Gino Wickman, a business coach, founder of the Livonia-based Entrepreneurial Operating System and author of strategy guide Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, shared thoughts with Crain’s reporter Nancy Kaffer about how businesses can manage rapid growth without flaming out.

Let’s talk a little about entrepreneurial culture. There are two kinds of entrepreneurs. There’s the type that is looking for balance and puts the family first. The second type is the one that puts the business first and the balance is second. Neither is right or wrong, but it’s true.

So what advice would you give to each? There are four prescriptions I would offer. First, I would say, stay true to your core.

What does that mean? If they will just stay true to their core values, passions, niche and their number one biggest goal, if they let those things lead and guide them, it … keeps them focused on what’s important and eliminates distraction.

Number two? Number two is a remedy I call “delegate and elevate.”

In this case, the flameout comes from the entrepreneur doing things they don’t like and aren’t good at. They find themselves getting away from stuff they love to do.

They should list everything they love to do, everything they’re great at. That’s going to help create real clarity for them around where they should be spending time.

When entrepreneurs get overwhelmed, they lose creativity.

So what’s the third idea? As more and more is coming at an entrepreneur, what they tend to do is throw people at the situation. They’re overwhelmed, so they’ll find a family member or friend and plug a person in. The most important thing they could do is invest the time to get the right people.

What qualities should they be looking for? They need to find people that have two simple things: that possess their core values, and “GWC.” That’s people that get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it. If the person they’re looking to bring on has the “get it want it capacity,” then they’ve brought on the right person in the right seat.

Let’s hear number four. Take clarity breaks. Typically the entrepreneur is … getting buried in the day to day. Pre-schedule an appointment; spend either a half-hour a day or two hours a week for thinking time. It’s going to help them become more efficient and effective, with the clarity, energy and certainty that they need to continue to grow the business.

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