Podcast

Align Your Team to Scale Your Business with Mike Paton

By , February 2, 2020

Mike Paton, Visionary at EOS Worldwide™, breaks down what EOS is and how it can help business owners execute their visions.

If you are an entrepreneur or leading a company, you may have probably heard of EOS, and you may be wondering what it is and how it might be able to help you.

Well, you’re in luck, because my guest for this episode is Paton, a Visionary at EOS (which stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System™) Worldwide. In our interview, he explains how leaders can achieve their visions through embracing some simple concepts, practical tools and a unique approach to leadership known as EOS. We discuss what it is and who it is—and is not—for. We talk about where so many (82%, to be exact) business leaders’ frustrations come from, and how to tackle these frustrations head-on. Finally, Paton offers practical tips for ensuring that you have the right people in the right seats in your organization—so that you can truly move your vision forward.

Without further ado, here’s the interview.

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Download the audio file here.

Align Your Team to Scale Your Business with Mike Paton

Paton, thank you for joining me on the show.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

I became quite a fan of the EOS system ever since learning about it. We are implementing it here at Ptex. This is going to be a lot of fun because I’ll be able to learn a lot from you. For our readers that never heard the word EOS, tell us what it is and most importantly, what’s inspired you to become invested with it?

EOS is a simple way of operating an entrepreneurial company. It stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. It’s a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools that help entrepreneurs and their leadership teams get more of what they want from their businesses. I was attracted to it in the same way you shared with me you were. As I was trying to take my business to the next level, I was frustrated that I wasn’t as successful as I had grown accustomed to. I was looking around for a way to fix a lot of things that weren’t working for me. I discovered EOS and fell in love with it that I exited that business and became a full-time professional EOS implementer many years ago.

When you describe EOS for a business owner, you discussed it is a framework and operating system, what is it not?

All entrepreneurs, leaders, and team members in entrepreneurial companies have had days where nobody seems to get it, want it, or care. Click To Tweet

It isn’t a way of determining your vision, your strategy or your plan for the future. It’s a framework for clarifying and simplifying those things and most importantly, executing day in and day out, so you feel everybody in your organization is 100% on the same page with the vision. There are discipline and accountability throughout the company. You see people executing on your vision and bringing it closer every day. You’re operating as a more cohesive, healthy and functional team of humans all trying to achieve a single vision and execute a single plan.

I’m happy you said that because I speak a lot to business owners and most business owners are looking for a quick fix, “Who could I bring into my organization that will take care of all my problems?” A lot of business owners will find this program, that consultant, and so on and so forth. Ultimately, a few months in and thousands of dollars in, everything is still the same. The reason is in reality, building a business is not easy and it shouldn’t be easy. The reason why I was attracted to EOS, in general, is because it explains to you, you are the leader. We’ll talk about visionary and their roles in the EOS system. It’s your company and you know your company best. You know what your passion is all about. You know what sets you apart as you call it the core focus. You have to do the hard lifting. It’s a system and a framework to make sure that everybody’s aligned.

There are no magic pills or silver bullets that you can wave a magic wand on all of the common problems, challenges, obstacles and frustrations you face. When you’re trying to grow an entrepreneurial company from you to 10, 40, 100, 200 people, you’re going to encounter some common problems, challenges and frustrations. All Gino Wickman, the creator of EOS, and the 330 professional EOS implementers around the world are trying to do when we’re working with entrepreneurs is we’re trying to implement a framework for helping you solve those common issues at the root and move your business forward whenever you hit the ceiling.

You’ve dealt with many business owners and have been involved in the EOS worldwide. What would you say is the most common frustration that entrepreneurs struggle with and how EOS solves it?

We did a survey a few years ago of all the companies in our database. We asked them about their frustrations and 82% of the respondents said their biggest frustration was people. I have some data to support that. That’s the answer. All entrepreneurs, leaders, and team members in entrepreneurial companies have had days where nobody seems to get it or want it or care. I’m talking about being frustrated with your business partners, vendors, employees, team members, and spouses. It doesn’t matter. People can be frustrating when you’re trying to accomplish something. That’s easily the biggest reason.

LTB 29 | Entrepreneurial Operating System
Entrepreneurial Operating System: EOS or Entrepreneurial Operating System is a simple way of operating an entrepreneurial company.

 

How would you read into the data? What is it about people? Is it because they feel that they are holding them back on growth? Is that the turnover of people?

What I would say based on my entrepreneurial learning is many entrepreneurial companies hit the ceiling for the first time when they get to 7, 10 or 25 people, whatever that ceiling is. Up until that point, it seemed easy. “We’re growing. We’re making money. I started this business because I’m passionate about something or good about something.” All of a sudden, those things stop happening. The common frustration about people is that you try and find out why in every room you look into, every closet door you open, every flashlight you shine under the kitchen sink, there’s some person sitting there. It’s got to be their fault. The root cause of that frustration is the psychology that somebody’s got to be blamed. My two cents are that I’d urge all of your readers to start by looking in the mirror. That is most often the place where the frustration starts and the only person you can truly change is yourself.

They always say that the beginning of every solution is self-awareness.

I would add to this. I want to be sure your readers don’t gather any misconceptions here. When I say that’s the biggest frustration, it is not the biggest issue facing entrepreneurial companies. EOS is built on the foundation that all businesses, all business owners are grappling with 136 issues simultaneously. What we’ve discovered is that all of those issues fall into six key components that are at the root of what frustrates or causes an entrepreneur to feel stuck. Those components are what makeup EOS. Even if people are frustrating you, that’s just 1 of the 6 key components.

You also need to strengthen your vision component, making sure your vision is clear, simple and everybody wants to be a part of making it happen. Your data component, you’ve got to run the business on facts and figures on objective information that gives you an absolute pulse on the business. You got to get better at solving your issues. That’s the fourth key component. You have to strengthen your process component. Build a machine in your organization to make sure the most important stuff is done the right and best way every time. The last key component is the traction component, the art and science of bringing the vision down to the ground and executing on it with focus, discipline and accountability. It’s important for your readers when people are frustrating you, strengthen those six key components and those frustrations will go away.

Those six components are the EOS model. The reason why it’s important is that many times business owners become frustrated and they say, “I’m committed to fixing it.” They’re putting in all the energy into one component. It’s almost like a car with four tires and you only keep on putting air on one of the tires and then ignoring or not caring about the rest of the tires. I want to speak about vision and I want to ask you a specific question. We all hear about the importance of a clear vision. How does a person arrive at a vision? The reason I’m asking the question is we hear a lot of entrepreneurs and they have this vision, “I want to build this. I want to build that.” They then go in to say, “Let me go ahead.” I need to cast a vision to my team and then have buy-in from the team. Now my team members are telling me, “Let’s focus on something else or shift it around.” When you look at the EOS model and you look at vision, how much of the vision is being owned by the founder/person running the company versus how much of it is being done by the team?

I’ll start by saying, and this is going to surprise you, it doesn’t matter until there’s a vision for our company and a plan to achieve that vision and we all own it. The big thing here or the a-ha here is that there’s never been an entrepreneurial company in history with no vision. You nailed it when you asked the question. In most organizations, everybody’s got a slightly different view in their head of where we’re going, how we plan to get there, what’s most important right now, what we can put off until next quarter, next year or a few years from now. It is the slightly different version of our company’s vision amongst the key people in an organization that frustrates entrepreneurs. Whether the visionary founder of your organization has a strong vision or not, what’s critical is that he or she shares that with everybody on the leadership team, get everybody on board and then start sharing a single company vision with the rest of the organization.

Build a machine in your organization to make sure the most important stuff is done the right and best way every time. Click To Tweet

One last point here, you use the term buy-in. A phrase that I disliked because it implies that there’s some amount of money a visionary needs to spend to convince everybody around him that this is the right vision for our organization. In an EOS company, we simply ask you to simplify, clarify and repeat your vision and plan regularly and trust that the people who want to help you will stay, and the people who don’t will go. Let the chips fall where they may. It’s important that you hear it. Life is too short to try and drag people along on your journey when they definitely don’t want to be part of it.

This is powerful. This is something that our readers have to take notes because you want your team to come happily to work every single day and contribute to your vision and to the vision that we all agreed on. Anytime you have somebody that’s disconnected in your organization, it might sound at the moment that, “Who cares? We’ll get through that,” but ultimately, it drags on everybody.

You could invite a vegan to your Thanksgiving dinner and sell the value and the lovely emotional satisfaction of eating Turkey. It’s not going to work. You have to let people be true to who they are if you want to surround yourselves with people who desperately at the core and emotionally connected to what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s why about 80% of the time when we start working with an entrepreneurial leadership team, there is turnover at the leadership level in the first year. You discovered that at the end of the day, one of the members of your team doesn’t want the same things as you and that’s okay.

This brings me to the next point that I wanted to get to. Going back to speaking about people, I love the EOS model of identifying which is, “Do they get it? Do they want it? Do they have the capacity?” In anything EOS, I’ll make this introduction you mentioned before about clarify and simplify. The most beautiful part of the EOS model is the simplicity of those things. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Going back to the people, sometimes when you sit across the table, across the desk of a person in your team and it becomes, “My gut is telling me this way and that person is saying, ‘This is how I interpret what you’re saying,’” so on and so forth. The EOS model is broken down or dissected in three parts, which is first of all do they get what the job is all about? Second of all is, do they want it? Also, do they have the capacity? We have found even in the companies that I’ve seen implementing EOS that either/or of those could be a long-term issue.

I want to go one level higher when we talk about people because the framework your readers need to know about is Jim Collins’ terminology. When Jim Collins talked about the right people in the right seats, one of the things we do well in EOS and all credit to Gino for wanting to clarify exactly what that meant. What right people are, are people who fit your culture? We ask our clients and leadership teams not to think about how good somebody is at their job when they’re evaluating the right people. What we’re doing when we’re evaluating the right people is we’re thinking about whether or not at the core, these people share our core values. They fit our culture. They’re the kind of people we want to have in this lifeboat with us as we’re trying to find land or in the foxhole with us if we’re going to battle. It has nothing to do with job performance. That’s one part of evaluating whether or not your people are great and right for your organization.

The second part is what you referenced with GWC or gets it, wants it, the capacity to do it and that’s in the right seat. For somebody who’s in the right seat in your organization, the simplest way I can say that is they’re good at their job. Every day you watch them and they’re contributing value, they’re serving the customer well, and they’re building the product. Whatever they do, they do it well and they don’t need a lot of coaching, mentoring or redirection from a member of the leadership team or from you. That’s what we break down. That part of the right people, right seats is what we break down further to gets it, wants it, the capacity to do it, to help you understand whether it’s because their genetic encoding isn’t correct. Whether it’s because they don’t desire to be great at the job and they don’t want it. They don’t spring out of bed every day wanting to be the best they can be. Whether it’s because they don’t have the mental, emotional, physical or time capacity to execute in the role consistently.

From your experience, which of those are non-negotiable?

LTB 29 | Entrepreneurial Operating System
Entrepreneurial Operating System: An EOS company asks to simplify, clarify, and repeat your vision, plan regularly, and trust that the people who want to help will stay.

 

They’re both non-negotiable. We believe you must have the right people and they must be in the right seat. With GWC, we believe if you’re not genetically encoded to be good at this job, there’s no amount of training or development that can fix that. The example I give there is you wouldn’t hire a bookkeeper to do graphic design work for you and you wouldn’t hire a graphic designer to do bookkeeping work for you. That’s a genetic encoding that’s misaligned with the rigors of the job. That’s non-negotiable. Wants it, you can’t coach, mentor or pay people to want a job they don’t want to be great at it. I’m not talking about wanting a job. I’m talking about wanting this job, and that’s non-negotiable. The one thing you can influence with training and development is the capacity. You can develop somebody’s capacity for excellence with training, development, mentoring and coaching. That’s how GWC works.

The beauty of it is because you’re sitting across the desk of a person that you’re trying to have this accountability conversation or even making sure they’re sitting in the right seat, is it boils down that you don’t want to do this. You have done it for a few years. You don’t want to it anymore or you don’t want to have these responsibilities, so it’s no hard feelings.

Here’s the point that I want your readers to take away. The whole purpose of building these tools is to facilitate that conversation between a manager and a subordinate as early and often as necessary to fix whatever issues exist. What happens in most organizations is nobody ever has a conversation. I start fearing that you’re not the right person or you’re not in the right seat. I’m going to wait to have a conversation until I figure out definitively whether I’m right or wrong. Suddenly, a few years go by and the conversation you sit somebody down to is you’re going to fire them. What we want you to do is the minute you start thinking somebody might not fit your culture or might not GWC their seat, we want to give you the framework, the words and the tools to sit them down and say, “You’re good at this stuff and I don’t want you to change any of that. Here are two or three areas where if you improved, things would be better for both of us.” That’s all we’re trying to do with the people tools and EOS.

A lot of times, when we speak about framework systems to business owners, they would say, “I’m busy. How do you have time to sit down with people and have those meetings?” I always tell them that the difference is both of us have meetings. We have meetings proactively and you have meetings when something bad happens.

That is a great myth in business. Instinctively, all entrepreneurs and all entrepreneurial leaders know that you save time and save money, profit more and do better work when you do things right the first time. In an organization with more than one person in it, you have to keep the circles connected properly in order to ensure you’re doing them right the first time more often than not. That’s all we ask is you invest some time to work together to achieve a common good.

I want to speak about the issues. I don’t think any organization is exempted from issues. I want to speak specifically about the EOS model on issues, but more importantly, your general take on issues. How we see issues being solved in the organization in general. Why that’s not effective and why does the EOS way of solving them?

When we talk about solving or strengthening the issues component, what we’re talking about is getting good at recognizing when there’s an issue, getting it out on the table or onto a list somewhere, and then solving it for the long-term greater good of the organization rather than solving symptoms. You’re never solving it at the root. You feel like you have to solve the same issue over and over again. The other discipline we see employed regularly is you’re busy that you wrapped duct tape and twine around it, shove it to the corner of your office and hope you can get into next week without it blowing up on you. That’s the current state that causes frustration with entrepreneurial leaders.

The right people are those who fit your company’s culture. Click To Tweet

The two tools or disciplines we use to strengthen the issues component are called an issues list, and then something called the issue solving track with an acronym IDS for how you prioritize and resolve issues at the root for the long-term greater good. The high level of what I’d say is the issue list is a mechanism for changing the culture of a typical entrepreneurial organization where people are busy. They may be a little afraid to acknowledge that we could get better at something. We’ve got a customer that’s upset and employee’s about ready to quit. There’s a don’t shoot the messenger culture in a lot of entrepreneurial organizations and we want to stop that. We want people in your entrepreneurial companies to feel comfortable saying, “If we’re trying to be great at everything we do around here, here are 2, 5, 10 or 28 things that might be holding us back or some great opportunities for improvement or change or next-generation thinking that will take us to the next level. I’d like to share that with you because it’ll make us all better.”

That’s the cultural shift we start with, and then IDS which stands for Identify, Discuss and Solve. It’s the technique. Once you have issues-list build for getting right to the root, identifying what’s truly causing the issue, discussing it briefly so that nobody’s politicking, and then driving to a solved. It’s getting a team of people to agree, “We’re going to execute this plan that we believe will make the issue go away forever because rarely do leadership teams of even good companies get right the root, avoid politicking and solve issues with an action plan that will make it go away.” That’s how we strike when the issue is involved.

I think that even companies that are not following the full EOS and what our readers can take out of this, so much time is wasted by band-aiding issues, which means, “We have this issue, let’s quickly fix it.” By not getting to the root of the problem, they might create another issue or the same issue will keep on coming back again and again.

Another little technique I’ll share on this subject is something we ask the companies implementing EOS to do on the first day we spend together. That is to take responsibility for everything and avoid playing the blame game. Let’s agree with this team of people here who accepts all responsibility for everything great that’s happening in the business and everything that can be improved or fixed. Instead of trying to figure out which one of you cause this issue, why don’t we all agree, we caused it together and together we can solve it. When we do that, we eliminate hours of unproductive blaming and focus all our time and energy on putting a plan in place to make the issue go away.

I want to speak about the simplicity of EOS. Another way that the EOS model simplifies business growth is the elimination of titles. A lot of people are busy in their companies and making sure that people have the proper titles. Instead of titles, the EOS works with responsibilities and roles that the company in the organization needs. Specifically, I want to speak about the two titles for the top, which usually are the visionary and the implementer. Corporate America will probably have different titles like director of this or COO, maybe a C-level executive. How do you explain to a business, what are those two roles? How do they work together? The Rocket Fuel book in the EOS library explains this well. For our readers, what is the visionary, what is the role and so with integrator?

Visionary and integrator are the functions described in the accountability chart owned by people in the entrepreneurial organization that are on the leadership team. The visionary is almost always the founding entrepreneur. A visionary is a person who’s a great builder, a great 30,000-foot thinker, constantly bringing ideas to the table, thinking about the next thing. If you want to motivate a visionary, tell them something is impossible and they will spend the next quarter or a year or five years working hard to prove that in fact, it isn’t.

One of our core values is taking the I’m out of impossible.

LTB 29 | Entrepreneurial Operating System
Entrepreneurial Operating System: Be better are recognizing when there is an issue, getting it out, and then solving it.

 

We might have a visionary in the room. Visionaries are not great at or passionate about keeping the trains running on time, driving accountability at the leadership level, harmoniously integrating the way headstrong leaders play together to achieve a common good, getting into the trenches and seeking to understand, gather data and work alongside other leadership team members to solve taxing problems. Visionaries can be great problem solvers, but they’re creative problem solvers. They are the, “Why don’t we try this? What about that kind of problem-solving rather than the detail-oriented?” All these two roles or functions are a desire to articulate clearly and simply, what the five things we need these two vital leaders to do for our leadership team that will help take this company to the next level are?

The other thing that happens when we add this exercise is we discover two common problems that exist in most entrepreneurial companies. One is that the visionary who founded the company and grew it to X is stuck in the integrator seat. They’re finding that 50% or 70% of their time is spent keeping the trains running on time. As a result, the visionary is unhappy. He or she has lost passion for the business and the rest of the leadership team is overwhelmed because the visionary keeps bringing new ideas to the table that we can’t possibly execute on. If that’s the issue in your readers’ entrepreneurial company, I urge you to fix that.

The other thing we see a lot is there are a visionary and an integrator in the organization, but they haven’t clearly defined or articulated their individual roles and their decision making authorities. As a result, you have two people co-running an organization. When we build an accountability chart with our leadership teams, the rule is when two people are accountable for one major function, nobody is accountable. That’s why these powerful terms and concepts are so important because they’ll fix common issues facing entrepreneurial companies.

I’ve seen it in our organization as well. Once you identified those separate roles, you’re able also to create systems in place, how those roles will complement each other versus fighting for resources or fighting for direction in everyday business.

I would say, those of you who run entrepreneurial companies don’t think that you’re never allowed to engage in conflict. When the visionary-integrator relationship is working properly, it is full of tension. There are disagreements and sometimes you’re going to yell and stomp and disagree with one another quasi violently and that’s normal. I always share that there’s nothing wrong with letting emotion get the better of you from time to time in your business. What we got to do is stay in that conflict, resolve it for the long-term greater good and support one another once the decision is made to move forward. When the visionary-integrator relationship is healthy, the two people trust each other enough that if we made a mistake deciding to do it your way, we’d be back here 30 days or 90 days or a year from now having this same discussion again and we’ll try it my way. That’s a healthy tension. In a lot of organizations, there’s unhealthy and unresolved tension and that’s no good.

When you read the book Rocket Fuel and you follow the EOS model, the characteristics of those two people are the opposite of most of the things. From your experience, have you seen any organization may be in the earlier stages that one person played both roles and that person had both sides of the coin?

At least 50% of the time at the start of the EOS implementation journey, that is the case. That is common. I would say that 5% of the people who own and run entrepreneurial companies in the world are capable of doing both at the same time well. The other 95% are not. We urge them to discover what they love most, what they’re best at, and to transition into the role that they’re going to be happiest in and add the most value to the business. At the early stages of an entrepreneurial company’s development, it’s not at all unusual for the founder to not just be a visionary and integrator, but also be in charge of sales, not let anybody else touch the finances of the business or have an awful lot to say about what’s going on in operations. That’s a typical entrepreneurial company that has those issues that need to be solved over time.

You can develop somebody's capacity for excellence with training, development, mentoring and coaching. Click To Tweet

You have had over 1,000 single-day implementations, maybe even more than that. Where have you seen EOS not working? There are many different types of people in organizations where maybe it’s a people problem, a process problem, so on and so forth. For our readers to understand that it’s not a magic wand. You need to have the people working the systems, so where does it clash?

Here are the three scenarios that make EOS a terrible idea. Number one, you and your leadership team members prefer complexity to simplicity. If you would prefer a complex organization with unclear priorities, no straight lines, shared accountabilities, don’t implement the EOS. There are lots of people out there who love the complexity and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not a great match for EOS. Number two, you’ve got to be comfortable with single-point accountability for everything that’s truly important in your organization. You’ve got to give people the authority that goes along with that accountability. You’ve got to be willing to delegate and elevate to members of your leadership team. Strong leaders, managers and even individual contributors who don’t have the autonomy and authority to own their results have a very difficult time accepting accountability. It breaks an EOS implementation.

The last thing I always say goes to EOS Worldwide’s logo. There’s a light bulb and this is not why the logo was chosen. One of the things I like to tell people is we’re contemplating EOS as a way of helping their business and their life. If you hire an EOS implementer, I’m like a pest control guy you invite into your apartment or your home. I’m going to shine my flashlight under all the dark nooks and cranny in your residence. If every time I find a bug, you tell me to turn the light off and go home. You don’t want to solve your issues at the root, don’t implement EOS. There are a lot of people who have a long list of sacred cows or forbidden zones in their business that they’re not willing to change. It’s a terrible mistake to implement EOS if you want to do that because your team will rise and demand that we solve our issues at the root. Those are the three things I see most.

I wanted to turn to a couple of questions more of your day-to-day. You’re the visionary now of EOS Worldwide. How does a day in your life look like?

I spend about 50% of my life as the visionary for EOS Worldwide working with our world-class integrator, Kelly Knight to run the business of sharing EOS with the world, finding, training, and supporting EOS implementers around the globe. That’s about 50% of the average day, even though there is no average day. The other 50% of my time is spent as a certified EOS implementer working with my clients. I’ve always been most comfortable as the visionary for this organization being both the practitioner and the visionary. We are coming to a point where that will change because as we grow, the scope of the visionary role is different, larger and more time-consuming. To me, that’s a perfect mix because I love working with my clients. I love the art and science of what makes businesses great. I’m super passionate about helping entrepreneurs run better businesses and live better lives. I get to do that in two different ways.

This is an important point that is well taken. Even if you follow any type of framework, you still have to love doing what you’re doing. If the role itself doesn’t give you the fulfillment, in your case, you still want to be able to work with clients, then it got to have the part of the mix. As far as the impact EOS has had in the world, can you share a little bit of what’s public information, the amount of business and the number of people EOS has?

We track all of this because it’s part of our vision and plan for the future. Our tenure or core target, our long-term goal is having 100,000 companies running on EOS by 2030. When we say running on EOS, the way we count those hundred thousand companies is they need to have worked with a member of our professional EOS implementer community. What’s interesting about this is that when I started many years ago as one of the first EOS implementers, Gino trained back in the old days in his session room, the core target was 10,000 companies running on EOS by 2020. I’m proud to announce that we are on track to achieving that goal. We believe we’re going to hit it in the year 2020. It’s amazing because when Gino set that goal, we were at 61 companies running on EOS.

LTB 29 | Entrepreneurial Operating System
Entrepreneurial Operating System: A visionary is a person who is a great builder.

 

We’re going to hit 10,000 in 2020, 100,000 by 2030 and we’re planning a celebratory event with our implementer community to celebrate that. We have 330 professional implementers around the world. We believe that for every one company that has implemented EOS with a member of our community, there are another nine that have self-implemented or worked with somebody that isn’t yet a member of our community. We’re at about 7,500 right now. We think when we hit 10,000 by 2020, there will be 100,000 companies using the EOS tools to help their business and to live better lives. When we hit 100,000 another few years out, there will be a million companies running on EOS. That’s what excites us and drives us.

It’s a testament to the practicality of creating the vision, traction, organizer and ultimately making sure you check all those boxes and then you follow through on that, it could work.

It’s not only the amazing system and set of simple practical tools that Gino put together, but we run EOS Worldwide on EOS. We ask our implementers to run their businesses on EOS. What we’re doing is what we ask our clients to do, which is making progress towards this clear and simple vision by executing one quarter at a time with real discipline and accountability. Quite frankly, it works and it’s exciting to be a part of that journey.

This has been great. For our links and resources mentioned in this episode and to learn more about EOS, check out PtexGroup.com/podcast. We’ll be able to explain a little bit more about EOS. For our readers who are not familiar with EOS and with the work that they do, get a little bit more familiar. Let’s close with our four rapid-fire questions. Are you ready?

You bet.

Number one, a book that changed your life.

Gino Wickman’s book Traction. I felt like divine intervention brought that book into my hands and my life has been exactly what it needed to be ever since.

Number two, a piece of advice you got that you’ll never forget.

The less concerned you are about being right, the smarter and more effective you become. Click To Tweet

As a young man, I had a business mentor who sat me down and said, “Paton, I’ve spent my whole life working hard not to be bored. If you want a job where you’re sitting in an office and making sure your inbox is clear every night, you’ve probably come to the wrong place.” I’m glad he made that clear to me as my life’s been a blast. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Number three, anything you wish you could go back and do differently.

I am one of those people who spent a good part of my young life in business trying hard to convince everybody else I was right. I’ve learned painfully and quite often that nobody cares. I now spend all my time trying to be effective. I find that the less concerned I am about being right, the smarter I become and the more effective I and the people around me become.

What’s on your bucket list to achieve?

I am highly motivated to teach my three boys ages 3 to 10 how to live healthy, productive, fully engaged lives and still be at peace.

Paton, thank you for joining us. I know your time is valuable. That is why in the name of our readers, we will forever be grateful for sharing some of your time with us.

Likewise, I’m grateful to be here.

Thank you.

Links Mentioned

About Mike Paton

LTB 29 | Entrepreneurial Operating SystemPaton has spent a lifetime learning from entrepreneurs. The product of an entrepreneurial household, he cut his teeth in banking before running (or helping run) four small, growing companies. Nearly a decade ago Paton met Gino Wickman and found himself immediately drawn to the simplicity and usefulness of his Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). He quickly became a passionate advocate of the system and leader of a vibrant and growing community of professional EOS Implementers, clients and fans. In 2015 Paton transitioned into the role of Visionary for EOS Worldwide.

An award-winning speaker and best-selling author of Get A Grip: An Entrepreneurial Fable (with Gino Wickman), Paton gives back by helping entrepreneurs harness EOS to clarify, simplify and achieve their Vision. He’s conducted over 1,000 full-day sessions with leadership teams of more than 100 companies and more than 100 dynamic, value-packed keynote talks and in-depth, interactive workshops. Whatever the venue and format, Paton attracts large audiences, receives consistently high ratings and introduces a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools that help leaders “Get A Grip” on their business.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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