Starting from Nothing - The Foundation Podcast | Building your business ENTIRELY from scratch.

Mike Paton has spent a lifetime learning from entrepreneurs. Eight years ago he met Gino Wickman and was immediately drawn to the simplicity and usefulness of his Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). He is now the Visionary at EOS Worldwide, LLC – a role we explore in this interview – and an author, speaker and EOS implementer at Achieve Traction, where he uses his lifetime of entrepreneurial wisdom to helps entrepreneurs and their leadership teams clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.


“We believe that what leaders do is solve problems and resolve issues.”


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 2:30 - Give me the high-level about how you got involved with Traction and EOS. Give us like the 10,000 foot view of what it is and why it actually matters for entrepreneurs.
  • 4:15 - What makes EOS unique? Why is this different than other stuff that's out there? Tell me a little bit about what makes this specifically unique for entrepreneurs.
  • 6:35 - When you come into organizations, what do you think it is that entrepreneurs are most struggling with or that's keeping them in that stuck cycle of not getting what they want out of their business?
  • 9:10 - I'm curious how you set goals, because sometimes – especially in fast-growing things – I don't even know where to begin. I don't want to set it too low, but I don't want to set it too high. Can you talk a little bit about that?
  • 18:00 - Talk to me a little bit about managing people. There's something that doesn't feel natural about it and challenging for me. Tell me a little bit about that.
  • 20:45 - Can you talk a little bit about the relationship between Visionary and Integrators?
  • 25:00 – Are there any key metrics that you're tracking or that that entrepreneurs should be tracking that they are often missing?
  • 29:10 – Do you advocate for open book management?
  • 30:40 – How do you recommend doing incentives for employees, like do you do gainsharing, profit-sharing, bonuses? Your thoughts on that?
  • 31:50 – Tell us about the weekly meeting. How the weekly meeting is ran, how people do it well.
  • 38:05 – What's the rough agenda for level 10 meetings?
  • 42:10 – Is there is there anything you either wish I would have asked or you’re surprised that I didn't ask? Or questions that typically come up that you feel like you would really like to speak to?

What Makes EOS Worldwide Unique?

EOS gives homage to the great work done by many of the great business thought leaders that came before it, such as Jim Collins, Michael Gerber, Verne Harnish, Patrick Lencioni, and Dan Sullivan. The tools and the concepts aren’t completely unique, but the way EOS Worldwide implements EOS with entrepreneurial leadership teams helps them get better at three things fast and permanently.

  1. Vision – Getting the leadership team a hundred percent on the same page with where they're going and how they plan to get there.
  2. Traction – Instilling focus, discipline, and accountability everywhere in the organization.
  3. Health – Helping the leadership team become a more cohesive, functional team rather than the set of strong, independent, headstrong individual leaders that they are. Often those kinds of people have the greatest challenge burgeoning as a healthy team, and so the way EOS Worldwide teaches and the way they work with clients seems to help those three concepts take hold quickly.

“It's early success that gives an entrepreneur and his or her leadership team that confidence to continue with, quite frankly, what is fundamental change in the way the business operates.”


EOS Implementers & The Six Key Components That Exist in Every Business

Generally any EOS implementer starts interacting with an entrepreneur when he or she has hit the ceiling. Things are humming along and all of a sudden you come to a screeching halt. It has a tendency to happen multiple times, and the root cause of those problems, challenges, obstacles and frustrations tend to be one of six things. When you're implementing EOS in your business what you're doing is working to assess how weak or strong you are in each of these six things and strengthen each component.

  1. Vision – Getting everybody on the same page with where you're going and how you plan to get there.
  2. People – Making sure you have great people perfectly suited to help you achieve your great vision.
  3. Data - Learning to run the business on facts and figures, objective information, at a high level that gives you an absolute pulse on the business rather than letting feelings, egos, and emotions carry the day.
  4. Issues – Learning how to solve your issues as they arise, in the right place in your organization.
  5. Process – Not having a clear, simple, high-level set of core processes that everybody in the organization can follow so that the most important things in your business are done the right, best way every time, without you having to coach and mentor and audit and nudge people out of the way.
  6. Attraction – The ability to instill focus, discipline, and accountability everywhere in the organization so that you and all your people are executing on the vision every day rather than getting distracted.

“My advice would be to work on strengthening all six of these components. Use all of the tools. We put them out there for the world to use. They are very simple and practical. You don't need to have an Ivy League MBA to figure this stuff out. We just really hope it helps your listeners get what they want from their business.”


Visionaries and Integrators

The relationship between visionaries and integrators is the heart of Rocket Fuel by Gino Hackman and Mark C. Winters. Most entrepreneurial companies are started and grown to a point by a visionary who then has to, in order to be successful, transition more into an integrator role. It's really hard to make that transition. Very few have what it takes to do it, and one of the things Mike does with entrepreneurial leadership teams is help visionaries understand that they don't need to be the integrator to grow their business. “They should be sitting in the visionary seat loving their lives everyday and relying on an integrator to run the day-to-day and help the leadership team work to achieve the visionary's vision.”

  • Visionaries – “The classic entrepreneur. They’re idea people. They have 20 ideas a week and believe that every one of them is going to take the organization to the moon. They’re creative problem solvers. They're the people asking what if, why can't we do that, how about we mix this up and try this. They’re risk takers. They like to fly at 30,000 feet and when they need to bring the plane down to refuel they lose energy.”
  • Integrators – “People who are put on the planet to harmoniously integrate the way a handful of strong-willed, independent humans work together to achieve a common goal. They like getting in the muck and looking at data, figuring things out at the core. They don't mind refueling the plane or putting it in the shop and fixing it from time to time to make the company execute better”

Five Rules to a Great Meeting Pulse

Every level-10 leadership meeting should be:

  1. On the same day
  2. At the same time
  3. Using the same agenda
  4. Always start on time
  5. Always end on time

We appreciate Mike taking the time to talk with us today. Head over to for information on all of the books, to download free tools, watch a lot of instructional videos, and you can even find Mike in the implementer directory to reach out directly.




Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Direct download: Episode_177_-_Mike_Paton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST