As an avid mountain bike rider, when I first made the switch to ‘clipless’ pedals I was a bit apprehensive. Ok, to be honest I was downright fearful. Contrary to the term, clip-less pedals actually means your shoe is physically clipped to the pedal and requires a, non-intuitive, lateral movement of your heel to un-clip.
There are times, frequently in my case, where the need to pull my foot off the pedal and place it somewhere else is… let’s just say an urgent and unplanned event. Being physically attached by both feet to the pedals is very useful when things are going according to plan, but much less so when looking to make an escape. If your foot doesn’t intuitively remember how to escape, you can end up on your back with your feet in the air and the bike now hanging above you; uhhh, so I’ve been told.
The common approach to learning to use clipless pedals is to ride around in a grassy field, simulate events causing you to un-clip and re-clip until you are more comfortable – until it becomes intuitive. Then (and only then) should you proceed to your favorite single-track trail. Why go through this unnatural, and often painful, learning event? Well, the benefit of riding clipless is you can move the bike forward with the up stroke as well as the down stroke of your pedal – basically doubling the output you were getting from the exact same motion. It’s well worth it!
When going through a facilitated implementation of EOS®, we teach via an approach called:Traction first – Vision second. And it mirrors the migration to clipless pedals. We start by taking our four foundational tools (aka clipless pedals) and teaching a leadership team how to use these first- a Scorecard, Rocks (90 day goals), a very specific weekly meeting we call the The Level 10 Meeting™, and an Accountability Chart (all of these tools are available for free here). We get leadership teams using these tools for 60 days with little regard for where they are trying to take the company over the next few years. Just like riding around the grassy field, we’re trying to make using these tools intuitive – Traction first.
As they begin to master this new toolset, we then work with them to define their Vision. We ask 8 simple questions and work to get the team in 100% agreement of what the answers are. Their answers are captured in a tool we call the The Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO) and this defines their Vision, aka their 2 page strategic plan – the trail that they are all going to take the business on. It’s critically important they agree, because we don’t want them hitting the trail only to disappear into multiple directions as soon as we’re in the woods. By the end of this 60 day period they’ve mastered their new tools, Traction, and are ready to set off on the path to achieve their Vision.
And yes – just like moving to clipless pedals, mastering these simple tools will get you twice the results using the same effort.
Photograph: Seb Rogers/Alamy