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Why Visionaries Need Integrators

Written by Gino Wickman on April 28, 2015

EOS Leadership Team Clarity Break Thought

For the last fifteen years, I’ve been teaching a discovery regarding the two vital roles at the top of most great entrepreneurial businesses. These roles are called the Visionary and Integrator. The fact is that every true Visionary needs to be counter-balanced with a great Integrator if he or she wants his or her vision to be fully realized.

During those years, I’ve developed, tested, honed and proven a handful of disciplines that help this dynamic duo (which normally experiences a lot of tension and dysfunction) have a very healthy and productive relationship and ultimately get everything they want out of their companies.

Over the last three years, I put it all into a book that is a complete how-to manual for a Visionary and Integrator to find each other, work together and maximize their relationship, vision, and company.

I’m excited to announce that the new book, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business with co-author Mark C. Winters, is now available here. We’re obsessed with helping Visionaries and Integrators create freedom and impact in their companies and in the world.

The gist of this Clarity Break is to share with you some important ideas, discoveries and insights from the book to help you, whether you are a Visionary, an Integrator or on the leadership team with one. Please ponder the following in your next Clarity Break:

  • A typical Visionary has most of the following characteristics: He or she tends to be the founding entrepreneur, is a great leader, has lots of ideas, is a big-picture thinker, is a relationship person, is a creative problem solver, is a great salesperson, and is a grower and builder. Unfortunately, he or she also creates chaos, has no patience for details, has ADD, gets distracted by shiny stuff, and wants to implement every single one of his or her ideas right now (that’s why the Integrator is so important). Take an assessment to see if you're a Visionary.
  • A typical Integrator has most of the following characteristics: He or she is a great executor, is a great manager, is good at holding people accountable, and creates consistency and prioritization; he or she harmoniously integrates the leadership team. He or she unfortunately has to say no a lot, is accused of being a pessimist and is typically the bearer of bad news in the organization. Take an assessment to find out if you're an Integrator.
  • There is a rare person who actually possesses both skill sets of the Visionary and Integrator. Please know that this is very unusual and tends to only be about 1 out of 20 Visionaries (5%).
  • We believe that in the small business world there is a 4-to-1 ratio of Visionaries to Integrators. So be aware that a good Integrator is hard to find. If you’re looking for one, get going. You can also download what we believe is the perfect job description for an Integrator.
  • The more contrasting the Visionary’s and Integrator’s skill sets are, the bigger the charge and impact on the organization (also the more tension), but if this dynamic duo stays on the same page, maintains mutual respect, agrees on the company vision, meets often, and stays clear on and appreciates each other’s roles, the relationship will truly be Rocket Fuel for the company.
  • We discovered and wrote about the fact that many large companies may not exist today if they hadn’t had a Visionary/Integrator dynamic duo in their early years. This was the case with Disney (Walt had his brother Roy), McDonald’s (Ray Kroc had Fred Turner) and Ford (Henry had James Couzens). In addition, Standard Oil, Honda, and countless others had the same stories when they were small companies.

With the Visionary and Integrator firmly and fully in their roles working well together, your leadership team will have a new level of impact on your company, your employees, your customers, clients and, ultimately, the world.

Let us know if we can help.

Stay focused,
Gino

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