If you’re reading this, you just might be that founder, owner, and visionary who really struggles to let go. The company is your baby. You’ve had a hand in every aspect of it for years, and you don’t know how to feel comfortable unless you keep doing that. If that sounds like you (or the person you work for), don’t worry. You have plenty of company. And there's hope.
I’ve noticed a pattern this year across several good teams that have truly become great teams. Conversely, there are other teams that just remain mediocre. Why is that? It all comes down to having a great Integrator in place who owns their role.
In any entrepreneurial organization, two essential seats are the Visionary and the Integrator™. A great Visionary is driven by creativity and passion, which fuels his or her vision for the company. A great Integrator takes that vision and makes it happen throughout the organization. Without these two leaders working side by side, your company will never see the success it’s capable of achieving.
Recently I took a new company through the Accountability Chart exercise. The Accountability Chart is the tool that gives structure to a business, allowing each member to fill the role that fits his or her Unique Ability®.
As we were going through the exercise the assumption was that the owner would go in the Integrator seat, bringing clarity and keeping the team focused on accomplishing the business plan.
As the discussion continued, everyone agreed that the owner was definitely a Visionary and belonged in the Visionary seat, and many thought he belonged in the Integrator seat as well. Then the sales leader spoke up and said, “I think Joe should go in the Integrator seat. He handles most of those roles and responsibilities now, and he’s the one that’s in every day, knows every department and how they tick.”
If you haven’t read my previous blogs about Visionaries and Integrators, please take a moment to read them first to get essential context for this article:
- Visionaries and Integrators - Part 1: Why Both are Essential
- Visionaries and Integrators - Part 2: What is a Visionary?
When you have created your Accountability Chart, you will clearly see the need for an Integrator. This is the major function that all major functions report to, and every organization must have one. In some companies, this person is known as the President, COO, General Manager, or Chief of Staff – the title doesn’t matter, but the role is essential.
One of the most powerful EOS® tools is the Accountability Chart. It’s powerful because it crystallizes the right structure and illustrates all available seats in your organization. In addition, it clarifies who reports to who and who is accountable for what.
All that said, it also illuminates the Visionary and Integrator roles sitting atop the major functions of your business. An organization has a Visionary about 50 percent of the time, and it must have an Integrator 100 percent of the time.