Is this your current business reality?
- Show up in the morning to open your business.
- Feel overwhelmed by mountains of work—stuff that keeps you from doing the things you would prefer to be doing or keeps you from doing the tasks you enjoy.
- Feel frustrated by your employees because you can’t get them to see your vision. But you’re so freakin’ passionate about it! Ugh! What’s wrong with them?
- Start to drive your employees crazy to the point that they now resent you.
- Leave for the day.
Yep. That was me about a year ago too. Why was I banging my head against the wall in frustration? Why are you running into a business roadblock, unable to grow your client base? Turns out that every successful business has to be run by two key leaders: The Visionary and the Integrator. If your business lacks the leadership of either one, you’ll find your business stalled out, and unable to reach that elusive next level. Why is that? Let me explain …
I recently listened to a great podcast called “How to Find the Perfect Business Partner for Explosive Growth … with Mark Winters” (Mike Dillard, Self-Made Man, May 3, 2017). During the 45-minute discussion, Mike interviewed Mark Winters, author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. Mark explained that the Visionary and the Integrator are like two pieces to a puzzle—once you find your match, your business is set for growth. If you’re the Visionary, you’ll add some “rocket fuel” to your business’ growth trajectory once you find your Integrator and vice versa if you’re the Integrator meeting your Visionary.
So how do the Visionary and the Integrator complement each other? The Visionary is the dreamer who is always working on “what’s next” and solving all the business’ problems with creativity and unique ideas. The Visionary isn’t into details and doesn’t really care about how things get done—just that everything happens according to the vision. That’s where the Integrator comes in. The Integrator is all about executing detailed plans on a day-to-day basis—and they’re really good at it. The Integrator seeks harmony in the business amongst employees and works to solve conflicts. So pretty much, the opposite of the Visionary. But, both serve key functions. Without each role, the business would suffer.
Any guess as to which one I am? I took the Visionary and Integrator Assessments on the Rocket Fuel website and … it was no surprise that I am a Visionary with a score of 98. I only scored 56 on the Integrator assessment, which is well-below the threshold. This wasn’t surprising—I’m really not into details. I like to think up the big ideas and then let my team run with them. I’m always working on our next step. So, if I’m the Visionary of my business. Who’s the Integrator?
Taking the assessments got me thinking: Is my manager, Emily, an Integrator? About a year ago, Emily got a lot of increased responsibilities and began to solely manage both of my Pure Barre studios. And business at the studios took off. Turns out Emily is a solid Integrator with a score of 93 (her Visionary score was 28). We’re a perfect business match! Whew—that would have been awkward if she had been a Visionary too.
But seriously, Emily is great at taking my ideas and thoughts and making them happen. She takes care of all the details, which leaves me to keep working on what’s next. Sometimes she has to bring me back to reality about what we can really accomplish—but only sometimes.
So, what does this mean? Well, I was thinking about giving Emily some additional responsibility. I wanted her to plan out our marketing calendar. Now I’m realizing, maybe I need to stick to envisioning our events and having her work on the details. Of course, I want her opinion and input because she has great ideas, but maybe she’ll be more successful spear-heading some other projects including tracking our new clients as they navigate through our sales process—something that requires a lot of patience and detail, two things I have on short supply. I’m a firm believer in setting my team up for success, which also means making sure they are completing tasks that play to their strengths.
What about you? Are you the Visionary or the Integrator of your business? Do you have your counterpart? If you find yourself stuck trying to keep your business going but constantly feel burnt out or just spinning your wheels, maybe it’s time to assess your strengths and weaknesses and hire someone who complements the areas in which you are deficient.
As business owners, we have to look introspectively and play to our strengths. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your weaker skills. Hire someone that excels in the areas you struggle. Or conversely, are you having trouble with a key employee? Maybe you’re both Visionaries butting heads? Or your both Integrators duking it out for who has the better process. Either way, the Visionary and Integrator Assessments are a valuable way for you to learn more about yourself as a leader, the key members of your team and how you all work together. So fascinating, don’t you think?!
I’ve been reading up a storm! On Friday, I’ll share my latest must-reads. If you’re into checklists, I’ve got the book for you! Stay tuned.
Until then, stay on your toes!
Take the Visionary and Integrator Assessments at the Rocket Fuel website.