“Visionaries have groundbreaking ideas. Integrators make those ideas a reality. This explosive combination is the key to getting everything you want out of your business.” As leadership and business consultants, we see these words from Gino Wickman’s book Rocket Fuel played out every day among our clients. That being said, the relationship between Visionaries and Integrators is not without its challenges. After all, Visionaries are about big and even bigger ideas. Integrators are tasked with evaluating, refining, and executing those ideas to create sustainable success for the business.
In our experience, we have often witnessed Visionaries becoming impatient with Integrators (and senior leadership team members, and employees…), which can seriously impair the forward momentum of the business. If you are a Visionary, here are five tips to strengthen your relationship with your Integrator and help ensure your business gets the full benefit of your incredible gifts.
1. Pace your idea presentation
It is natural for Visionaries to have lots of ideas and want to share them with the Integrator and the leadership team. However, an avalanche of ideas has the potential to be overwhelming, with the result that the best ideas cannot be selected and acted upon.
As a Visionary, you certainly don’t want to stop thinking up new ideas – this is where you shine! But you may need to pace the presentation of your ideas to your Integrator to allow him or her time to assimilate and assess each idea in turn.
2. Let your Integrator act as a filter
Ideas are exciting to Visionaries and you undoubtedly want to implement every idea you have. But, the fact is that not all ideas are created equal. You may not be able to readily see which ideas are good vs. better vs. best since they are all dear to you. You may not be able to evaluate whether some ideas are great but need to wait. And, you may not be able to tell when you have come up with a dud (hey, it happens!).
Your Integrator is highly skilled at evaluating ideas and determining which make the most sense for the business right now or for the future. As tough as it may be, let your Integrator act as a filter for your ideas. Give him or her permission to speak freely and align yourself with their advice.
3. Free your Integrator to do what they do best
It is understandable that you want to know how your ideas are progressing toward reality. Recognize, however, that your enthusiasm can express itself as micromanaging – and that is to be avoided at all costs.
Always bear in mind that your Integrator is an executor extraordinaire. He or she knows how to turn ideas into actuality. When you micromanage or insert yourself by asking a thousand detailed questions, you are only succeeding in delaying the achievement of your goals. Stand back! Free your Integrator to do his or her job in the way that they know best. Your Integrator knows how to transform your ideas into sustainable value for your business by applying operational disciplines.
4. Remember that executing great ideas takes time
As the Visionary at your company, it is easy to get impatient. After all, you are already on to the next big idea. It can seem like everybody else is moving at a snail’s pace. They are not, however. Their train simply runs on a different track than yours; that is how it should be, since idea generation and idea implementation are two very different activities.
There’s no way around this: you have to become more patient. It helps to have frequent one-on-one meetings with your Integrator so that you understand what is being done to actualize your ideas. Keeping up to date with progress helps tamp down on your very natural impatience.
5. Manage your own energy level
As a Visionary, you might feel that you have limitless energy. But coming up with a constant stream of ideas does take an effort, and you can succumb to exhaustion if you are not careful.
To work at your optimal capacity (which is definitely not running flat-out 24/7), it can be very helpful to take a clarity break. A clarity break is simply time that you set aside to think – by yourself with no interruptions. During a clarity break, you can assess your own mental and emotional status and make a plan to ramp up or ramp down your activities to ensure that you manage your energy for maximum output. Being in business is a marathon and all successful marathoners know how to pace themselves. That is what you want to do, too.
As a Visionary, you need your Integrator and your Integrator needs you … and you both need to focus on what you do best and let the other person do what they do best. When you do, you will have all the rocket fuel you need to propel your business skyward!