In this edition of our Behind the Scenes blog series, EOS Worldwide Integrator Kelly Knight and Visionary Mark O’Donnell talk about the rise of the Integrator, the factors that led EOS Worldwide to acquire Rocket Fuel™, and how EOS Tools fueled the decision.
Do you think people truly understand the power of the Visionary/Integrator™ relationship?
Mark: They understand it more, thanks to Rocket Fuel. But there’s a lot more to teach about that relationship.
Kelly: Like in a small to medium-sized business, there’s only one Integrator™ for every four Visionaries.
Mark: And the number of those Integrators who can also tolerate the randomness of a Visionary and create a relationship that works is even smaller. Visionaries can create chaos by wanting their ideas to be implemented immediately. Most Integrators will see that and say, “Leave me alone, you’re a crazy person!” A lot of Visionaries want to find an Integrator, but they don’t necessarily know how to interact with one.
Kelly: It’s also a myth that good ideas can only come from Visionaries. Integrators aren’t just great at execution; they come up with a lot of ideas that meld well with Visionaries and make it possible to achieve traction. It’s a magical relationship that’s transformational when you have the right fit.
Mark: Visionaries definitely don’t have a corner on the market of good ideas. They’re more about momentum and forward-moving energy. In fact, I think Integrators have a lot of the best ideas. Visionaries have so many, and not all of them are good. But they create forward momentum.
Kelly: It’s really about picking the best of the best ideas, tied to Core Focus™. And that’s only possible when a Visionary and Integrator really respect each other. Integrators need to respect the sometimes manic thinking process of Visionaries. It’s not crazy. It’s actually one of their greatest assets. A good Integrator harnesses that and makes it come alive.
Why did EOS Worldwide decide to acquire Rocket Fuel instead of leaving the relationship the way it was?
Mark: It came down to two things: training toward EOS Mastery and our passion to help entrepreneurs live their ideal lives. We have to be the purveyors of EOS Mastery. No one else can do it for us. Rocket Fuel gives us a way to reach entrepreneurs with the content to crystallize who’s an Integrator and who’s a Visionary, then give them the training to think about it in different ways, as well as the tools to match Visionaries with Integrators.
Kelly: Rocket Fuel was active before; now it’s activated. We’re helping Rocket Fuel co-author Mark Winters do that through marketing, refining the value proposition, and creating awareness.
Was there anything significant about the timing?
Mark: Right now, EOS has a lot of forward momentum, almost a default state of pushing the business forward. We’re in a massive process of cleaning up our IP and looking for points of value that we can add to the EOS Implementer Community™, so the timing made sense from that perspective.
Kelly: Honestly, this wasn’t the first time we approached Mark Winters. But this time, he was confident that we could defend, monitor, and market the brand more aggressively than he had the time and interest to do himself.
Mark: Now I’m the Visionary of EOS and Mark Winters is the Visionary of Rocket Fuel. Is that too many Marks?
Kelly: Maybe … : )
How would you describe your own Visionary/Integrator™ relationship?
Kelly: I’ve worked with 11 different Visionaries …
Kelly: Yep. Even my dad was a Visionary. Every time he wanted to show me something, he would draw me a picture. He was the first person who showed me how to take an idea and make it real.
Mark: OK, everything makes sense now!
Kelly: What’s really interesting about Mark O’Donnell’s and my relationship is that 99.9% of the time, it’s Visionaries seeking Integrators. Our case is a rare one where I got to choose Mark. I was hired to be Mike Paton’s Integrator. When he went back to implementing, we knew that the next Visionary had to be a fit for me. It almost never happens that way.
Mark: And I didn’t exactly raise my hand …
Kelly: Exactly! I would go to Mark, and he would say, “No.” I’d come back a month later, still “No.” Finally, I came back and said I’d only ask one more time, and he said, “Yes.”
Mark: I also had C. J. DuBé, Nate Wolfson and about 10 other people trying to persuade me. I was resistant, but I love this quote by the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus: “How long will you wait until you demand the best for yourself?” I realized that I was holding back a lot and needed to be challenged.
Kelly: We also had a practice run in the early days of COVID. We worked together on the Community Leadership Team helping our Implementers weather the storm and save their clients’ businesses. That was a great test of our V/I relationship. Anyone can look like a good partner when it’s all roses, rainbows, and lollipops. You learn a lot about someone during a crisis. And with Mark, I saw his integrity.
Mark: I saw becoming the EOS Visionary as my next entrepreneurial adventure. And when I asked myself if Kelly was the right puzzle piece for that, the answer was an emphatic “Yes!” We got along really well under tremendous pressure — both before and during COVID, and it was a great fit.
Now that it’s officially under the EOS umbrella, what’s the vision for Rocket Fuel?
Kelly: This acquisition will do wonders for Integrators. Before we made this move, they didn’t really have a forum. Visionaries have multiple organizations perfectly tailored to them, but Integrators are like these lost sheep. We care deeply about giving them somewhere to collaborate. There was a small paid platform to do that, but when we opened it up and made it free, it exploded. In fact, I’m personally excited to be included in the very first cohort of Professional EOS Integrators and participate in my first Quarterly Integrator Exchange (QIE) event this fall!
Mark: I think Rocket Fuel University went from 300 to 1,000 members in a month. We also have the EOS Integrator Masterclass™ and Professional and Certified EOS Integrator™ programs (that Kelly just referenced). It’s not MBA stuff. It’s not about the ability to read a P&L or any technical components. It’s a signal to the world that says, “I know how to build a team, lead, manage, hold people accountable, and work with Visionaries wherever they are.”
Kelly: We should also mention that Rocket Fuel allows us to create a “train the trainer” program and add revenue streams for EOS Implementers®, so they can differentiate themselves in the market compared to other coaches teaching from the book.
Which EOS Tools drove the decision to acquire Rocket Fuel?
Kelly: It’s the V/TO™, but really focusing on the Core Focus™, Core Target™, and core values.
Mark: You look at several questions that relate to EOS Tools and core values. “Is this in line with our Core Focus, our purpose, our cause or passion, and our niche?” The answer to that is undoubtedly “Yes.” These concepts and philosophies help entrepreneurs live their best lives, probably in more ways than any other tool in the toolkit. “Does this fuel even better training toward EOS mastery?” Absolutely. “Does it help us get closer to having 100,000 companies running on EOS with the help of an Implementer?” Yes.
Based on our own Tools, it was really an easy decision to make.