Visionaries and Integrators: What is an Integrator?

Two puzzle pieces

If you haven’t read my previous blog about Visionaries and Integrators, please take a moment to read it first to get essential context for this article:

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.

What is an Integrator?

An Integrator is the person who is the tie-breaker for the Leadership Team, is the glue for the organization, holds everything together, beats the drum (provides cadence), is accountable for the P&L results, executes the business plan, holds the Leadership Team accountable, and is the steady force in the organization.

The Integrator also creates organizational clarity, communication, and consistency; typically (but not always) operates more on logic; drives results; forces resolution, focus, team unity, prioritization and follow-through; is the filter for all of the Visionary’s ideas; harmoniously integrates the Leadership Team, and helps to remove obstacles and barriers.

Filling the Integrator Seat

If you are a Visionary forced to play the Integrator role because you’re stuck with nobody to free you up, the first step is to find someone in your organization, and if the right person isn’t in your organization, you must look outside your organization. In the meantime, you or someone must play the Integrator role on a temporary basis to the best of your ability until you fill the Integrator seat with the right person.

If you are an Integrator who is confused about your role, work with your Visionary to clarify your roles and responsibilities to create clarity for yourselves and your team. Reference the blogs above and the resources at the end of this article to help you.

If you are in a business partnership, co-running your business, typically one of you is better suited for the Integrator role, while the other is really a Visionary. If you haven’t yet clarified these roles, trying to co-run the business is probably causing confusion and complexity for you and your team. If you divide and conquer – clearly defining and owning the Visionary and Integrator roles – you will create clarity, execute better, and get to your vision faster.

Occasionally you are the rare combination of Visionary and Integrator. While this is rare, it does exist. If so, then simply collapse the two roles into one and illustrate it in your accountability chart as the Integrator role and go forward.

Creating Rocket Fuel for Your Company

As a dynamic duo, the Visionary and the Integrator are the key ingredients an entrepreneurial company needs to get to the next level. The Visionary/Integrator relationship is a two-piece puzzle. Even the most inspiring Visionaries cannot do it all, and the ideal Integrator will fill the void, seal the gap and complete the winning formula.

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