The Visionary Trap

In EOS-run companies, there are 2 leadership roles that must work in unison: the Visonary and the Integrator. Visionaries focus on the big picture, company culture, and client and internal relationships. Integrators take the visionary’s ideas and create order by ensuring the company’s priorities move the needle from point A to point B. Visionaries are the idea people, and Integrators get stuff done – very different roles held by very different personalities.

What happens when an off-the-chart visionary won’t settle in to focus on what needs to get done and when the integrator doesn’t hold feet to the fire? It holds the company back. In October, I met with the leadership team of a company that is trying to raise a substantial amount of money. The visionary left the session with a rock to resolve board issues and establish protocols so that they function more effectively.

6 months later, the rock is still not complete. The visionary fell into a trap – he does what he is wired to do – bring new ideas to the leadership team. Whether or not they’re great ideas is irrelevant if they sidetrack the company’s goal of raising $100M! Shiny objects distract and veer undisciplined teams off-track.

The inability to resolve issues quickly and decisively not only impacts the leadership team’s ability to lead but will ultimately be reflected in the funds (or lack of funds) raised. By working with the visionary and integrator, helping them resolve underlying issues, and holding a mirror close to their faces, we took the first steps toward getting them back on track. I told them I loved them and wanted the best for them and the company and then called out what I was seeing.

Ultimately, whether they rise to the challenge of moving forward will be determined by the choices they make.

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