S1E9: Letting Go of the Vine | Mike Frommelt & Tony Bednar

Rocket Fuel
Rocket Fuel
S1E9: Letting Go of the Vine | Mike Frommelt & Tony Bednar

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Have you caught yourself wondering, “What are the signs that I need an Integrator™? How do I find one and build a thriving relationship with them?” You’re not alone. Creating a business with a thriving team and vision-driven growth is a challenge. Ultimately, it has more to do with relationships than résumés or qualifications.

Today’s guests have been working together for three years. Their honest, open communication has been key to building a strong foundation of trust that has allowed their team and company to thrive.

Mike Frommelt is the Visionary, co-founder, and CEO of KeyStone Search, an executive search and recruitment company, and Tony Bednar is the president and Integrator. In this episode, they share their insights about how to onboard a new Integrator, building trust outside the office, and discerning if you’re ready to become part of a Visionary/Integrator (V/I) Duo.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Same Page Meetings can make or break a V/IDuo™.
  • Integrators help Visionaries clarify their thinking.
  • You don’t need to hire an Integrator from your industry.
  • Use the Rocket Fuel Power Index to help you identify gaps in your Visionary/Integrator relationship.

Some Questions Asked: 

  • How long did it take Mike to find an Integrator?
  • What are the steps to finding an Integrator?
  • How did Tony learn to say “no” to Mike, the Visionary?
  • What things did Mike have to do to make Tony successful in his new Integrator role?
  • What did Mike and Tony do out of the gate to make their relationship great?
  • How do you know if your business needs an Integrator?

V/I Duo Success Requires Intentional Time Together 

After successfully running his business on EOS for six years, Mike decided to bring in a Fractional Integrator. He’d had several partners leave the company and knew this was the opportunity to get the team right.

When Mike sat down to his first Same Page Meeting, he was shocked. His new Integrator asked him, “What is keeping you up at night?” and listened.

“[That Same Page Meeting] was the first time I had anybody who really picked my brain and started to organize it.” — Mike [2:55]

Mike emphasizes that when he began his Integrator search, he didn’t focus solely on candidates from his industry. It was more important to look for a quality professional with the right skill set who shared his company’s philosophy. That mindset led Mike to his current Integrator, Tony.

Building trust was, and still is, at the forefront of Mike and Tony’s priorities. When they started working together, they made it a point to spend time together outside of work. They got to know each other’s families and values, and invested in their relationship wherever possible. Mike and Tony credit these efforts, in conjunction with their Same Page Meetings, to their successful dynamic.

“The number one reason a Visionary/Integrator relationship doesn’t work is a lack of commitment to the Same Page Meeting.” — Tony [21:57]

The Delegate and Elevate tool helped Mike and Tony learn how to communicate with each other, and they swear by using the Rocket Fuel Power Index quarterly to identify gaps in the relationship. Additionally, clarifying roles helps minimize friction and confusion that can weigh down a V/I Duo.

Mike reflects that he knew he needed an Integrator when he got specific with his own role and needs:

“You have to be ready [for an Integrator]. I was very ready because I’d been through a number of frustrating years. I was really ready to let go of the vine and to be humble and listen and accept someone else into the organization who could do the things that I couldn’t do.” — Mike [38:49]

If you’re ready to learn how to find the Integrator ideal for you and how EOS Tools can help, don’t miss this episode of “Rocket Fuel.”

Learn More:

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About The Rocket Fuel Podcast

Every outstanding entrepreneurial business has a common element that launched it to success. 

It has a Visionary who sees the big picture, envisions the future, and lives for challenge and risk. It also has an Integrator™, who works behind the scenes executing the business plan and doing the backbreaking work of making the Visionary’s dreams a reality. 

On their own, these two types of leaders have potential, but together they form an essential relationship that propels their business to new heights – we call that Rocket Fuel™. 

Join real and raw conversations with the world’s top entrepreneurial duos as they talk about their journey to getting more of what they want from their business. Hosted by Mark C. Winters, Visionary and co-author of Rocket Fuel. 

About Mark C. Winters

Mark C. Winters is an Expert EOS Implementer™, co-author of Rocket Fuel alongside Gino Wickman, and the Visionary of Rocket Fuel University™. Since age 28, Mark has started, bought, shut down, or sold 14 companies. Today, he spends much of his time helping entrepreneurial leadership teams run on EOS® and has delivered over 700 full-day sessions with companies around the United States. Mark’s talent for introducing the right combination of perspective and process sparks leadership teams to start moving, move faster, or begin moving in the right direction — with clarity. 

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