Remember when we read Traction?…
Well here is another book from the same authors, and that actually covers very similar topics, but with this one we start finding out whether you (or the person you work for) is a visionary or an integrator.
The reason that this is important is because all too often we find ourselves in positions at work that do not lend themselves to our natural talents and when that happens there is only so long we can sustain things before we get bored, drained, overwhelmed and completely stuck.
The visionary is all about generating new ideas, innovating, and driving the business forward. A person in the Visionary role is the creative problem solver who marches toward uncharted territory, the risk taker who can see the future. Visionaries often focus on the big picture, culture, client relationships. An Integrator is the person who thrives on creating order out of chaos. She is the person who is naturally suited to setting priorities, solving conflicts, removing obstacles, getting the company from point A to point B.
Does any of that resonate with you?
There’s actually some questionnaires in the book that you can do to find out your score on the visionary and integrator scale which you may find quite interesting to do. If you score over 80 on either of them it means that that role is super strong in you. I came out as a score of 67 for visionary and 83 for integrator which I would say is a good reflection of how I see my talents and thought processes and yet I still had an interesting reaction to it as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be pigeon holed in the ‘making stuff happen’ box.
I let it sit for a bit and then revisited why I felt so annoyed about the results. I think it began with not wanting to feel trapped (a classic thing that links to the ‘classification’ I have from the Enneagram if you are familiar with that!). But as I thought about it more I realised that the results are actually a confirmation of a number of things I already know about myself.
My life is full of juxtapositions…
I love being around people, whilst I also constantly crave alone time.
I love planning and dreaming of big future possibilities whilst also keeping a really close eye on the short term details (and everything inbetween!)
I love solving problems and puzzles and tackling big issues but I also can’t wait to hand back the responsibility of something and run towards a new thing I can get stuck into.
After pondering this for a while, I then happened across the description of a fractional integrator and it put a big grin on my face…
“A fractional integrator functions as an external, interim COO, putting skin to a company’s vision by focused, actionable, and sustainable strategies. The integrator will assess accountability, internal processes, and root issues ensuring that your company has top to bottom alignment between your vision and daily operations. With many years of experience in small to mid-size companies, an integrator understands that the rate of change for each company is personal, as is each entrepreneur’s vision. Since a fractional integrator works on an interim basis, they also have the advantage of being highly objective, allowing them to discover the opportunity those too close to the source often cannot identify.
The immediate shift and ultimate goal when an integrator begins an engagement is for the CEO, who is often the visionary, and founder in small to mid-sized companies, be freed from day to day operations so they he or she can focus their energy on their true passion: vision casting, developing relationships and conjuring the next big idea.”
Now that makes a lot of sense when put in the context of what I do. So interesting!
The main message of this book is to get your visionary / integrator scores and to then find someone whose puzzle piece fits yours…
So if you are 90 on the visionary scale then you probably need someone who is a similar strength on the integrator scale who can harness all your ideas and get everything working like clockwork. If you score lower than that, then maybe you need someone who is also lower on the integrator scale but who shows up in visionary ways that are a bit different to yours, and therefore creates a perfect fit.
From there you can keep reviewing and tweaking things to ensure everyone is doing what best suits their natural talents and skills and make sure you don’t fall into old habits of trying to do it all or fill the gaps just because you used to do it that way. Knowing what you are brilliant at and aligning that to what you say yes to is the key to having more energy, more effectiveness and doing things with ease. I’d love even more of that, wouldn’t you?