Is not hiring an Integrator holding you back?
Adam Tully – Better Talent
When it comes to business, there’s always more that can be done to unlock the potential of your company. As an entrepreneur, business owner, or CEO, you are most likely keenly aware that there are always new ways to improve work-life balance and increase profits. But, in reality, most of us need more time to think through each process, implement changes, and create a system that maintains and keeps employees accountable. To make things even more stressful (and if we’re being really sincere), most visionary types aren’t wired to manage all the details and will run the other way when faced with a mountain of details to sort through.
You’re not alone in the struggle.
With my years of experience as an Integrator, I’ve been able to assist organizations with this all too frustrating scenario of recognizing what is possible in your business but feeling frustrated when trying to move the organization forward.
In this article, I’ll cover the following:
1)What is an Integrator?
2)What role does an Integrator play in an organization?
3)What should I look for in an Integrator?
4)When should I hire an Integrator?
What is an Integrator?
The role of an Integrator was introduced to the entrepreneurial world by Gino Wickman in his books, Traction and RocketFuel. In his books, he explained the dynamic relationship between two personality types and skill sets that have been game-changers when it comes to finding a way to scale businesses effectively.
The two components of this duo are a Visionary and an Integrator.
Which one are you?
Chances are if you’re the “big idea” person, you most likely fall in the Visionary category.
Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide.
Visionary vs. Integrator
- Visionaries set an organization’s direction and develop innovative ideas for the business.
- Integrators ensure that those ideas are put into practice effectively and timely, coordinating different departments and processes to make it happen.
- Visionaries have a creative mindset, while Integrators take the vision and make it a reality by taking action.
- Visionaries think big picture, while Integrators focus on efficiency and improving the effectiveness of existing systems.
- Visionaries look at what could be done while Integrators figure out how to do it.
Everyday stresses of a Visionary
As a Visionary, some common stresses you may face are:
- Balancing creative ideas with reality.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of turning your vision into reality.
- Difficulty delegating tasks to staff and trusting them to execute them correctly.
- Stress from juggling multiple projects at once.
- Challenges in getting “buy-in” from other departments or management for your big ideas.
At Better Talent, we see a lot of companies that are looking for an Integrator without realizing it. When they don’t have the language or the framework for an Integrator, they add the tasks and duties of an Integrator to Guest Service or Sales Managers. However, they quickly become frustrated, realizing that when the functions of an Integrator are separated between departments, it can have the opposite desired effect of wanting the departments to work together cohesively and instead create new processes that make things less efficient.
Don’t get me wrong, you can have someone in one of those roles who could potentially be a fantastic Integrator, but they’ll need to have the ability and the time to gain a deep understanding of each department as well as a clear understanding of the companies goals and a solid grasp of the CEO’s vision for the future to be effective.
This leads us to the next best question.
What role does an Integrator play in an organization?
An Integrator’s role in an organization is typically a COO, Operations Manager, Chief of Staff, or General Manager. They aren’t someone who is looking to play the understudy role of the CEO or Founder, hoping one day to be the star of the show. Instead, an Integrator prefers to play a behind-the-scenes role. They aren’t itching to be on a podcast or be your spokesperson…they’re there to manage the details so you can be free to promote and network without having to manage your phone all day, making the day-to-day operational decisions that are holding you back from chasing your vision for the company.
This individual will be someone who works to bring together different departments, processes, and systems within your company. They’ll work to create cohesion and improve the overall effectiveness of your organization. They are also responsible for ensuring that goals are met and any conflicts that may arise are resolved quickly and effectively.
Simply put, Integrators identify problems and develop solutions to fix them.
Famous Visionary/Integrator Duos
Here are a few examples of famous Visionaries and Integrators who utilized their different skill sets and inherent gifts to create incredible success:
But, an even better example of crystallizing the understanding of who a Visionary and an Integrator would be are a US President and their Chief of Staff….while I’m sure you can name at least a handful of Presidents (I hope), it’s a lot more challenging to name a Chief of Staff. And that’s for good reason because a Chief of Staff is not a duplicate of the President… they have very different roles and sets of objectives. They work behind the scenes but are no less important.
Key Responsibilities of an Integrator
- Developing a business plan and achieving or exceeding business objectives
- Transforming the Visionary’s ideas into company-wide plans and strategies
- Resolving issues in a practical, healthy way
- Identification of opportunities for capital improvements within the organization, enhancing revenue, increasing margins, reducing costs, and increasing productivity throughout the organization, all while improving efficiency
- Leading, managing, and holding staff accountable for achieving agreed-upon commitments.
What should I look for in an Integrator?
If you’re a visionary who’s been struggling with finding traction, there’s a good chance that by now, you’re pretty intrigued with the idea of adding an Integrator to the team but not quite sure what qualifications and characteristics to look for to ensure you make the right hire.
Over the next few months, I’ll be diving into this subject more, but for now, here’s a quick summary of what you’ll want to look for to make sure you get this hire right because we all know that a wrong hire can be a huge hit to your bottom line, but the right hire, especially in this role, can be highly beneficial for future revenue.
Qualifications and Characteristics of an Integrator
- Strong leadership skills – your Integrator should be comfortable taking the lead and working collaboratively across multiple departments.
- Results-oriented – you’ll want to look for someone with a proven track record of seeing results directly related to their decision-making.
- Financial acumen – it’ll be important that this individual understands business finances and can make sound financial decisions in the company’s best interest and with your future goals in mind.
- Strategic thinker – you’ll rely heavily on this person to take your exciting vision for the future and turn it into practical steps that make your ideas a reality. That means you’ll need this person to have strong analytical and strategic skills.
- Strong organizational skills – it’s no secret that Visionaries can sometimes be scattered with multiple to-do lists and journals full of ideas and possibilities; a good Integrator will be able to not only help you organize your thoughts into a clear and thought-out business plan but also organize your current business processes and departments.
When should I hire an Integrator?
The answer to this question can be different for each start-up scenario. Do you need to hire an Integrator to start your business? No. In fact, as a Visionary, this part of building your business is probably very energizing. Additionally, in the beginning stages, when you’re a smaller company with 1-5 employees, you may need to have your hand in more and aren’t at a place yet where you can make this hire.
At Better Talent, we specialize in the vacation rental and the hotel industry’s talent acquisition and have unique insight into helping companies determine when the right time to hire an Integrator is. We can also assist with how best to define their role for your organization, as well as in what capacity.
According to your stage in the game, we’ll discuss whether hiring a remote Integrator, part-time, or maybe even a consultant is best.
If you’re a Visionary who’s felt like you could be achieving a lot more, but the day-to-day operations and decision fatigue are holding you back, schedule your call today. We’d be happy to help you devise a strong hiring strategy to get you to the next level.