Every pair needs a role. 

Every pilot needs a co-pilot, every composer, a conductor. Both roles make the other stronger, and it would be extremely difficult for one to get the job done (and do it well), without the other person’s skills.

It’s the same in business. 

When businesses run on the EOS Method, differentiating the types of leaders in the leadership team is a crucial growth and progress point. The Visionary and Integrator are the two-person team to lead and run a company effectively.

The relationship between the Visionary and Integrator isn’t always easy—they’re inherently different, and approach problems and solutions in ways that can contrast. But like any great duo, their qualities complement each other on a huge scale and exist to fill the gaps, so they can lead a business into a successful future.

Before we take a deeper look into the two roles and why they’re both so important, here’s the easiest way to think about Integrators vs Visionaries:

The Visionary sees the future of the company and know exactly where they want to go.

The Integrators actually get them there. They create the plan, and they make sure everyone is following that plan. They execute.

Visionary & The Integrator explained

The Visionary

In every business, there’s someone who has great original ideas. This person tends to be the entrepreneur who founded the company. The Visionary is constantly looking for ways to expand the business and push those ideas forward. They are excellent leaders with what can seem like neverending big ideas.

They build great relationships and can solve problems creatively—the Visionary’s passion, drive and creativity are what launches businesses and fuels its growth.

But with the valuable attributes that the Visionary possesses, also comes frustrations and feelings of being swamped. The great ideas, creative solutions and unwavering passion can feel overwhelming and can cause the Visionary to lose momentum rather quickly. Enter the Integrator.

The Integrator

Screen capture from Rocket Fuel

Walt and Roy Disney. Ray Kroc and Fred Turner at McDonald’s. Henry Ford and James Couzens at Ford. Every Visionary needs an Integrator and each of those giant companies was a startup once upon a time.

An Integrator is a person who thrives on bringing order to the chaos. They’re skilled at putting expert systems and processes in place to turn the ideas into a reality. The Integrator is usually a great manager, skilled at creating consistent environments and holding people accountable.

Where the Visionary may focus more on the bigger picture, the company culture and client relationships, the Integrator is naturally suited to making it happen—taking the company from point A to point B. 

Why both roles are essential to a business

The Visionary and the Integrator are starkly different in terms of how they approach business, think and problem solve. For the Visionary, it’s the passion, drive and creativity that launches business and fuels its growth. But as a company grows, the Visionary may start to feel swamped and overwhelmed with the workload, hindering both their progress and momentum.

At that time, the Visionary needs someone to step in—someone who is greatly detail-oriented, great at mediating conflict and who is skilled at executing plans and achieving maximum results. That’s where the Integrator comes in.

Put simply, the Visionary drives creativity and innovation, while the Integrator maintains business harmony.

The relationship between the two is essentially a two-piece puzzle. Both have qualities that wildly compliment the other—even the greatest Visionary’s can’t do it all, and the best Integrators fill that gap and turn the partnership into a winning formula.

Finding the winning formula with EOS

Why Entrepreneurial Companies Need a Visionary and an Integrator

EOS founder Gino Wickman and his Rocket Fuel co-author Mark C. Winters explain what makes each component of the winning formula.

When you run your business on EOS, one of the first things you’ll do is identify the major functions of the businesses and fill those roles. The people you choose who will be responsible and accountable for driving results in these areas make up the Leadership Team. 

The Leadership Team will work together with the Visionary and the Integrator to help run and maintain smooth operations throughout the entire business. When you have the right people in the right seats, where every person takes responsibility and is accountable for their area, you have what you need to take your business to its next level.

If you’re running a business and you’re not sure what your role is, take the Rocket Fuel Assessment Test and find out if you thrive as a Visionary or an Integrator. Then, once you have a clearer idea of where your skill sets lie, download a chapter of Rocket Fuel for a fuller, in-depth discovery of the integral roles of the two, and how a healthy relationship between the two can completely transform any business. You’ll learn more about whether you’re a Visionary or Integrator, find out how the two can work effectively together, and most importantly—how to find your perfect match.

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