For the third time in less than a week, I've heard about CEOs who shoot ideas from the hip without including any 'real' parameters about how they get accomplished. They are passionate, often eccentric and not always practical. Is this you? Have you noticed it impeding progress? What can you do about it?
In small to mid-size companies, the owner and founder often runs the show. They are an entrepreneur with vision and loads of ideas. They are creative, connected to the emotions and culture of the company, see the big picture, and are super smooth with investors, key customers, and suppliers.
They are also a barrier to success. They do not hold people accountable or manage the nitty gritty that turn the crank and move the company forward.
This is what Gino Wickman writes about in his book Traction. I read the book awhile back and, to be honest, wasn't real excited by it. But it does cover trends and concrete steps that can be applied across companies - like a manual. This trend I see now this is exactly what he was talking about.
He calls these two roles the Visionary and the Integrator - and they couldn't be more different.
The Visionary is described above. They are creative and work through the big, hairy, thorny problems. They inspire employees and inspire confidence in investors and customers. The Integrator, on the other hand, works logically to eliminate problems and integrate the major functions of the business. They manage the day-to-day details, lead, and hold the team accountable.
It's common to have a visionary and no integrator. It's also common to have an integrator and no visionary. But most good partnerships have one of each. Wickman cites a University of California professor that teaches the need for both at the top - the entrepreneur and his lust balanced by the prudence and discipline of a manager.
So what are you? The Visionary? The Integrator? There ... that wasn't so hard now was it? Wickman walks us through the steps of outlining these tasks and building the right structure. However, I'd wager your first step is to be aware - and think about how all the organizations needs are being met. If your organization doesn't have both roles, what are you missing? What are you doing about it?