HERE’S WHAT INTEGRATORS BRING TO AN ORGANIZATION An Integrator is a person who has the Unique Ability ® to harmoniously integrate the significant functions of the business, run the organization, and manage the day-to-day issues that arise.
The Integrator is the glue that holds the company’s people, processes, systems, priorities, and strategy together. The following characteristics are typical Integrator representations.
They are being accountable for Running the Day-to-Day Duties assigned. In contrast to Visionaries, Integrators are typically very good at leading, managing, and holding people accountable.
They love running the day-to-day aspects of the business and working with the visionary to take on big projects with 100% clarity. They enjoy being accountable for growth-oriented goals, ensuring the company’s profitability and for the execution of the business plan. They remove obstacles so that people can execute. Typically, they operate at a more detailed level than their Visionary counterparts. When a major initiative is undertaken, the Integrator will foresee the ripple of implications that will move across the organization. Visionaries typically don’t even see, or will substantially underestimate, these ripple effects.
The Steady Force. An Integrator is the type of person who is obsessed with organizational clarity and does all necessary to ensure that all are on the same page…. No surprises. . They are great at making sure people are communicating within the organization. Integrators are fanatical about resolution and forcing conclusions.
When the team is at odds, they are a masterful tiebreaker. They drive everyone to execute the business plan. They are great at managing big organizational projects and the expansion of the company. They are masters of follow-through. When priorities need to be set for the organization and everyone must be aligned with those priorities, they are right at home, keeping everyone laser-focused and driving results. They create organizational focus and accountability. Integrators have a unique skill to execute a vision. They help provide a cadence and consistency for the team and help them stick with it. Think of the consistent drumbeat on an ancient ship or the coxswain in a crew shouting “row . . . row . . . row . . .” These verbal cues influence the speed, timing, and coordination. They enable everyone to pull together in the same direction.
An Integrator is that steady force for the organization. An Integrator is a team player or leader that harmoniously integrates the significant functions of the business (e.g., sales, marketing, operations, and finance). When those powerful functions are vital and have strong people accountable for each role, healthy tension is created. The Integrator blends that friction into more incredible energy for the company as a whole. At the same time, that makes a unity that leads to a healthy, functional leadership team.
Integrators create organizational clarity, enabling the right hand to know what the left hand is doing— keeping everyone in sync. They have a gift for doing what we call “getting all of the arrows pointing in the same direction.” The best way to describe what that means is to imagine all of the people in your organization as arrows. Think about their direction based on their interpretation of the values, priorities, and key issues— basically, what is most important to the company. If your people are not all on the same page with these items, the arrows will be pointing in many different directions. Some of your indicators are pointing up, some down, right, left, or diagonally. As a result, your organization is stuck or moving so slowly that brute force is required to achieve your goals. Now imagine all of those arrows pointing in one single direction. Everyone’s goals, values, and priorities are aligned. The result will be your organization moving forward freely and effortlessly.
The Integrator has the powerful ability to point a group of people all in the same direction. “As an Integrator, you lead the agency management team. Your primary job is to keep the team focused on reaching the company goals, delivering a quality product, keeping our clients happy, and growing our knowledge base. Our product is only as strong as collaborative talent, drive, and motivation. The Integrator should live and focus on making sure all live and breathe our Core Values. This person works hard to ensure that we have a dedicated staff that feels appreciated and takes great pride in our work. It’s about continuously developing new ways of solving problems and making sure those new solutions are executed and communicated throughout the organization.”
The Voice of Reason. The Integrator also filters all of the Visionary’s ideas, which helps to eliminate hurdles, stumbling blocks, and barriers for the leadership team.
THE INTEGRATOR ROLE: HERE’S WHAT YOU DO Say in a more simplified manner. A great Integrator creates the following results in an organization. Where you see these results showing up, you’ll find an Integrator: • Clarity • Communication • Resolution • Focus • Accountability • Team unity • Well-managed projects • Follow-through • Tiebreakers that keep things moving • No obstacles or barriers • Prioritization • Execution • Steady force/ cadence/ consistency • “Glue” holding everything together • Consistent beating of the drum (“row, row”) • P& L results achieved • The business plan executed • The leadership team harmoniously integrated • Leadership, management, and accountability for the leadership team • The company operating system being followed by all • All the arrows pointed in the same direction • Visionary ideas being harnessed: “Visionary Prozac” • Day-to-day tasks run smoothly
THE INTEGRATOR CHALLENGES: HERE’S WHAT YOU AREN’T’ As an Integrator, you might be thumping your chest by this time, but you should be aware that with unique gifts come particular challenges. Here are the challenges an Integrator faces, along with the downsides of being one.
No Glory. For one, Integrators are the unsung heroes.
You are being the Pessimist. Integrators are often deemed as “glass is half empty” kind of people. This accusation most often comes from your Visionary, by the way. A good Integrator can poke holes in ideas, opportunities, and potential solutions. As a result, you can come off as being a pessimist or defeatist. A lot of times, you have to be the bad guy. You have to say “no” often. You must make the tough calls when the team is divided on an important issue. You are the one who has to filter the Visionary’s many ideas. It would be best if you convinced him when the picture doesn’t fit with the company’s Core Focus or the timing isn’t right.
Discipline and Accountability. You are the one who delivers the bad news to employees. You’re in charge of the dirty work that needs to be done. Many times you are the one making the tough personnel decisions and delivering the news, whether that’s firing a long-term employee, demoting someone who can’t keep up, or having a last-straw conversation with a problematic team member. All of these duties put you in a position where someone for something frequently dislikes you. Someone doesn’t belong on the bus. The bad-guy role can wear on you and cause you to be short, callous, or downright mean. Sometimes, being so far down into the weeds, you start to lose sight of the big picture and the “people/ human” side of the operation. You can feel unappreciated at times and become unappreciative of your people. You aren’t getting thank-you’s, so you stop giving them to others. As the person who harmoniously integrates the leadership team, you are constantly dealing with friction. This affects your energy, and you can become frustrated and tense. In this frame of mind, you don’t make decisions with the same effectiveness. People see that you are frustrated, and it affects the culture.
You are going Slow to Go Fast. You are often accused of moving too slowly by your Visionary. Therefore, you are constantly wrestling with balancing the Visionary’s speed to advance new initiatives against the limited resources available to execute them. I am challenged to balance the idea-to-reality timing so that both are satisfied.”
Lack of Appreciation. The toughest one of all is that your job can be downright lonely. As an Integrator, you are in a position that doesn’t allow for many pats on the back, small talk, and friendships. Often, the better you are at doing your job, the less you are noticed. In the words of one Integrator, “It’s a relatively thankless job. Don’t get me wrong; I know I’m appreciated. But there are a lot of things that get done behind the scenes that no one would notice. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who knows I’m holding things together because it’s done behind the scenes. That can be lonely at times.”
Not Superman. You see what needs to get done, and you wish it could all be done right now. You want to bring order to the chaos. Lots of others are counting on you, and it hurts to think about letting them down. At times, these thoughts will blend and convince you to rationalize some unreasonable expectations of yourself. Too much. Too soon. Too fast. You expect a lot from yourself— sometimes too much. And when you can’t deliver on it all, you beat yourself up.
WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY? At this point, we hope to have made the Integrator role very clear and its value. Assuming we have, then what’s the gap between where you are and where you could be? We most commonly see three scenarios when an Integrator role is not fully functioning:
The Integrator DNA Common Roles Common Traits Common Challenges • Communication • Personally accountable • The job can be thankless • Resolution • Adept at self-management • Accusations of pessimism
WHAT A VISIONARY BRINGS:
WHAT AN INTEGRATOR BRINGS:
The results to be achieved:
Standards by which the results will be evaluated:
MISSION for INTEGRATOR
To help build and maintain a world class professional services company that serves and delivers real results to …… . To become the ……….