The Executive Brief

Which Kind of Company Needs an Integrator The Most?

Mike Frommelt Visionary, EOS, Integrator, Retained Executive Search

It's actually a bit of a trick question.

Any company that wants to grow needs an Integrator.

But companies with leadership teams who are adamantly against hiring an Integrator, are probably the ones who need them the most. 

In my 20+ years of serving private companies, I’ve observed many leaders who are overly reliant on their CEOs (Visionaries). Life is smooth and easy when they can run to the Visionary with problems rather than solving them on their own. Unfortunately, Visionaries are generally great at problem solving, so many times a vicious cycle is created. This creates a culture in which the Visionary carries all accountability for the company and he/she can never get out of the weeds. The end result, little or no growth.

Of course, these companies with less than accountable cultures are prime candidates for an Integrator who will free the Visionary to perform at his/her best and move the company forward.

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Is Your Leadership Team Accountable?

Yet, hiring an Integrator is often a very scary prospect for those unaccountable leaders. They will now have to think/act for themselves and their results (or lack there of) will become transparent to the rest of the company.

Rarely will these employees be open and honest about their anxiety and in their defense, they may not even fully understand why the prospect of an Integrator puts their stomach in knots. Likely comments are “I’m worried an Integrator will destroy our culture” or “I'm not sure how adding another layer to the company will help us grow".

I've recently seen a few teams who have convinced their Visionary that the Integrator role is not really necessary, at least "not right now". This is despite the Visionary knowing in their heart of hearts that poor accountability is holding the company back.

Getting Backlash?

If you have discussed adding an Integrator with your leadership team and are getting a bit too much backlash, I encourage you to really analyze the accountability in your company. Observe the behaviors of your leaders over few weeks period. How many times do they come to you with problems they could/should really solve on their own? How many excuses were made for results not accomplished, rocks not completed etc...?

An Integrator may just be the missing ingredient to reaching your vision.

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