Which Disney are you: Walt or Roy?

Matching puzzle pieces (how and why)

Visionaries inspire change and innovation. Without them, there would be no Disney, no Microsoft, no Orchard Corset (shameless plug), Southwest Airlines or even EOSWorldwide.  Each of these organizations changed their industries in profound ways (OK, perhaps creating content and providing open and honest help and information to our customers at Orchard Corset doesn’t constitute a ‘profound’ change-but it was a game changer). 

But a Visionary-a true Visionary-cannot create innovation and change on their own. To paraphrase Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why, the Why-types (Visionaries) set the destination and the How-types design the route. In EOS®, we call the How-types Integrators. A strong relationationship between a Visionary/Integrator (V/I) can move mountains and build empires. 

Are you familiar with Roy Disney? Probably not, but without brother Roy, there would be no Walt Disney empire. Walt was quoted as saying, “If it hadn’t been for my big brother, I’d have been in jail several times for checks bouncing.” Walt imagined and dreamed. Roy worked behind the scenes to build an empire. This is typical of How-types or Integrators; they often work in the shadows outside of the limelight. But without them, a Visionary’s vision goes unrealized. 

Roy is in good company. Rollin King, Paul Allen, Steve Wozniak and Ralph Abernathy were world-class Integrators to Herb Kelleher, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, respectively.  Integrators are often the unsung heroes of great organizations and movements. A Visionary’s vision is only as good as its execution. To build greatness-you need both. 

If you have the How, you can usually still be successful. Someone who knows the How is able to navigate in business. She will successfully climb a corporate ladder or maybe even start her own business. The How means that a business has the resources to execute a plan, grow and be profitable. However, without a Visionary to drive the How and point to the destination, it is unlikely that a business will ever be truly great. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. A Visionary without someone to execute will struggle to stay afloat and is not likely to succeed.. 

Simon argues that most of us are How-types. In their book Rocket Fuel, Mark Winters and Gino Wickman contend that there are many more Visionaries than Integrators in the world (26% V’s to 5% I’s). Why the difference? EOS defines the role of  Integrator as bigger than just a How-type. An Integrator of an organization harmoniously integrates the leadership team so they can work toward achieving the vision inspired by the Visionary. Integrators have the ability to sift through the myriad of ideas a Visionary brings forth and is able to identify those worth pursuing; those ideas that align with the vision and plan set forth by the leadership team. 

Are you an entrepreneur who feels stuck, or you have started and failed several businesses? It is heartbreaking to have an inspired vision and watch it crash and burn. What can you do to bring your vision to fruition? Know your strengths: are you a Visionary or Integrator? Or something in between? There are resources to help you know your role (check out markcwinters.com/rocket-fuel-now/). If you aren’t an Integrator, you need to find one. Orchard Corset has a brilliant visionary in Jeff Kurpuis, but the company didn’t thrive until he and I entered into a 6-year partnership as Visionary/Integrator.  The organization skyrocketed during our time together because we had both the Why and the How.. 

A Visionary cannot fulfill their potential without the support and skills of an Integrator. In the words of Mark Winters, “If you are a Visionary, know thyself and be free. If you are an Integrator, know thyself and be stressed.” If you are a  Visionary, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Rocket Fuel, lean into your considerable strengths and find the missing puzzle piece that will catapult your organization to the next level. Look for the right Integrator, one that complements your strengths and weaknesses as a Visionary. And when you find yours, sit back and watch the magic happen. 


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