When Should I Hire an Integrator?

Almost twenty years ago, I made the discovery that most true entrepreneurs (visionaries) must be counterbalanced with an “Integrator.” If you have all six essential entrepreneurial traits, then it’s almost certain you will need an integrator someday.

Every successful entrepreneurial business has a common element that has ignited their growth. It’s the relationship between a Visionary and an Integrator.

  • The Visionary is usually the founding entrepreneur, the big-idea person, typically called the founder or CEO.
  • The Integrator is the unsung hero. They are the person that faithfully executes the business plan. They are typically called the president, chief of staff, or COO. 

These two people create a relationship that will take your business to the next level.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are rarely great at the day-to-day running of a business and managing the people. Their genetic encoding is big picture, big ideas, creating, growing. On the other hand, integrators are great at the day-to-day running of a business, managing and holding people accountable, and harmoniously integrating resources. They execute your vision.

In Entrepreneurial Leap I make this an early issue, the second stage of nine in building your business, because some entrepreneurs are proactive enough to launch their business with their Integrator already in place. This can be an employee or an equity partner, depending on whether you prefer a partner or not.

When I launched EOS Worldwide, I knew I couldn’t do it without an Integrator. So the very first thing I did was find one.

You don’t need an integrator to start your business. Most entrepreneurs don’t, but at some point, you’ll most likely need this counterpart, whether on day one or in year ten. Many entrepreneurs play both roles for years until they absolutely need to hire an integrator, while some join forces right out of the shoot.

When you feel ready to find your integrator counterpart, I urge you to read the book I wrote, Rocket Fuel, with coauthor Mark C. Winters. It will show you exactly how to do it. And help you to be a better entrepreneur.

Joel Pearlman and Rob Dube of imageOne started their business as an entrepreneur-integrator dynamic duo and fifty-fifty partners. By contrast, Todd Sachse of Sachse Construction built his company to over $100 million over twenty years before he decided to hire an integrator.

Next Steps

Think about when the perfect time for you is to join forces with your integrator. If you want a deeper dive into the concept, order and read Rocket Fuel to help you decide the right time for you to bring on an integrator, and exactly how to do so.