#05 Visionaries & Integrators make a powerful growth combination when it comes to business growth. You can learn all about how that works in the book Rocket Fuel.
But with Visionaries outnumbering Integrators 4 to 1, it can be hard for many visionaries to find and understand that integrator that will explode their growth.
On today's show, Justus Murimi sits down with an integrator who's been approached by dozens of visionaries and digs into how to approach that "Number 2" who can help you realize your vision.
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We're gonna do things a little bit different today. Hello, and welcome to the sharp business growth podcast, the show for CEOs who want to create healthy business growth. I'm your host, Deacon Bradley, alongside justice Murray today. And on today's show, we are doing things casually, we got a conversation that I want to share with you, justice and I, we sat down to record, we've talked for over an hour before we hit record today. And one of the things that we talked a lot about was, each of us worked with a lot of CEOs who are growing their business, we see a lot of the same problems. And one of the things that comes up over and over is that need for an integrator and the business visionaries and integrators worked so well together. If you want to know more about that read the book rocket fuel, it's fantastic. And that is a very powerful combination. But what visionaries often are missing is they don't understand an integrator they don't understand how an integrator wants to be approached, they don't understand what to expect. And as a result, they wind up being a little bit stuck. And so today, Justice is going to pick my brain. I'm an integrator, and he is just asking me a whole bunch of questions because you, the CEO, the visionary, we want you to understand integrators.JUSTUS MURIMI:
Okay. So whenever when I think about this episode, I think it's really important for if CEOs and visionaries are listening to this, I assume a lot of them are going, Okay, everything you guys are talking about, I'm at that place, I need an integrator, I need somebody to come in. And I would assume what they think attracts people like you is might be different than what actually attracts you. So when you're looking at a business going, I can help here or I'm attracted to this. What what are you looking for? Or what attracted you to businesses where you did come and help? What did you see that was like, or I'd like to come in here and help this thing scale? Huh? Well,Deacon Bradley:
I guess I would summarize it under the word opportunity. But then I put an asterisk next to that, because I know if you're listening to this podcast, you're going, Hey, I got a great opportunity right here. What I think justice is getting at is we're in involved in a group that has a lot of visionary CEOs. And I was telling him the other day, I was like, Man, it's so interesting, the sheer volume of visionary CEOs in this group. And when you talk about an integrator, they're like, great. I'd love to pick one of those up, but the integrator store, are you an integrator, let's hang out. And I'm doing that thing sometimes, where as they're talking, I'm like, shrinking down in my chair, like, hoping they don't notice me, right? Cuz I don't want to work with them. And I think that might be what you're getting is like, some of them are. Yeah, so I'm in a short, I'm interested in opportunity. But I'm also as an integrator, I think I'm really highly aware of where I'm strong and where I'm weak. And so I'm looking for like a specific scenario, where it's like, oh, you need a tennis partner who can crush backhands? Yeah, gosh, I can hit back hands all day. My forehand is terrible. Oh, you got four hands? Hey, let's play, huh? I know, that's not how tennis works. But you get it?JUSTUS MURIMI:
What were you Okay, this is so helpful. What makes you shrink, always make you shrink wrap back in that group, like, what were you hearing, you're like, that's not what I want to hear.Deacon Bradley:
I was I'm reading between the lines as they're talking. And they're kind of sharing, like, I got this opportunity and that opportunity and this other opportunity, and it's justice, it's gonna be huge.Unknown:
And in my head, it's like,Deacon Bradley:
I'm, I'm hearing this liability and that liability. And Deacon, you're gonna fix it. I'm not so like, what's missing, I guess, is a really clear vision about everything. It's not. So I think the misunderstood part is, on one hand, we and you're really good at teaching CEOs to do this. You need to have a clear vision. So you need to spend we've talked about this some on the show already. You need to spend more time in your vision, pulling it together, like making it like just crafting your vision. That's part of your role as the CEO. And then but there's this other part where it's like if that if that's not clear enough, and like I don't necessarily, I don't think integrators necessarily want to hang out. BecauseJUSTUS MURIMI:
it's just chaos. What what I am like about to go you Like you're preaching to me right now I'm like, Yes, yes, yes, I know that this is so much value. When do you know that the vision is clear? Like what are you hearing that like? And maybe what are you picking up on that maybe other people might not pick up on in the video Like, I could fit in here. I'm excited about this.Deacon Bradley:
One of the things is just how just to steal Cameron Harold's name for it because I can see his book over there my bookshelf that you recommended I read justice, good book. vivid, is it vivid? Like, can I step into it and see exactly what it's supposed to look like when it's done. That's really important, because an integrators job is to bring that to life. So if your vision is just money, or it's gonna be huge, I don't know if if it's going to be huge is like I'm working 60 hour workweeks and flying all over the country, and I'm on like, TV shows Hawk in this thing, or if it's gonna be huge, like we've built this incredible team, we're so focused, that we only work on one or two things, and it's great. So I think the, the thing that I, I noticed in the vision is like, is it vivid? And then a really another thing that I look for just as kind of like a test for if it's something I can do or not, is, is it focused? I don't know if that makes sense. Yeah, this is a big one. Yeah.JUSTUS MURIMI:
Yeah. What do you When do you know that it's focused? Like, give me the, give me the like, the, the symptoms of a focused vision? Like, that's a terrible word. But do you know what I mean? signs? What are the signs of a focus vision? NotDeacon Bradley:
the symptoms, geez, the size of a focused vision is like, well, it's really clear, I guess, you know, focus kinda. It's a good word, to create clear clarity. So it's really clear. But also, it's not like, it's like a, it's not like a shotgun. It's like a rifle. Like, there, I am aiming this this point on the horizon, and we're going there. It's not like, We're going west. And I don't know if we're gonna wind up in Mexico or Canada, but they're both West. So it's more focused around. What we're what we're trying to create an example. This is, is I think, I don't remember if you were in this meeting, or if we just talked right after but a CEO that that you and I have worked with a lot. And he's laying out the vision for one of the businesses. And I, after I left, I was like, Man, that was fantastic. Because I know where we're supposed to be in a year. Yep. The opportunity is really clear. I see the upside. Yep. But but it was clear enough and focused enough that I knew what it should be in three months. And because I could see that clearly, I knew what it should be in two months and one month, who needed to be on the team, what you could cut and throw off the ship to go faster. Like I could see all of that because of the clarity. And because of the focus. It wasn't just like a, like, anything that makes money or is nearby. I'm going to scoop it up. And we're going to do that too. Because, hey, I've got an integrator they can do those things.JUSTUS MURIMI:
It would it be safe to say, I'm here to help you get where you want to go not fix the problems that you have.Deacon Bradley:
Hmm, well, I think they're both true, because I will help you get where you want to go. I will also fix the problems that you have. But what I won't do is fix your broken unfocused vision. Because it's just it's notJUSTUS MURIMI:
so good. Is it? This is going to help so many visionaries. I hope. One of the things because I was in that group call with you was that there was an over communication, their vision was of not having problems. It was not of where they wanted to go. It was Oh, that's a good point. It was here's all these things, I need an integrator, here's all these things that are going wrong. I really need an integrator, like they would help me solve these problems. While an integrator is going that's not an opportunity. Yes. That's an that's an author job. Yes. All that's good. You don't want a job?Deacon Bradley:
No. What do you want? Well, gosh, that's a big question. You and I have worked a lot on purpose. So I was actually I had this exact conversation with the CEO earlier today. And we were joking that he's like, Yeah, but guys like you are unemployable. And I told them well, you know, the last business that I was a partner of for four years, found a way to employ me. So you never know. And so we were talking about what that was. And I was like, Look, what do I, what do I want? I figured out my purpose, what is my gift to the world, what I'm really good at. And what I want is to spend 80% of my time doing just that, and not not spending my time outside of that purpose. So Gosh, I got a little Boston and no one Asian land there.JUSTUS MURIMI:
But they're picking up on on what you're saying. Because I am, I am kind of integrator ish, but a much more vision way more. It I thought I was more of an integrator until I met a true integrator. And I was like, that's not. And then I met a true visionary. And I was like, I'm less of that than I thought I was. But I'm somewhere in the middle. But what I'm hearing you say is, if you're a true if you're a good visionary, and you want an integrator, their vision, the integrators vision, your vision has to help them accomplish what they're owed. The integrators vision, the integrators purpose.Deacon Bradley:
Yeah, they have to, they have to line up. So a, a partnership that I've been kind of, I guess, inching towards and working with for a few months now, has been exactly like that. And the last partnership I was in before, this was exactly like that, where they showed up, and they're like, here's my vision, here's what I want to build. And I'm like, okay, like, that's clear enough that I'm interested. And then my response was, here's my personal vision and my personal mission and what I want my life to look like and what I want to build, and there, and then we're kind of like looking at both of these things. Again, we're on this, like, the same side of the desk, metaphorically speaking, like looking at these things is like, do these could these fit together? And if they did this, like it did in my last partnership, and we had an amazing partnership for for four years. And this new one that I'm working on, it looks like there's a really good fit. There were my personal vision of when I use vision and integrate a lot in the sentence. Yeah, my personal vision of what I want my life and my business and everything to look like, as an integrator blends up really well with this visionaries vision. It's like, Oh, okay. I yeah. Let's take the next step and see what that could look like.JUSTUS MURIMI:
I love that. Okay, so I feel like we were giving them enough like, if the visionary is listening to this right now, they're like, Oh, my gosh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes, I can. I get it, I get it, I need to go work on my vision, I need to start having more conversations about this. for you as an integrator, what are what have you noticed people think will attract you, which is not as high on the list for you, when it comes to working alongside them?Deacon Bradley:
You know, a lot of times they don't think anything attracts me, they don't think about it at all. They think I am running this business, and I'm just gonna go get people to get on my bus. So I'm just gonna, like, drive up to the integrator bus stop, opened my doors and holler out who wants to get on this bus? And we're all standing around, like, looking at each other like nobody? I don't know, where's it going? I don't even know where the bus is going.JUSTUS MURIMI:
Do you like part of what I think some of them? This is what is surprising What's surprising to me until I look back at some of the opportunities that I went after? Is I've picked up from you a little bit like, you definitely want to make money, but it isn't the number one thing you're looking at first.Unknown:
Right? Like,JUSTUS MURIMI:
I've noticed, you are a lot of visionaries. You're like I can't pay someone like you. And a good integrator is almost like a good copywriter. And they're like, I'll take a percentage of revenue, because I believe my skill set with this thing that I'm building is so good. And yes, you will also pay me. But I feel like a lot of really, really good integrators have such a good eye for opportunity, and are confident in their skill set and the opportunity that they're like, let's talk about other ways we can make this thing a reality. IDeacon Bradley:
totally agree. Totally agree. Like if I was out there looking for jlb as an integrator, and I just put out my salary for what I'm worth just based on past history of growing businesses. Like I don't think anyone would hire me because it's a lot. Yeah. Right. And I know that that's not how I would make that money also. And it's and frankly, it's not that fun or motivating to an integrator because I integrators are motivated by the growth. And so if you're gonna pay him flat rate, and expect them to do their magic, it's like it's boring. Frankly, I would rather come into a business making zero or insultingly low salary. Yep, with an opportunity to grow it. And one thing we didn't talk about, but here's something that I absolutely look for, not explicitly, but it's, it's pretty clear when you're talking to somebody, and that this visionary is willing to give me authority to grow it, then I feel like, Okay, I have the skill set, the opportunity works out, and they are going to actually allow me to do what I'm good at. Yeah. So I believe that I'm going to make more through this partnership and have more fun through the partnership than I would just getting some salaried job.JUSTUS MURIMI:
Do you this, this is huge. What is a way that you like to you like to be approached, when it comes to an opportunity? Here's what I think when I know from visionaries, you're like, I don't have the money for you. But I think, but I think we could work really well together. I am embarrassed of the mess I've created in my business. And if you look at it, you're gonna make fun of me or think that I'm, I suck. I'm already insecure about this. And then the other fears like, Oh, great, you come in, then who am I like, they get insecure about like, great, you come in you lead, you're such a strong leader. Like, and you demand so much authority, or like, you don't demand it, but you you, you're gifted and so other employees will go, we're gonna report to you, you're finally given us clear direction on what to do and all this other stuff, that the visionaries then like, well, like, what's my job here? And so can you speak to those things?Deacon Bradley:
Yeah. So I guess as far as that one of the first things you said, it reminded me of a conversation I had this week, like, how do I like to be approached? a CEO approached me earlier this week, or last week, we got on the phone earlier this week, and I didn't even know what we were going to talk about. But what kind of what kind of worked out? Was he? He's like, yeah, you know, I just actually heard that you weren't working at this other partnership anymore. Like, Can Can I just want to talk? I don't even I'm not asking for anything specific. I just know that I'm not good at what you're good at. And so we just, he just kind of opened up. His vision was like, here's what I'm building. Here's where I am. Here's what the team looks like, what I don't know what what do you think so. But he get the way that he approached me, which I think is a good way was, was humbly asking for insight. What do I not see is essentially what he was saying, Do you see something that I'm missing? Can you help me avoid a mistake? Or just point me to the right direction? I don't know. And I think that's a really good way to approach an integrator with emphasis on the humility or, yeah, because Yeah, because like you're asking for, for insight into a very personal private business that you have built, which, as you mentioned, can be a little bit like there can be some anxiety there. But as an integrator, I'm not afraid of what I see. In fact, the Messier the better. Yeah, well, but the part that I am afraid of is if you don't have humility, then I don't believe you're going to give me the authority to actually do what I need to do. Yep. So I don't really care so much about the mess. But I care about your mindset around fixing the mess and and you're like, how tight of a grip do you have on the way things are done?JUSTUS MURIMI:
That's a big deal. How do you know that a visionary is ready for you?Deacon Bradley:
How do I know that a visionary is ready for me. They have a clear vision, we mentioned that I can see exactly where they're trying to get to. I can picture I guess in my mind, I'm like, I can see the next three to 10 steps in my head just from talking to him about the vision. That's like one component. And then the other component is if I'm sharing with them the steps that I see and how I might approach this some some obstacles we'll probably have to navigate or whatnot. If I find it particularly like I often like to, to test visionaries a little bit around like around how strong of a grip Do they have on the way things are done? And I might suggest something that is different.JUSTUS MURIMI:
What do you mean is how strong of a grip like when would it like you and I know what that means? When is a visionary how to go Like how do you know when the grip is too tight?Deacon Bradley:
What does that actually mean? It means they're not talking about the vision, which is like the destination, what the thing is going to look like, and they're getting into the hell. So if I was just to use an example, a CEO I was talking to earlier today makes, you know, like coatings for or for things that's really vague, but I get a vague product. And it's usually marketed like towards automobiles or stuff like this. This isn't an actual conversation, this is just an example. And if I were to suggest, say, hey, this thing that we're selling, or use on cars, we may need to be open as part of this growth plan, we may need to be open to using it on phones, or I don't know, Windows or other stuff. And I have worked with visionaries in the past who would shut that down. Like, no, this is for whatever. And that's kind of a really specific marketing example. But it's an example of having a tight grip. Now, I, it's kind of a lot to unpack here. But that's kind of my illustration of a tight grip. But if the vision was around building a company that was only for cars, and that's the whole thing, then yeah, shut it down. But if the vision was just like, creating something that makes things shiny and clear, then you've shut something down, then you have to tighter grip. It's a hard thing to explain.JUSTUS MURIMI:
No, I think I think that's I think that's good enough for people that would, listening to this. And I think it's really, really important, because most of the time, what I noticed is they are visionaries, but they don't know how to date an integrator, like they have they think what an integrator wants to know is a cureDeacon Bradley:
all the problems are how do I write the job post? Yes. Like, I'm not even going to read the job post. Yes,JUSTUS MURIMI:
an integrator should make you a better visionary. Like you should feel like challenged to think a little bit bigger. And you should be you should be hungry to bring your ideas to the integrator, because you're going to shoot down majority of them in a good way, because they're looking through the holes, because they want you to be successful. And they're asking you questions about because they're actually thinking realistically, can this happen? Could this actually happen?Deacon Bradley:
That's a good example. What you're bringing up is a better example of a tight grip versus not tight grip, if the visionaries role is to, to bring the vision and like bring ideas that will bring that will make the vision that will get you further down the road. That's fantastic. As an integrator, this might be some other perspective, you need to hear it as a visionary as an integrator. I'm not good at that. So I think it's amazing that you have all of these ideas. Are we going to do them all? No. But I don't have the ideas. And I'm thrilled that somebody is bringing me essentially raw materials and houseplants and I'm like, Great. Let's build that one. Next. Yes. And so I guess sometimes visionaries. Like, if you're wondering, what's my value after somebody is doing this, that's what it is. I don't have anything to build without, without the visionary.JUSTUS MURIMI:
I think that is the best place to close it. Because what I want is for them to go. I just need to be more of who I am. And think we're about getting us to an ending point, like a destination, and being able to clearly depict that destination and talk to integrators about this destination, and hear what their thoughts are. pick their brain.Deacon Bradley:
Yeah, I really love that question. You're asked around, like, how do I approach or attract one because I'd never really thought about it before. And so I was thinking back through all of the great conversations I've had, and the ones where I'm still thinking about days and weeks later, like my wonder if there was something there. I might go talk to this person in every single one of them was basically just showing up with like, a box of stuff and like dumping it on the desk and BM. Like, here's my vision. Am I missing something like what do you see? I don't know what to do with this, but I think you could help. Yeah, and it wasn't like an A proposal sort of way. It was just like, I see your value integrator. Yeah, what do you see of this? And I'm like, Oh, okay. And honestly, we have a lot of fun doing that. Like I do it for free with CEOs right now just because it's fun.JUSTUS MURIMI:
Yeah. Yeah. If If, if a visionary is listening to this, and is going I have all this. You know, What do I like? How, where do integrators hang out? Let's end on this one. Yeah, that's, that's, I think this will be helpful because I think there are some that are like, that's me. I'm right, where they're talking about. Okay. Where are you guys?Deacon Bradley:
That's a great question. And I wish I could send you to a website or a club or something. I can't, what I want, I'm just thinking out loud, just as you have opened my eyes to the value of just talking to people in your own network. And it's been, since I've taken that seriously, it has been unbelievable, the flood of opportunities and people in relationships that have opened up to me. So I think the the best place to start isn't necessarily by looking at like integrators Comm. I don't know if that's a real website, take whatever's there, I claim No, no. If it Yeah, if it's bad, I sorry, I sent you there. It's not like, You're, you're going to this website, but I kind of see it as when you talk about what is the job of the visionary, it's, well, you have the vision, and you evangelize the vision. And you're just talking to people about it all the time. And if you're in if at the end of that thing, while you're networking and doing your your vision CEO thing, you're like, oh, and where I'm stuck is I could really use a number to to help me pull this together, because it could go even faster. That's, I think, a good place to find them. Because I think a lot of the good integrators are in other people's businesses, or they're consulting or they're, yeah, friends of people. But a lot of CEOs are going to know them just from being in that world, where I wouldn't find them as like, in a Facebook group, asking for an integrator, right, right.JUSTUS MURIMI:
is a great way to tap into your network. Great way to do that. Ask if you know a CEO who has a great integrator, doing an honoring way, but integrators tend to know other integrators. And so just be able to go approach them go, hey, I've noticed you've done amazing things for your CEO. Are there other people like you that I should be connected with, just start to network, some integrators have finished their job at other jobs, and they're ready for the next thing, and you might be that person, that they are like, I've been looking for you. So you never know where they are network, that should be a huge part of what you do anyways, as a visionary is networking. Because new opportunities lie in the network. SoUnknown:
that is all.Deacon Bradley:
One last place, we got to look. And we'll close it here. You should look inside your own business. By the way. Sometimes there's integrators hanging out there that you just haven't given them a chance or the authority, or really just noticed that they're capable of something beyond their own job description, but I know a lot of people do find integrators from within. It's a great place to test it out. Try it out. Just, you know, start tossing some more stuff, and integrators love to solve problems and create clarity out of chaos. So you'll know if you have one pretty quick. That's so great. That is so great. All right. Thanks, Deacon. See you next week. Thanks for joining us today on the sharp business growth podcast. This is one of my favorite things to do and why I've been so excited to bring this podcast to you is because I get to spend so much time around CEOs and leaders of fast growth businesses, Justice spend so much time around them and, and because of that, we have so many conversations just like this and this value, where when we're able to take it back to the business leaders that we worked with. It just really opens their eyes, and allows them to see things from so many different perspectives. And that's what I'm so excited about. So we're going to be sharing more conversations like this. And make sure you subscribe to the show, your favorite podcast app, so you never miss an episode. Visit us at sharp business growth.com For more resources, make sure you're on the mailing list and we're sending out some kind of behind the scenes stories about this as well. And we'll see you next week.