Visionary or Integrator?
Having a good combination of integrator and visionary in any business can help provide goals for the future. When these goals are acted upon in a clear planned out way, this process can provide the traction you need on the path toward a professed goal like retiring before you need home care yourself.
Some people can see their own future (not necessarily accurately, but they can “see” it). They know where they want to be, someday. These are the visionaries of the world. Others are great at organizing in the moment, seeing and removing obstacles. They are always looking for something useful to do or fix. They are the integrators of the world.
Another way to look at these two roles in business is as CEO (the visionary) and COO (the integrator), but the people who occupy the roles often don’t really fit the ideals very well. In home care, the owner of a newer agency might encompass both if these roles. Please understand that in any business small or large, someone takes on these roles. The smaller the agency the more hats everyone wears and these roles may be done well or completely ignored. Your business demands that there is an awareness of these roles.
When setting goals it helps to know what kind of person you are: visionary or integrator? If you are in business with a partner it is equally important that you have a sense of where that partner lies on this spectrum. Most of us are some combination of the two, but one or the other usually predominates. Here’s a little tutorial on these terms. It may help you break through some barriers that you have unwittingly set up for yourself.
The extreme visionary is so good at creating a picture of the future that they can almost taste it. But, as time goes by they may look back and wonder why nothing got done toward that amazing vision. The thought may never have occurred to lay out the steps to connect the dots, creating short and midterm goals to shoot for. S/he may never have articulated the goals clearly to any of the people whose help they needed to realize the vision. This super visionary probably does not have a clue as how to get to their dream future. It was probably the visionary who decided to open a home care agency in the first place.
When the visionary opened her/his home care agency s/he knew that s/he wanted to reach $1 million, even $5 million by X date and that s/he wants to sell and retire at some point. S/he may have thoughts of having a home care agency that runs itself so that s/he has minimal need to go into the office, that way s/he can go on those trips to see the grand kids and take one or two grand vacations a year. This was all figured out before s/he opened the doors or the agency.
The extreme integrator is a nuts and bolts person. When s/he opened up her/his agency, it was an afterthought because s/he was already caring for an elderly parent. S/he may have said to his/herself, “I could open up my own agency, I already know the basics”. The integrator’s mind is very logical and ready to act at a moment’s notice. Step by step they build an agency.
They say to themselves, “what needs to get done in order for this day to run smoothly?” All of the schedules are covered and all of the fires around caregiver and client issues are carefully extinguished. That kind of activity gets a lot done but ultimately may not get a person or business anywhere near a future goal because there is no future goal.The integrator rarely thinks to look up and ask about the bigger picture. Deep down the integrator doesn’t really want to know where the business is going. As long as it is going well this week that’s just great for the integrator.
|Risk taker: Is someone who has the faith to take a big business leap like buying another agency.||Doesn’t do his/her homework and gets in a big pickle. The whole agency suffers as a result.||Takes the company in a great direction that no one in the agency could have imagined. The agency has continued growth!|
|Innovative: Is constantly thinking of news ways to increase revenue like getting more clients.||No plan for his/her team to achieve these “thoughts”. The staff can only wonder how to get more clients.||Provides clear goals for and with the whole team. Staff can be fully on board.|
|Confident: S/he believes in her/himself and her/his ideas like, “we can really build this agency to be a leading home care provider in the area and beyond”.||Can get annoyed easily when things don’t get done toward his/her marvelous idea.||Creates an environment where his/her confidence is contagious so that everyone feels safe and confident to work toward the shared vision of growing the business.|
|Worker bee: S/he is a work horse, taking care that all of the daily activities are covered like making sure that all of clients are well cared for.||Sometimes not much help when there is a need to think into the future, or think about doing things differently.||This person is the all important #2 person in the agency.|
|Stabilizer: Everything is running smoothly. S/he can be compared to the big pole that a tightrope walker uses like balancing staff and caregiver needs.||Doesn’t like to rock the boat or think of better ways of doing things.||Keeps everyone including the visionary on track to complete short and long term goals, especially if there is a clear timeline of goals set up.|
|Tactical: Puts words into actions, efficiently like dipping into and using all of the features of their software that the agency already has up an running.||Short-term thinkers, might be good at stalling the new, different and better way of doing things, especially of there isn’t a goal to shoot for.||Gets amazing work done by devising operations that move toward a goal.|
When an agency is working working well, all parties have an understanding of each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Then, with some adjustments, they combine and create a good balance between the visionary and integrator roles. Clear timelines of measurable milestones are set up so that all are aware, the vision is so clear that everyone knows their responsibilities and can work freely and in collaboration to help accomplish the objectives. The team steadfastly works toward accomplishing the shared vision. Circumstances may change over time, but with integrator and visionary perspectives in check, even if goals or milestones need to get tweaked, changed or thrown out for new ones, bettering the business will be the natural consequence.