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Episode 76 - 28 Sep 2020

Visionaries and Integrators

On this episode of the Church Leadership Podcast, Adam and John are joined in the studio by Eric Hassfurther to discuss the importance of pairing visionaries with integrators on your team. Listen in for an explanation of these two crucial roles. Show notes and more available at

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Episode Summary

If Visionaries are the "why", then Integrators are the "how." - Eric Hassfurther

When paired together, Visionaries and Integrators are better than they ever could have been apart. Here are some best practices for how Visionaries and Integrators can find success:

Keys to Success for Visionaries and Integrators

For Visionaries

  1. Define the New Reality for Your Team - Introducing an integrator to your team will require you explaining the "why" behind it. You will need to explain how doing so affects the organization and structure in your workplace. Articulate that the Integrator is not just another person to report to, but will instead carry all the authority of the Visionary. The Integrator is there to fill in where you are lacking; to use their gifts to help you lead. As a Visionary, you must check their ego at the door.
  2. Empower the Integrator - Allow the Integrator to make decisions and to put things into motion. Communicate that the "yes" from the Integrator is a "yes" from the Visionary. As a Visionary, you are going to need to trust the Integrator. You are going have to stand down at times and believe they will circle back to you when needed.
  3. Give Access - In addition to empowering the Integrator with the authority to make decisions, as the Visionary you need to give them access to the resources and face time they need to carry out those decisions. If they cannot reach you via phone, email, weekly meetings, etc they are going to be unable to act effectively. The Integrator should be the first person to get a reply from you.
  4. Communicate Continuously - For the Visionary who also functions as the Integrator, there is no need to explain every thought and step. However, when the Visionary and Integrator are two separate people, the Visionary cannot expect the Integrator to read their mind. They need to communicate all the thoughts necessary for the Integrator to get a complete picture. This will of course require answering a ton of questions. Do so with grace.

For Integrators

  1. Force Clarity for the Visionary's Priorities - It is the Integrator's job to extract from the Visionary exactly what they want to see happen. This is going to require asking a lot of questions and getting the most complete understanding of the situation possible. Often the Integrator will work to visualize things for the Visionary as they visualize it for themselves. A part of this forcing clarity will be prioritization. In the end, forcing clarity is a process that will benefit everyone.
  2. Execute, Execute, Execute - "Ideation without execution is nothing more than delusion." The ultimate responsibility for getting stuff done falls to the Integrator. That doesn't mean you are the only one doing things, but that you are overseeing all of those things. You are not just serving the Visionary, you are also serving the team and helping them to have what they need (whether that be clarity, resources, etc.).
  3. Communicate Well with the Visionary and Team - When the Integrator communicates frequently and effectively with the Visionary, it works to establish trust and gives the Integrator a radar for the cares of the Visionary. Doing this will occasionally seem time consuming, but in reality will speed things up. You eventually arrive at a point where you can make calls without needing to consult the Visionary.
  4. Have a Stiff Spine - If you as the Integrator believe something to be best for the team and it is contrary to what the Visionary is asking for, speak up and stand strong. Because you will have such a good idea of the consequences of decisions, you will be able to speak to effectiveness in a way that the Visionary may not understand. Be an honest sounding board and stay in the ring. Doing this publicly can encourage the team and reiterate that the Integrator is not just a "yes man or woman."

Recommended Resources

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Hosted By
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John McGee

Sr. Director of Watermark Resources

A tarnow
Adam Tarnow

Cohost of Church Leadership Podcast