Business Types: Visionary or Implementer?

Phil Hendry06/05/2021

The concept of a Visionary and an Implementer within a business is covered brilliantly in Gino Wickman’s book, ‘Traction‘.

It refers to the business types who run their respective company, and particularly how they can complement each other when growing a business to its full potential.

Quite often we find these roles can emerge in a household context also.
If you remove one of these types of character from the equation, it can create roadblocks for growth.
First, though, let’s think about what they actually are:

Business Type 1 – The Visionary

If you asked someone to give you an example of someone you’d call ‘visionary’, this would be easy.
An individual that tends to attract the limelight. You would probably think of business types such as:

Steve Jobs
Bill Gates
Walt Disney

As these names suggests, these characters tend to have a vision about what is possible for their businesses and dream about the future. They are often creative and always thinking ahead, ‘the face of the company’, while regularly being the one who deals directly with the big clients. Things like culture matter greatly to them, and generally they operate on a more emotional level.

As suggested, this can easily apply to a couple on a personal level. Often, one is more of a visionary spouse who dreams about what they want to do and achieve, looking ahead to the future. The other tends to be more realistic and grounded(!)

The Visionary is the one who has the idea but may need help making it a reality.

business types

When the company logo becomes synonymous…

Business Type 2: The Implementer

Implementers are different in that they are equally as important, but they tend to avoid the attention the limelight brings.
Their focus is on the business elements and follow-through of the vision for the business. They are the glue holding the company together.
Working to lead, manage and explain the business plan to others. Famous examples of these business types would include:

Steve Wozniak (Steve Jobs)
Paul Allen (Bill Gates)
Roy Disney (Walt Disney)

Each were all absolutely essential in helping make their respective business become what they are today.
And in some cases, saving them from the visionaries running amok!

You can no doubt identify this role in your family, with one spouse more likely to be the practical one, the doer. Sorting out finances, doing DIY or monitoring the monthly household bills. Without a doubt, the one who makes things happen.

The key point to understand is that both roles are different but clearly very important. Be it growing your business to its full potential, or for creating the life you want for your family.

Keeping on the business side for one second, however, it’s crucial to be clear on these roles. It’s OK not to have all the qualities one might deem necessary to grow a business. It’s also important to have the self-awareness to identify the fact that you need to find others to complement your strengths and weaknesses.

Can different business types work in sync?

If you see yourself as a visionary, for example, you will likely need to find a partner/key employee to bring your ideas to life. And possibly keep you focused on the task(s) at hand.
If you see yourself as being more of an implementer, you may be brilliant at making things happen and understanding what is needed to do so. But without a visionary to bounce ideas off and to continually grow and innovative, you could easily stagnate, going nowhere.

The ultimate lesson here is to understand yourself and the individuals around you.
If you get to the stage where your business requires you to hire additional personnel for important roles, then you’ll need to think carefully about this.
It also allows you to think about the positives of having a business partner.
One who can make up for what you may see as your weaknesses, and to create the best possible chance of your business being what you dream it can be.
Or pushing you to enjoy the life you could have for your family!