The Visionary and the Implementor

Phil Hendry06/05/2021

The concept of a Visionary and an Implementor within a business is covered brilliantly in Gino Wickman’s book, ‘Traction’. It refers to the type of individuals who run a business, particularly how they can complement each other in growing a company 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:

The Visionary

This is an individual which is easier to identify, given they tend to attract the limelight. You would probably think of people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Walt Disney. As the synonymous name 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. There is often a more visionary spouse who dreams about what they want their family to do and achieve, looking ahead to the future.

The Implementor

These individuals, although equally as important, tend to attract (seek) the limelight less when it comes to business owners and founders. They prefer to focus on the business elements and follow-through of the vision for the business, by leading, managing and articulating the business plan. Steve Wozniak (Steve Jobs), Paul Allen (Bill Gates) and Roy Disney (Walt Disney) were all absolutely essential in making their respective business’s become what they are today, in some cases saving them from the visionaries!

You can no doubt identify this role in the family set up, with one spouse more likely to be the doer. Booking the holidays, arranging for the house maintenance, monitoring the monthly household cash flow. Without a doubt a crucial member of the household, and someone who makes things happen.

The key thing to understand is that both roles are clearly very important when growing your business to its full potential, and 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, but it is important to have the self-awareness to identify the fact that you need to find business partners (or people) in your business to complement your strengths and weaknesses.

If you are a visionary for example, you would likely need to find a business partner/key employee to your bring ideas to life and think about the business structures needed to do this. In the case of being an implementor, you may be brilliant at making things happen and understanding what is needed to do so. But without a visionary to compliment you with ideas to continually grow and innovative, you could easily stagnate.

The ultimate lesson is to understand yourself and the individuals around you so that if you are filling important roles, think carefully about who this is. It also allows you to think about the merits of having a business partner who can make up for what you may see as your weaknesses, 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.