An EOS colleague and friend, Dan Wallace, shared an article from the NY Times, entitled,- Jay Walker on Why Leaders Don’t Always Make Good Managers. You can read the whole article here. Jay Walker is the Chairman of Walker Digital and the founder of Priceline and Upside. So he has credibility. In the article he talks about his ancestors heritage and his upbringing as well as his hiring practices and advice to recent college graduates.
But the interesting part for me is reflected in the title of the article and is contained about midway through this article when he was asked about what some of his early management lessons might have been. His answer is “I’m not a manager, and you wouldn’t want me to manage anything you were running. Because? Because management is a set of skills and desires, neither of which I’m strong in . . . I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly good manager. A manager’s job is to develop the people they work with. It’s about process. I’m not a strong process person. I’m more an out-of-the-box guy. . . I’ve always hired managers to do the job of management, which is no insult at all. It’s not beneath me in any way. It’s just not my strength. Create things? I’m your guy. Solve unusual problems? Maybe. Dream up whole new ways to approach things? I’m your guy. Manage? Not so much.”
Visionaries and Integrators
Jay Walker, in EOS parlance, is a self described Visionary. A big picture person. Walker says he has always hired mangers to do the job of management. In EOS terminology he is talking about an Integrator. The partner to all Visionaries is the Integrator. A detail person. Warren Buffet – Visionary. Charlie Unger – his Integrator. Walt Disney had his older brother Roy. Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s but Fred Turner insured that the franchise was repeatable.
If you are a founder of a business who has started to struggle when the business started to take off, you are not alone. It happens to the majority of founders who are almost always a Visionary, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have thought of the idea for the company.
Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters wrote their book,- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More Of What You Want From Your Business, for you and all the other founders out there who are not as self aware as Jay Walker.
Or maybe just a bit unsure of which you are? You feel like you have traits of both a Visionary and a Founder? Rocket Fuel is the resource for you. It contains assessment tools to help you be sure of which of these two archetypes you are or at least which is the more dominant. It also helps prescribe a way to find an Integrator, hire and onboard an integrator and ultimately transfer the day to day running of the business to that person.
Image Credit: Wikepedia Images