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Book Report: Rocket Fuel by Mark Winters & Gino Wickman

Favorite Quotes:

Don’t mistake activity for productivity.  Creativity is productivity – it just doesn’t feel like it at first.” – John Pollock.

“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”  – Yogi Berra


Key Takeaways

Visionary and Integrator.

One sees the future and one makes it happen.  Walt and Roy Disney.  Henry Ford and James Couzens, Ray Kroc and Fred Turner at McDonalds.

As Visionary – you are The Idea Generator – tons of ideas – typically 10 or more a week.  You are great at devising solutions to big problems.

  • Idea Generator
  • Big Picture

You are best at high level stuff – big ideas and solving big problems.

  • Seeing the Future

You always have a pulse on the market and the industry and future needs of clients.

  • Hunter Mentality

Always hunting for ideas, deals, opportunities and solutions to big problems. “You can navigate in the fog and know how to keep moving in the right direction when you don’t have a compass and there aren’t any signposts.”

Other Common Traits

  • Sell and Close Big Deals
  • Inspire People
  • Create the Company Vision and Protect It
  • Always see Big pIcture
  • Manage Big External Relationships
  • Have lots of ideas
  • Strategic Thinker
  • Research and Develop New Products and Services
  • Entrepreneurial Spark Plug
  • Passion Provider

Here’s what you aren’t as visionary.

  • Staying Focused – You get bored easily. “Biggest challenge is boredom” – I struggle with maintaining focus and follow through.  You start many different projects at once while only a few get completed.
  • Too Many Ideas – As a lifetime learner you always need to be figuring stuff out – which you do by doing very hands-on interactive way which can be disruptive.
  • Whiplash – You create whiplash in organization because you often force the team to go from one idea to another.
  • Sweating the Details. You aren’t good at managing and holding people accountable.  You don’t like details and running the day to day and aren’t good at follow through.
  • Developing Talent – Often the Genius and thousand helpers as Jim Collins refers to. You are not good at developing resources around you.

Challenges of Visionary

Inconsistency, Organizational whiplash, Dysfunctional team, lack of clear direction/under-communication, reluctance to let go, undeveloped leaders and managers, genius and thousand helpers, ego and feelings of value dependent on being needed by others, eyes bigger than the stomach, resistance to follow standardized processes, quickly and easily bored, no patience for details, ADD, all foot on gas pedal, drive is too hard for most people.



  • Running the Day-to-Day – very good at leading, managing and holding people accountable.

Have a gift for getting all the arrows pointing in the same direction.

  • Voice of Reason – helps filter out all Visionary Ideas

Clarity, Communication, Resolution, Focus, Accountability, Follow-Through

Tie-breakers that keep things moving, No obstacles or barriers, Prioritization Execution

P&L Results Achieved, Business Plan Executed, The company operating system being followed by all, Visionary Prozac – Harnessing Visionary Ideas

Here’s What You Aren’t

  • No Glory
  • Being The Pessimist. Often seen as glass half-empty people from visionary.  Integrator has to say No often and poke holes in ideas.
  • Discipline and Accountability
  • You deliver bad news to employees. Integrator is in charge of the dirty work.
  • Going Slow to Go Fast. Integrator is often accused of moving too slowly by visionary.
  • Lack of Appreciation – As an integrator you are in a position that doesn’t allow for a lot of pats on the back and small talk and friendships.

One Integrator said, “It’s a relatively thankless job. Don’t get me wrong; I know I’m appreciated.  But there’s a lot of things that get done behind the scenes that no one would notice.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who knows I’m holding things together, because it’s done behind the scenes.  That can be lonely at times.”

Common Challenges

  • Thankless Job
  • Accusations of Pessimism
  • Being considered negative by others
  • Loneliness
  • Constant Friction
  • Frustration balancing so many resources
  • Being bearer of bad news
  • Having to do dirty work
  • Lack of recognition
  • Having to say no a lot
  • Being accused of moving too slowly
  • Setting the bar too high on self/unrealistic expectations of self.


Simon Sinek – Why People and How People.  For every great leader, every great Why-type, there is an inspired How Type…who can take the intangible cause and build the infrastructure that can give it life.

Why is focused on the things most people can’t see, like the future.  How-types are focused on the things that most people can see.

Why types are optimists who believe that all things they imagine can actually be accomplished.  How types live in the here and now.

How types want to make the vision a reality.

Solve big problems vs. identify and articulate the problems

Generate 20 ideas per week – make the best ideas a reality

Are great leaders vs. great managers

Optimistic vs realistic

Outside guys vs. inside guys

Create the vision vs execute the vision.

How do you know you are ready for an integrator?

  • Financial Readiness (affordability)
  • Psychological Readiness (ready to let go of control)
  • Lifestyle Readiness (Ready for fewer hours)
  • Unique Ability Readiness (Ready to be 100% you)

Common Issues when developing new accountability chart for organization.

  • Not Letting Go – Visionary often wants to hold onto a seat through a direct relationship.
  • Sitting in Multiple Seats
  • Wearing Multiple Hats
  • Having to be in both Visionary and Integrator Seats

Wearing Multiple hats and being in both roles is something that is definitely common in our organization.  I will focus on trusting the other seats and work more directly with the integrator to not have to be in multiple seats.

Once vision is established by Visionary, the integrator helps develop the strategy and 90 day priorities.

Bonus Chapter

Core questions:

  • What are your core values
  • What is your core focus
  • Whas is your 10 year target
  • Who is your ideal customer and what is the most appealing message to them?
  • What is your three year picture?
  • What is your one year plan?


What Will I Implement?

  • Delegate the role of implementing my ideas.

“If you are a visionary, you must delegate the role of implementing your ideas in order to elevate yourself to your true talents.  This will free up your energy and creativity to grow your company, protect your vision, wow your customers, protect your culture, and stay three steps ahead of everyone including your competition. “

  • Recognize and Acknowledge Integrators regularly – Make them feel appreciated

One Integrator said, “It’s a relatively thankless job. Don’t get me wrong; I know I’m appreciated.  But there’s a lot of things that get done behind the scenes that no one would notice.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who knows I’m holding things together, because it’s done behind the scenes.  That can be lonely at times.”

  • Develop Accountability Chart for our organization.

The accountability chart forces you to view your organization in a different way by being intentionally proactive about your structure, rather than reactively adapting a structure to fit your current people.


  • You must look forward. Focus on what you need and not what you have.
  • Detach yourself from existing business
  • You must elevate yourself above the business, looking down on it from that perspective.

Structure company into three major functions – Sales/Marketing, Operations, Finance/Admin.  In order to maintain accountability, only one person can be in charge of any major function within your organization.

Key is to have one person in each box.

Visionary is above Integrator but Integrator leads the rest of the company.  Visionary’s five roles are typically New Ideas/R&D, Creative Problem Solving, Major External relationships, Culture and Selling Big Deals.

For the Bananas, this means establishing a new Leadership Team.  Adding Sales and Marketing to the mix will be a new addition.

Integrator is LMA (Leading, Managing and Holding People Accountable), Executing the Business Plan/P&L Results, Integrating the other major functions, Resolving cross functional issues, Communication across the organization.

Integrator helps prioritize, provide direction, keeps everyone on same page, converts vision to strategy, holds team accountable to vision, goals and quarterly targets, helps everyone understand how they fit into the whole.


FOLLOW 5 Rules of Visionary & Integrator Relationship

  • Stay on Same Page
  • No End Runs
  • The Integrator is the tie breaker
  • You are an employee when working “in” the business
  • Maintain mutual respect

We’ve already started implementing weekly same page lunches to discuss where we stand together and what we are working towards.

End Runs is when an employee goes around a manager to get an answer or when visionary goes around integrator to get an answer.  We are now aware of this and our same page lunches are helping with this.  The key will be to be clear with team about not having end runs with me as visionary.

When at the office – you are employee.  You are not the Owner making decisions.  This will be a new challenge but makes sense to keep united front.

  • Onboarding our new clearly defined partnership

Help accelerate learning and share more of what I’m learning and thinking about

Secure some early wins – Help Jared find some important projects he can lead

Achieve alignment – Continue Same Page Lunches

Build Team Dynamic – Establish Jared’s ideal leadership team.

  • Have Patience the First year in this new relationship. It will be bumpy, understand you need to go slow with expectations and know it won’t be easy.  But once you reach the one year milestone you should celebrate.
  • Share my Wish List. List every idea, worry, priority and issue on my mind.  Share how these things are expected to be solved by having an integrator on board.

Michael Morse and John Nachazel of Morse Law Firm set up an actual list that they worked off for the entire year until the list no longer existed.

Examples included: Help us come up with a better bonus and compensation plan, make sure phones are being answered quickly and promptly, make sure core values are being lived by all, help analyze and help implement east side office, review and negotiate all contracts including advertising, interview and make sure tech people and web people are the best we can get for the money.

Advice from Michael “You must be completely open and honest with each other, have complete trust.  Tell each other when you are not happy about something immediately – don’t wait.  He also advised talking every day.

  • Resist the need to tinker with the organization. You can tinker in your mind and in your own work but then share these ideas with Integrator.
  • Focus on Less Goals – “Remember less is always more. Most companies make the mistake of trying to accomplish too many objectives per year.  By trying to do everything all at once, they end up accomplishing very little and feeling frustrated.  When everything is important, nothing is important.”
  • Establish Our Rocks every 90 Days – Our most important priorities. The concept from Stephen Covey where you have a cylindrical glass container and have rocks, gravel, sand and a glass of water.  The glass represents all the time you have in the day.  The rocks are your most important priorities. The gravel represents day-to-day responsibilities, the sand represents interruptions and the water is everything else you get with during your workday.   If you pour water in first, as most people do, then the sand and then the gravel, the rocks won’t fit in the glass.

*Work on Rocks, the biggest priorities first, everything else will fall into place.


How does this book fit with Fans First Way?

This book first most directly with our core beliefs of Caring, Growing and Hungry.  A great visionary and integrator relationship share mutual respect and is willing to change their behavior because of how much they care.

This book shows the path to grow and not be stuck with too many people wearing too many hats.

A great integrator fits with the core values and aligns with the visionary’s passion and purpose.  Being on the same page and sharing the same beliefs matters tremendously.

After reading this, my respect grew tremendously for our President, Jared as an integrator.  Visionaries like myself are not easy to work with.  We have tons of ideas, bounce from thing to thing and can often be demanding to get things done quickly.  Jared has embraced his role and we are now working together better than ever before.