One Simple Key to a Strong and Healthy Visionary/Integrator Relationship

Entrepreneurial Freedom, Team Health

Are you running your business on EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System) but not yet getting the level of Traction® you had expected? Until your Visionary and Integrator™ start prioritizing their relationship, you won’t. Here’s one simple thing they can do to help your Leadership Team and your organization gain Traction®.

In my years as an EOS Implementer™, having helped more than 50 businesses Implement EOS® and gain Traction®, one of the top attributes I see in the most successful organizations I work with is a strong and healthy relationship between the Visionary and the Integrator™.

When the relationship is strong, the leadership team benefits and is able to cut through all the noise and solve their issues at the root quickly and efficiently. Their B.S. meter is well-tuned when the Visionary and the Integrator™ have a strong and healthy relationship.

When the relationship is weak, however, there is typically a lack of accountability, a damaging tolerance of people issues, and a lack of focus on building and implementing clearly defined and consistently followed processes to systemize the business.

Which of those best describes your organization?

If your Visionary/Integrator relationship is less than ideal, please make a renewed focus this quarter on the following key to a stronger and healthier relationship:

Hold a Regular, Calendared Same Page Meeting™ to Increase Traction®.

The Same Page Meeting™ is a special meeting designed to help the Visionary and Integrator™ in a company running on EOS® smoke out and resolve issues that weaken their relationship. Visionaries often feel that their ideas are not fully understood or being implemented. They often feel frustrated by slow progress, missed numbers or goals being off track and important things simply not getting done.

On the other hand, Integrators often feel like their Visionaries are too deep in the weeds – getting in their way as they attempt to run the day-to-day of the business, sending mixed signals to the troops as to whom they are directly accountable. At times Integrators feel unclear of the direction the Visionary wants to go, which leads to fits of starting and stopping and changing directions.

While the Visionary and Integrator™ may interact with each other on a near daily basis, if they are not taking time monthly, bi-weekly or even weekly to get out of the weeds, focus on their relationship, and look at things from the outside in, they will never effectively break this cycle.

Here is how I teach the Same Page Meeting™.

The most common cadence in the early years of the EOS® journey I have found to work well is bi-weekly for 2 hours. Ideally, you have to play around with the cadence until you find what works best for you. But as with your Level 10 Meeting™, what you must do is pick a day and time and block it on your calendar consistently.

Same Page Meeting™ Agenda:

1. Check In (Deeper check in than in the L-10 – this is a very important relationship and an important step): Ask each other questions like, “How are things going with you professionally? With family? Friendships? Personally, with time to focus on yourself? How balanced are you feeling?”

2. Build an Issues List on a whiteboard or flip chart:

a. Integrator asks Visionary: “Where do you feel frustrated/disconnected? Where do you feel like your vision is not being executed? Where do you feel that people don’t ‘get it’? What else has been keeping you up at night?” Use any other questions you can think of to pull out the issues.

b. Visionary asks Integrator: “Where do you feel unclear on my expectations? Where do you feel stuck? Where do you have people issues? Are you 100% certain we have clear expectations of each other? Are we communicating well? Do you feel like I am undermining your authority in any way?” Use any other questions you can think of to pull out the issues.

3. Build an Issues List from the responses to the above questions. Ask additional questions, if necessary, to get the issues out of your heads. Try to stay “on” the business and “on” the relationship more than “in” the business.

4. Prioritize and IDS™ the Issues until the list is clear.

5. Conclude: Recap any To-Do’s, close the loop with cascading messages and rate the meeting (1-10). You should both leave feeling clear and aligned. If not, talk about why and solve for that. If either of you feel the meeting was not a 9 or 10, ask what a 10 would have looked like and modify future meetings to increase value, always striving for a 10.

Being diligent and consistent with the Same Page Meeting™ will build trust, clarity and harmony at the helm of the organization and that alignment will naturally filter its way through the rest of the organization. In a family, if the parents are not on the same page and both pulling their weight, then the children suffer. Your business is no different. Increase Traction® by getting on, and staying on, the same page.

Next Steps

  • Visit our Resource Center to download a free chapter of Michael’s bestselling book RISE: The Reincarnation of an Entrepreneur as well as books from the EOS® Library
  • Contact Michael to learn more about how the team at The TRACTION Hub can help you CLARIFY, SIMPLIFY and ACHIEVE your VISION
  • Visit the Process Optimizer™ website to learn more about the fastest and most efficient way to get your core processes documented, optimized and followed by everyone in your organization.


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SMART Direction is now The TRACTION Hub

Entrepreneurial Freedom, Team Health

As I continue to focus on growing my company and expanding my firm’s offerings, I am excited to announce a rebranding from SMART Direction to The TRACTION Hub.

While SMART Direction will continue to operate, it will move into a “parent company” role and The TRACTION Hub will be the primary operating entity. The focus of The TRACTION Hub will expand beyond Heidi and I directly working with individual companies to implement and run on EOS® to include the following additional services:

Process Optimizer

The Process Optimizer™ has been successfully helping companies strengthen their Process Component™ faster than any other available option since 2016. In an intensive, 2-Day workshop, a Certified Process Optimizer (CPO) can help your team define, optimize and map your Core Processes. Within a matter of weeks following the workshop, your CPO will deliver a first-draft version of your Core Processes Document so that you may begin immediately working on Followed by All. Learn more at

The TRACTION Hub Quarterly Collaborative Experience

Specifically designed for companies self-implementing EOS®, the Quarterly Collaborative Experience (QCE), will be a 1-day event open to one or more Leadership Team members of self-implementing companies where we will review the prior quarter, build a community issues list, do a deep dive of an EOS® tool, and IDS issues together. I will personally lead the QCE’s so that participants can get the value of access to one of the nation’s busiest Certified EOS® Implementer’s every 90 days, at a fraction of the cost.

At the end of the day it is all about delivering results on our purpose: To help entrepreneurs live their ideal life. Everything we do, we do with that end in mind. Thank you for your continued support. If there is anything we can do to be of assistance, please reach out.

Be Great Today!



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Entrepreneurial Freedom

Entrepreneurial Freedom


For most entrepreneurs, when we create our businesses we have a vision – a dream. Part of that dream often involves owning a business that allows us opportunities to do things in our personal lives that we have always wanted to do. A dream of freedom.


In comes reality

Then we start to grow. We hire more people. We add more systems. We move to a bigger location. We hire more people. We make more stuff. Complexity begins to creep in. Before we know it, we don’t own our business; it owns us.


It doesn’t have to be that way

I’ve been there. Twice. As I write about in my best-selling book RISE: The Reincarnation of an Entrepreneur, the first time this happened to me was when I took over our family business in Virginia and grew it from $8 million to $18 million over a 10-year period.

The second time it happened was when I started my current manufacturing business. But this time, within two years of startup, I implemented a system called EOS®. EOS stands for the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. It is a simple, holistic system that helps entrepreneurs run a better business.

Two years after implementing EOS, we made the Inc 5000, and the following year, I was able to hand over the reigns of my business to my Leadership Team and assume the position of owner—not having to be involved in the day-to-day of the business.

With my newfound freedom, I have started another business, The TRACTION Hub. My team and I now coach other entrepreneurs and their Leadership Teams to do what I did: systemize their business, delegate the day-to-day decisions, and elevate to a place where they have time to pursue the dreams they had when they started their business.


Six Steps to Living a Life of Freedom

Strengthen the following Six Key Components™ of your business:

1 – Clarify and Simplify your Vision so that you can share it with everyone in the organization—but not just once. You have to repeat yourself over and over and over until they all can see it. Once they can clearly see where the organization is going, they can all help row in the same direction.

2 – Build an Accountability Chart that creates a clear structure with defined roles for each seat, including a Leadership Team that covers the major functions of your business and creates single-point accountability for each of those major functions. Fill the seats with people who share your values and have the necessary abilities to succeed in the role.

3 – Establish strong data and measurables that help give you a pulse on your business and a strong ability to predict. Make sure that everyone in your organization has at least one number that defines success for them in their role.

4 – Stop putting out fires and focusing on symptoms, – the pain points. Use those symptoms and the pain you are feeling to really examine the “why” so that you can dig down to the root cause of your issues and solve them there—so that they go away forever.

5 – Systemize your business. Define, optimize, and document your core processes. Then train to those core processes so that everyone is doing things YOUR way. If everybody is doing things their own way, you will be plagued by inconsistencies and stagnation.

6 – Establish quarterly goals and a strong Meeting Pulse™ so that your teams can meet regularly and hold each other accountable to those goals and measurables as well as take time to collaboratively solve the current issues that are holding you back.

With those six things done and in place, you can begin to let go of the vine…to delegate things that consume you to a capable and aligned team so that you can elevate into spending more time doing the things that fulfill you.


Real-World Results

This past week I had two specific examples of clients who are beginning to feel their lives shifting to one of freedom.

Jason is one of two brothers who own a large-format printing company they started from their garage in Phoenix and have grown into a significant business doing major work all across the country. We’ve been working together for 18 months. During his check-in, he told us that, for the first time in years, he has more time at home after work and is able to shut off his phone and enjoy uninterrupted time with his wife and children. That’s freedom.

Then there’s Chris, owner of one of the fastest growing HVAC companies in the country, based in Las Vegas with additional operations in Arizona and Southern California. We’ve been working together for just under one year. In 2016, they made the Inc 500. During his check-in he told us that, for the first time in 20 years, he actually had time to enjoy a personal life during the summer—when HVAC businesses in Las Vegas and Phoenix are operating at redline. That’s what freedom tastes like.

In both cases, these entrepreneurs acknowledged that the single-most important reason for the freedom they were experiencing was their decision to implement a foundational operating system in their business. A system that would help them clarify and simplify their vision, surround themselves with great people, and gain the Traction™ necessary to achieve that vision.

Do you own your business or does your business own you?

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu


Next Steps

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