Make the Noise Go Away

Make the Noise Go Away

Part 1: The Benefits of an Effective Second in Command

Walt & Roy Disney

“I became an entrepreneur because I wanted freedom in my life. I wanted financial freedom and time freedom.Now that I own this business, I have neither. I don’t own this business, this business owns me!”

Can you relate? If you’re a visionary/entrepreneur, I’m assuming the answer is yes. This transition from owning to being owned is very typical of many CEOs, presidents, business leaders and entrepreneurs who get into business with dreams of great freedom but end up with a lot of things running through their heads day and night. This is what many CEOs call “noise”. 

There you are, our hero the visionary – all alone at the helm of the business.
You are frustrated, you are doing everything
And you’re burning out.


So, What IS the Noise?

A first in command with a lot of noise is likely experiencing some combination of the following.

  • Feel anxiety and doubt about the business

  • Receive a lot of feedback that his or her new ideas are driving the company crazy – or my favorite, I’ve been told I cause “whiplash”

  • Have low trust that things will be accomplished

  • Be the only person who brings value to outside relationships

  • Feel the need to do everything himself or herself

  • Feel as if he or she is the only one in the business losing sleep

  • Check up on every detail of the business because you don’t know what’s going on

  • Follow up on things multiple times until the items are completed

  • Be so busy doing everything but not have time to do what you do best


Noise manifests in many forms for everyone but there is typically a pattern.


Quick Exercise – the 3am wake up call.

Every entrepreneur finds themselves waking in the early hours of the morning, their brains spinning with the never ending list of issues, hurdles and opportunities that they need to tackle but have no clue where to even start.

Before reading further, take one minute to create a quick list of the ever growing noise that wakes you up in the wee hours of the morning and continues to buzz in your head throughout the day.

THAT Noise Translates To:

That noise, if it hasn’t already, will quickly turn into:

  • Lost Productivity

  • Frustration

  • Turnover

  • Health Problems

  • And decreased income

How would your life change if you had a partner that could make the noise go away?

Yin, Meet Yang

At the top of every successful organization are two distinctive people, the Visionary (think CEO, Entrepreneur) and the Integrator (think COO, 2nd in Command).

Great examples are Henry Ford and James Couzens, Walt & Roy Disney and Ray Kroc & Fred Turner. Sure, these companies are all large now, but they were once small. And without the support of each of these visionaries’ second in command, the likelihood that they would have become the success they are today is extremely slim.

There is an old saying, “vision without execution is just hallucination.”

Integrators free up Visionaries to do what they do best by filling a void that undermines most entrepreneurial companies.

What do Integrators bring to the organization?

Integrators are vision makers.

The Integrator’s role and skills are unique. For an organization, they are the glue, the visionary’s right hand….visionary prozac, some would say. They focus on

  • Faithful Execution of the Business Plan – they enjoy being accountable to execution of biz plans and p&Ls

  • Harmoniously Integrates the Major Business Functions –  they’re the steady force. Integrators are fanatical about resolutions and forcing conclusions. They’re willing to step into the danger

  • Get the arrows pointed in the right direction, based on values, priorities and key issues – -what’s most important to the company

  • They’re the glue – Integrators filter all of the visionaries ideas, eliminate hurdles and barriers for leadership and with major initiatives, they foresee the ripple of implications and build the appropriate plans to ensure the process is seamless

As a result, they create the clarity, communication, resolution, focus and accountability that drives organizations forward.

If you’re ready for this level of support? If so, reach out and we’ll be happy to set you on the path to finding your ideal integrator.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Getting the Most out of the V/I Relationship

Disclaimer: Key principles outlined in this article are a reflection of the key principles of the Visionary/Integrator relationship as described in  Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winter’s “Rocket Fuel” as well as Larry G. Linne’s book, “Make the Noise Go Away”. While the principles are not my own, I actively utilize these principles and therefore my opinion on the matter is my own based on personal experience serving in both the Integrator and Visionary Seats.