Visionary Leadership: All You Need To Know

Kathy Mazzarelli, CEO of Graybar defines leadership as

Helping others realize their capability. Inspiring them to work with you to achieve a common vision for the future. 

According to Warrens. G. Bennis, the capacity to translate vision into reality is leadership. Based on the types of problems, with time different leadership styles have emerged. Daniel Goleman describes six leadership styles in his book. The visionary leadership style is one of them.

What is a visionary leadership style?

Although, the credit for defining the term “visionary leadership” goes to Daniel Goleman. But this concept originated from “transformational leadership”. A visionary leadership style creates the most positive climate. It is the style leaders adapt to fulfill a mission or a vision. Their missions influence the direction of paths. This leadership style is highly persuasive. It mobilizes people towards a common goal. Moreover, It is also defined by charisma, inspiration for others, and high emotional IQ.  A visionary leader plants a seed. Its fruit gives long-term future benefits to others. He allows his team to show up their creativity and intelligence.

Why visionary leadership is important?

Visionary leadership plays a significant role in an organization, especially in business organizations. It drives the company to create new ideologies for future success. These ideologies inspire other members of the organization too. As a result, a distinctive growth in all aspects is visible. 

Under visionary leadership, people become more confident. Furthermore, it makes them capable of dealing with complex organizational issues, as well as natural calamities like the recent unexpected pandemic. A survey reported that 81% of the respondents believed that leading through complexity and ambiguity is a required skill of the 21st century. Visionary leadership requires both skills.

Visionary leadership helps in seeing beyond the current dilemmas. Consequently,  Despite obstacles it keeps individuals focused and determined to achieve the goal. Moreover, it grooms individuals as well as the organization in unbeatable ways. 

The Characteristics of a visionary leader

A visionary leader possesses many traits. Some of them are penned below.

1. Optimistic

Visionary leaders are positive-minded. Problems are temporary for them. They are energetic and strenuous. They are always hopeful that their endeavors will bring positive outcomes. 

2. Resilient

A resilient person is well aware of himself. He knows his emotional strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness helps him tackle every problem effectively. He knows the right way to control his emotions and actions in every situation.

3. Maestro organizers

To succeed in a mission, you need good planning. Likewise, visionary leaders have effective plans to achieve their goals. Accordingly, they motivate and mobilize their team as well. They assist the team when and where required. Consequently, every task is completed on time. Another admirable thing is that no one feels left out under such leadership.

4. Proficient communicators

A visionary leader is a proficient communicator. He knows how to deliver ideas understandably. He makes people believe in the success of his ideas.

5. Strategic thinkers

As aforementioned, prior planning is necessary to achieve any goal. A good visionary leader formulates fruitful strategies to reach the target. He is far-sighted and prepares strategies accordingly. 

6. Focused

Sticking to the goal is one of the most important traits of a visionary leader. For them, procrastination and distractions don’t exist at all. Such leaders are always enthusiastic and determined. Their vision is much bigger which keeps them motivated and progressing. 

Examples of a visionary leadership style

Although, history is full of visionary leaders. Some prominent names of the current times are mentioned below

  • Elon Musk: He is the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He is also a co-founder of Paypal. 
  • Bill Gates: He is the founder of Microsoft. He came up with this idea when only a few people knew about computers. Today, Microsoft is the leading PC software company.
  • Abdul Sattar Edhi (Late): He was the founder of the Edhi Welfare Organization. It has the world’s largest ambulance network. He had the vision to help humanity which his sons are now carrying forward.

Cons of visionary leadership

Although the pros of visionary leadership are incomparable it does have cons as well. 

  • If the leader leaves or dies, the vision also comes to an end.
  • The focus is merely on the long-term vision. It may impact short-term goals and the company’s present performance. 
  • Maybe some people would have much better ideas than the leader. In such cases, those ideas are tossed aside. 

Wrap-up

Visionary leadership is one of the most important leadership styles. When the purpose is to build new ideologies, visionary leadership is often practiced. A good visionary leader is resilient, optimistic, and a good communicator. He is a maestro organizer and a strategic thinker. He is always focused and determined toward his goals. Despite that, the visionary leadership style has some disadvantages as well.

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