What is Visionary Leadership?
Visionary leadership is aimed at inspiring and energizing the employees to work towards higher goals. This leadership style gives people the freedom to decide according to the present/past realities and trends analytically for the greater good. Visionary leaders are good at connecting the dots and interpreting events, and changing the future.
To me, a leader is a visionary that energizes others. This definition of leadership has two key dimensions: a) creating the vision of the future, and b) inspiring others to make the vision a reality. ~Vince Lombardi
Who is a Visionary Leader?
A visionary leader is a far-sighted person and can transform the world by their impeccable perception of their present world, which they use to build future strategies. They are quick to understand the need for the future. They are motivated and have a clear vision of what the current organization can become by implementing the right actions at the right time.
For example, Mahatma Gandhi was a visionary who inspired the world by his belief and perseverance for India's freedom. He could envision his own country without British rule and strengthen the Indian culture and make a better nation for its people. It translated through his communication; he could give the crowd a clear picture of what the world would like for them post-independence.
Organizational Leaders And Visionary Leadership
Leadership vision is a crucial way of concentrating energy on what matters most; what you want to achieve with your life, and what sort of leader you want to be. A useful vision must be rooted in the experience, address the future, and address the reality of today. It's about who you are and what you stand for. Organizational leaders who are visionary take high risks for the future they want to create. It is like one has to ignore the small obstacles for the big wins later.
Let's take the example of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. These two businessmen could successfully transform the world by their innovative thinking and visionary leadership. In the 2018 recession, Elon Musk made a choice that was mostly directed by his vision. When both Tesla and SpaceX were facing closure and could only save one of them, he sacrificed everything and saved both of them, and the rest is history.
The Characteristics of a Visionary Leader?
One of the leadership qualities of a visionary leader is resilience. Visionary leaders adapt well in terms of any adversity. Problems in an organization or any workplace culture shift can make it difficult for any leader to adapt. It is when a visionary leader shows resilience and keep the morale and motivation of the organization high. People look upto to their leaders, which is why a leader can lose their motivation, especially when it's a difficult situation. Visionary leaders take calculated risks in such situations and endure uncertainty.
For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, many leaders could not show agility and the necessary response to it. In comparison, visionary leaders quickly adapted to the new normal and even found ways to sustain their business.
2. Risk Takers
Change demands risks. And more than that, it demands courage and decision-making ability. Leaders who are quick to understand this takes calculated risks and adapt to the changing work trends. Risk-taking comes with a perspective that is logical and analytical but not necessarily rational. That is why visionary leaders often have to deal with social pressures and, even at times, self-doubt. They are eager to take their chances with optimism and weighing the pros and cons. They intend to transform the world for the greater good, and that is where they drive the energy from.
3. Visionary Leaders Takes Responsibility
A leader is accountable for their actions. The decisions they make will always have an impact on the people that are following them. Hence, visionary leaders take the responsibility. They can make or break any organization. An organization has many aspects to it. Most importantly, some finances help the projects to move forward. One mistake and the whole business can fall apart. Therefore, leaders who have a vision with significant risks or different ideas from others must ensure responsibility for their actions.
4. They're Collaborative
When a leader has a vision, they cannot fulfill it alone. They need the support of others to make it a reality. It is only possible by active team collaboration and keeping everyone involved in the whole process. We hear leaders speak of cooperating with their teams to get results. Collaboration goes a step further, connecting the talents of individuals you collaborate with to the priorities and expectations that will promote growth and progress. Collaboration involves synergizing the relationships you have and providing ways for others to display their best work and mindset.
5. High Emotional Intelligence
To work towards the visionary goal, you need a team. To keep the team motivated along the journey, a leader must understand their emotional triggers and empathize with them. Having a healthy view of the effects the vision and purpose will have on others helps leaders to develop empathy and concern as they push through the goals. It is essential to understand their perspective and be there when needed. Another aspect is self-regulation to stay motivated and relax during any adversity. Leaders who have a vision for the future are high on emotional intelligence.
What leadership style do you practice? Do let us know your views on visionary leadership? We believe that it the visionary leaders who could transform the world and not merely improve it. To bring the much needed change, one needs to think out of the box and work hard to make it a reality. And for that, you need a vision.