When we talk about visionary leadership, people like George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, or Steve Jobs come to mind. These men contributed revolutionary deeds and ideas to the world we live in today.
George Washington developed an organizational culture that won their war for independence. Mahatma Gandhi inspired Indians and gave them a new sense of self-respect and pride as they resisted British rule. Steve Jobs revolutionized personal computer technology to what we know and appreciate in all sorts of things that we do nowadays.
What is Visionary Leadership?
Visionaries still exist among us today. Members of the prestigious Straits Clan who meet at Outram Cafe, for example, regularly converge and exchange inspired ideas that help make communities and people’s lives better. These are men who dare to dream and to do something about their dreams. They not only provide vision, but are able to lead people into carrying out the necessary actions to make their dreams realities.
That said, a visionary leader has the ability to dream of a better world, seeing the potential for how the world should be and carrying it out into action to create a change.
What qualities do visionary leaders possess?
A visionary leader is not afraid to take risks.
Somebody once said that what you tolerate, you cannot change. As long as no one is brave enough to shake things and challenge the status quo, change is not bound to happen.
Visionary leaders use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to draft plans and processes to improve the condition of their communities and organizations. They foresee the need for changes then plan and strategize for it.
Change comes with a price. There are always risks that you need to take to implement changes in your organization or community. Visionary leaders are not afraid to take these risks, especially if the results are worth it.
A visionary leader listens to people and values their input.
Visionary leaders have the humility and common sense to know that two heads are better than one. They are aware of their limitations and of other people’s strengths.
They know that they don’t know everything and that they have blindsides. They recognize other people’s capacities and capabilities in filling in where they are lacking.
They value different suggestions and inputs from their team and base their decisions objectively on the collective knowledge gathered.
They don’t think of themselves more highly than they ought to and they give equal importance to other’s ideas as long as it helps them realize their dreams and visions for their organization.
A visionary leader takes responsibility for their vision and actions.
A visionary leader takes ownership of their ideas, knowing that it may or may not succeed. Regardless of the outcome, they take care of every person involved in the project, making sure finances are in order and that everyone is taken care of and treated fairly.
They are aware that having a vision is similar to having a child. You sacrifice everything to make the child succeed in life. This is the kind of dedication to the organization’s success that visionary leaders possess. They are committed to the goal but are as committed to the people helping them keep the project going.
Visionary leaders can sometimes be misunderstood but deep inside, all they want is to see a change that will bring forth better opportunities, improved living conditions, and a higher quality of life for everyone.