Leadership seems to be one of the buzzwords of recent times. How to lead people and to do it successfully is a question that has an ever evolving answer. The reason for this is because people and times are always changing. This changes the dynamics in which a leader leads. In this post, we will be briefly taking a look at what visionary leadership is. Also, why it is what is needed for today.
What is a visionary leader?
A dreamer is one who dreams and has high aspirations. He wants to achieve and has ambitious dreams. On the other hand, a visionary is one who, as well as having dreams, goes out to achieve them by being proactive. We have all encountered both types in our day to day lives. Some who like to talk the talk (dreamer) while others walk the talk (visonaries).
So, we can define a visionary leader as one with a dream or a vision and knows how to achieve it. He is one who can also motivate others and guide them to clearly show them how to achieve it too.
Why visionary leadership?
Research done by the University of Michigan (2011) indicated that the leader of a team accounts for 31% of whether a team performs well or not. This research was based on 900 studies from around 1940s. What was more profound was the top 3 leadership behaviours: 1. create and communicate vision, 2. structure a team (roles, responsibilities etc) and 3. show consideration to other team members (how to motivate them). The most important behaviour is the ability to create a vision and then communicate it (i.e. visionary leadership).
Creating a vision
In this post, we will be looking at the first half of the equation. The creation of the vision. It must be noted though, that how you communicate it is equally important. The style is as important as the substance. The style gives the listeners the initial boost, but it is the substance that makes them listen and believe you in the long run. So, we will look at substance today, at what you say.
You need to focus on answering three questions.
1. Why do we exist?
In other words, why do we do what we do? In your answer, you must focus on what your core purpose is. Starting with the why helps you and your team to understand your purpose and it helps with motivation.
2. What does success look?
This question basically is your definition of success. If you are successful, what does our world look like. For all your customers, employees and all of your stakeholders.
3. How must we act to ensure success?
This question deals with your values. What do you stand for and want to be known for. The values you provide will guide vision and success. And even though your aim is to please all your stakeholders, this won’t always be possible. You simply cannot always satisfy the needs of all stakeholders. Sometimes you will need to prioritise one stakeholder over another.
Here is the summary of the takeaway from this blog post in trendy picture form. Be sure to share it far and wide!