You have probably heard of great leaders who have inspired change in society. Exceptional leaders such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos have been praised in mainstream media for creative ideas and innovative products that have shaped human life. Elon Musk’s vision was to create an object that would take people to the moon, and he came up with SpaceX. He also imagined a world with zero carbon emissions, and created electric cars that do not consume fuel.
So what is visionary leadership? What kind of person is a visionary? This paper provides a comprehensive discussion of this type of leadership known as visionary leadership.
It is a type of leadership that concerns itself with the creation of a vision, and inspiring people to pursue that vision. It entails identifying an opportunity, setting clear goals, and building coalitions to work towards those goals.
Visionary leaders are always driven by the desire to achieve higher goals in society. They do not settle for small achievements, and go beyond the ordinary to meet greater goals. They also focus on the bigger picture and create a vision of what the future looks like for others to follow. Visionaries overlook the challenges that may hinder people from achieving higher goals. They aim at the ultimate goal with no room for distraction by small obstacles.
A vision is an imagined direction or destination for the future; where a person wants to be, what he wants to achieve, and what he imagines the future looks like. If the person who started the internet several decades ago had told people that they would be able to make a video call to each other through computers, not many people would believe. Well, we are there now.
What vision do you have for the future? Having the vision alone does not make you a visionary leader. What makes a person a visionary leader is the ability to create the vision and convince people to support him in pursuing that vision. That is, the imagination of a future situation should be accompanied by an action to guide people towards that direction.
A visionary leader ensures the vision becomes a reality by stating clear goals, outlining a strategic plan for achieving those goals and equipping and empowering people to take action on the plan at the organizational, team and individual levels.