Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, making use of creativity, insight, and boldness. They put forward a challenge that calls forth the best in people and puts them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and help people find a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon; they are political, business, social innovators and change agents, capable of seeing the overall scenario and strategic in their thinking.
A visionary may dream miraculous visions of the future and articulate them with great inspiration. A visionary leader is not only good with words but with activities as well. It requires heart-felt commitment.
A visionary leader is effective in exhibiting his or her vision because s/he sets well-defined and accomplishable objectives, triggers off action and enlists the contribution of others. It requires core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action.
CLEAR INSPIRATIONAL VISION
Visionaries who are successful at manifesting their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the days to come, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there. Vision is a field that brings energy into form. Effective leaders broadcast a coherent message by themselves embodying their vision. Nelson Mandela clearly held a positive vision of a racially harmonious South Africa during his 28 years in jail and helped bring it into reality peacefully-- to the amazement of the world. I urge you to see the movie ‘Invictus’.
“I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. “ Nelson Mandela
The best visionary leaders move energy to a higher level by providing a definite picture of what is attainable. They inspire people to be better than they already are. This was the power of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. The creative power of motivational words can sound a certain inner note that people realize and respond to.
Visionary leaders impart energy to people, making them confident in attaining goals. Television host Oprah Winfrey helps her guests believe in themselves and make effort to build a better world. She is the number one Talk Show host! President Obama, won the elections with three words, “Yes We Can”, giving people ‘Hope’ and yearning to see ‘Change’ happen.
When we look around us here in Singapore, the world sees clearly the vision of leaders like Goh Keng Swee and Lee Kwan Yew. A small country originating enormous waves because of a clear and powerful vision. On the business front, Kwek Leng Beng from CDL, Ho KwonPing of Banyan Tree, the late Ng Teng Fong of Far East, and J.Y. Pillay for Singapore Airlines have all achieved recognition because of a vision that paved the way forward. “Where there is no vision the people perish.” – The Bible
INNOVATIVE COURAGEOUS ACTION
Visionary leaders are especially noted for transforming paradigms, and developing strategies that are “outside the box” of conventional thought. They think in a broad and systematic way, seeing the big picture, and “the pattern that connects.” They then develop innovative strategies for actualizing their vision. CNN founder Ted Turner transformed television news by boldly making an around-the-clock international news network.
Visionary leaders anticipate change and are proactive, rather than reactive to events. Their focus is on opportunities, not on problems. They give emphasis on win/win--rather than adversarial win/lose--approaches. Becoming a Visionary Leader does require a cirtain "psycholgoy" for Leadership Development
Body Shop founder Anita Roddick’s vision addressed health and environmental problems, as well as poverty in the Third World, through the innovative strategies she designed for her hugely successful products and stores. Products are made of non-polluting ingredients and stores were opened in poor neighbourhoods to provide employment and return profit to the community.
Many of us keep away from the responsibility of visionary leadership primarily due to the fact that we are very much afraid of criticism or failure. Today, as we enter the Third Millennium, new visionary leaders are emerging. Will you rise to the need and challenge?
Dear Mr. Roy,
I do agree with you to some extent. But in most of the cases we will find some other aspects that helped them in emerging as a visionary leader.
Special thanks to Rada for the nicely written article on such an interesting topic.