If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that we are without a doubt living in a VUCA Environment.
What is a VUCA Environment? The acronym stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This term, stemming from the American Military in the ’90s, was coined to describe the post-Cold War conditions of the world at the time.
Navigating everyday challenges in these VUCA eras can feel exhausting. Ensuring that our company culture isn’t compromised by such unrelenting socioeconomic shifts can feel doubly daunting. Fortunately, there’s a particular style of leader that can serve as a beacon, reorienting its company culture in times that seem utterly disoriented.
Visionary leadership is in no way a new term or concept, but the benefits of such stewardship can mean the difference between shouldering a team with depleting morale and sailing choppy waters with confident eyes toward the horizon.
Visionary Leadership Characteristics
Here are some ways in which visionary leaders can be a boon to company culture in “VUCA Times."
1. They Reengage the Disengaged
In periods of uncertainty and volatility, it can be tempting to “put the nose to the grindstone,” focusing on the most urgent and pressing needs. There’s no shame in such behavior. After all, our survival instincts kick in when we feel they are needed most.
However, it’s easy to become so consumed with the present that we lose track of our company’s shared mission and, even worse, its core values. Constant behaviors such as this can lead those who were once engaged by their work to become actively disengaged. Visionary leaders excel in this sort of environment. With their unflinching aim for the future, they can refocus an organization by pointing to any forgotten north stars. Not only does this “long game” approach refamiliarize employees with their goals, but it can also have a demystifying effect on the present, clearing confusion and re-instilling confidence.
2. Visionary Leaders Inspire
As mentioned above, it's easy to become swept up in the demanding tides of the present. But true visionary leaders are capable of more than merely re-engaging the disengaged.
True to their name, these leaders have vision!
They capture and describe the unreached heights they see their organization scaling further down the road. By casting their team members in the stories they hope to tell through their company’s efforts, visionary leaders reinvigorate those who may need a reason to stretch their talents further, to strive for goals that much greater. When at their best, these stewards chart a clear path, creating fertile ground for every team member’s growth and development to flourish.
3. A Visionary Leader Builds Trust
It’s hard not to bond with others over the course of a journey, especially during times of uncertainty. The trust developed through the successes, mundanities, and hardships faced along the road toward a distant goal is one of the most invaluable benefits that visionary leaders can provide.
If their aim is true and new horizons are realized, a visionary leader builds trust not only from their team but among them as well. Better yet, when this lasting trust is established, whatever unexpected hand the future deals, there is renewed faith that the organization will carry on, full steam ahead, undaunted.
Visionary Leadership and Company Culture
There are many different types of leaders out there, each effecting positive changes for their company cultures in a whole host of ways. But when it comes to reinvigorating a team in these “VUCA Times,” few are as well equipped to right the ship as a visionary leader.
For more information on how visionary leadership can positively impact your company culture, check out these other blog posts on the topic:
- The Emerging Trend of Visionary Leadership
- Inspiring Examples of Visionary Leadership in Business
- How Visionary Leaders Enhance Company Culture