There are many different approaches to leadership: Commanding, Democratic, and Coaching just to name a few.
But one, in particular, stands out with its ability to drive change, reach transformational goals, and create organizational buy-in. That style is known as Visionary Leadership.
What is Visionary Leadership?
Visionary leadership is characterized by someone who can rally the organization around a shifting vision or organizational destination no matter how heavy and radical the lift is. Organizations with visionary leaders are marked by a psychologically safe environment that fosters creativity and innovation while keeping the employees on the path to meeting the goals and vision set forth.
The leader has the ability to muster the team and leads them in a way that breeds collaboration and synergistic relationships. Through an innate ability to communicate and inspire, they lead organizations into the future and keep them on the path to success.
What does a Visionary Leader provide?
1. Creativity and Innovation
It has been proven that under a visionary leader, creativity and innovation are able to develop and thrive allowing organizations to expand their horizons to create and meet goals that may have otherwise seemed outside their reach. Leaders give the organization and the employees a sense of purpose and direction, acting as a compass as they move into uncharted territory and sail towards the vision.
2. Empathy and Compassion
A visionary leader will exhibit empathy and compassion for employees, setting a tone that allows people to work through the uncertainty. Everyone interprets and processes change differently, viewing it through their own personal lens. By acknowledging and allowing each person to experience it in their own way, they are more likely to jump on board with the vision.
3. An Engaged Workforce
The environment built by the leader strengthens employee engagement and creates a culture steeped in trust. When employees are engaged, it cultivates a workforce that learns, grows, and succeeds together. Without the emotional commitment and willingness of employees to give their best, visions and goals will be harder to attain.
Not only does the leader tie the small details of everyday work to the overarching long-term goals, but they help each department, division, and employee see how they are connected to the vision. Connecting individual success and growth with the overall organization’s accomplishments goes a long way and creates a unified drive toward the future.
Why do we need Visionary Leadership?
It's no secret that the current market and uncertainty regarding the future work environment leave individuals and organizations feeling lost. As employees attempt to make sense of the present and figure out where the future is leading them, a leader’s vision can be the lighthouse on the shore through the fog of the present. A beacon that makes things clearer and provides guidance in an unnerving and turbulent time.
In order to grow and be a continuously improving and effective organization, you can’t be stuck in the past or mired in the uncertainty of the present. A visionary leader helps organizations focus on forward-thinking and assists with keeping an eye on the prize when goals are long-term and slow-moving. Breakthrough ideas and visions don’t happen overnight, but a visionary leader will celebrate the small victories and build checkpoints along the way to create the momentum and excitement of the future vision alive.
Employees in the current workplace crave meaningful and challenging work. When a company is heading towards an audacious goal or courageous vision, visionary leadership links individual and organizational goals. Being made to feel part of the adventure brings the excitement to the individual level and provides an environment where challenges and quandaries allow everyone to help the organization make it to the next level.
Visionary leadership provides the organization with a North Star and charts the course to success. By bringing everyone along for the ride, they build excitement, engagement, and collaboration and create an organization where people come together to watch the business and themselves grow.