November 20, 2017
John Mulder

What It Means to Be a Visionary Leader

The most dynamic leaders are creative. They are strategic risk-takers. They are visionary.

By definition, visionary leaders are focused individuals who can inspire their team to reach organizational goals. Creating and sustaining a vision for an organization calls for discipline and creativity.

A visionary leader must have the passion, strength of will, and necessary knowledge to achieve long-term goals.

A visionary leader isn’t a manager. They are leaders. There’s a difference. Managers deal with process and operations. Leaders see the world ahead and rally people to go there with them.

A visionary leader isn’t a caretaker. Caretakers do not create distinctive, exciting and important brands. They may create profitable ones in the short term, but you cannot price or cost cut your way to success.

In order to lead in this way you need a strong and simple vision that fills a gap better than anyone else.

Here are six things to keep in mind before you can lead with vision:

Vision is company wide
You’re the leader, which means you go first to guide the company, but you’re not in this alone. Everyone must buy into your vision and commit to it. Hire properly. Great leaders adapt their style. People are different and are motivated differently.

Be open and honest
I call it authenticity. People will rally behind failures if you are authentic, open, and honest. Keep your word. People do remember, and will connect with someone who is honest and who they connect with.

Cultivate a good relationship with your employees
Do you genuinely care about your employees or are they cogs in the machine? You should never be their friend, but you should always be available to mentor them and listen to their ideas.

Look at things as an outsider
Be thoughtful and weigh options and opinions counter to your own. Other points of view may cause you to look at your own opinions differently.

Never put your company in a box
Try new things and fail. Or, succeed! You are never what you are but what you want to become. Just because you were one thing, doesn’t mean you can’t change. Do change, but always stay on brand.

People want you to let them fly on their own, but be there to catch them
Leadership is not unlike teaching a kid to ride a bike. Delegate. Empower them to embrace vision. A strong brand can help with that.

A visionary leader turns vision into reality by creating a vivid image of the target they need to attain, and creating a specific strategic plan for the coming year. The leader details what goals the company must accomplish and specific responsibilities of each key team member. Along the way the leader keeps the team informed of their progress and celebrates small victories with the team while remaining focused on the big goal.

I believe that’s the essence of the brand.

Do you have some big goals for the coming year? If not, do you need help identifying them and developing the strategy to make those goals a reality? Contact us to get started.

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