Great leadership takes both common sense and unconventional wisdom. Many can see, but very few can perceive the invisible; many can listen, but very few can hear the true message; many can feel, but very few can touch the heart and mind thoroughly. If transformational leadership is all about Timing for change, then visionary leadership is about the insight, foresight, and blueprint for the future. With vision, the transformation has a destination; through transformation, vision reaches to reality. The world becomes so dynamic and inter-connected, the business future turns to be so obscure and uncertain, visionary leaders are needed to steer the future, as they can zoom in the future as if it were closer. Vision is leadership substance, not fashionable style. There are three “V”s in visionary leadership.
- The more dimensions the lens has, the vivid leaders can manifest a vision. Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and cultural dimensions. It requires core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action. That also said, a visionary leader might be a futurist, but a futurist may not be a visionary leader.
- Vision is not fashion, vision is filled with value: No matter technology breakthrough or management innovation, visionary leadership pulls the future together and pushes the human world forward. It's substance, not style only: as you hair can be so yesterday, but your foresight need be very tomorrow; your garment can be out of date, but your mind need be forward-looking; though fashion may enforce vision, it won’t replace it.
- Visionary leaders see possibilities before others, but they also need to tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans; they convey a vision based on principles that lift humanity. They intuitively draw on the timeless wisdom and cognizance and present it in a new synthesis and frame the fresh picture to meet the particular need of the times.
- Value based vision shall advance humanity. Visionary leaders are positive and progressive; their vision is different, an outlier embracing a unique set of values.A commitment to values is an outstanding characteristic of all visionary leaders. Value is also multi-dimensional, value-based vision keeps leader courageous, consistent, creative and concentrate.
The gifts of nature are infinite in their variety, and mind differs from mind almost as much as body from body. --Quintilian
- A variety of Light: Red, Yellow, Green, Which color is visionary leadership? The conventional wisdom, green light seems to carry the bold vision, drive straight, boldly and fearlessly; and red light is hit by the tactical management, being cautious and controlling; However, at today’s CHANGE as new normal, visionary leadership symbolize as yellow light: When the yellow light is flashing, leaders have to make judgment calls, set widest range of strategic alternative and make decision based on value-driven, colorful vision.
- Vision need to embrace a variety of color, not just black and white: The best visionary leaders embrace the full spectrum of colors, respect the diversified point of view, move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible. The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety. W. Somerset Maugham
- Circular Vision, not tunnel vision need be perceived via multi-dimensional lenses. Visionary leaders transmit energy to a variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving the circular and colorful vision with the positive frame.
The greatest prophet may not predict everything in history. Variety, diversity and collective point of view add colors on vision. Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety. --Francis Bacon
The versatility of education can be found in our best poetry, but the depth of mankind should be found in the philosopher. --Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
Vision is not pure artistic fantasy or poetic expression, also not just comes from scientific calculation or logic reasoning. Vision takes versatility.
- Vision is not equal to communication: it takes versatility to shape visions, and it takes communication skill to conveying vision vividly: Visionary leaders anticipate change and are proactive, rather than reactive to events. As they manifesting their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there. Though vision is not equal to communication, a good communicator may not be a visionary, and a visionary also takes practice to be a great communicator. It takes talent, creativity and persuasion to shape and convey a vision.
- Leadership vision takes new box thinking: It takes versatility to shape new, new box, especially noted for transforming old mental maps or paradigms, and creating strategies that are “outside the box” of conventional thought. They embody a balance of right brain and left brain thinking. "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." — Mark Twain
- Visionary leaders are optimistic realists to discover versatility: They embody vitality, will, imagination, hope and sense of energy. A visionary leader is effective in manifesting his or her vision because she/he creates specific, achievable goals, initiates action and enlists the participation of others "In order to be a realist you must believe in miracles." - David Ben-Gurion
True vision is the reality of tomorrow, and true visionary leaders are future of leaders today. “To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.” Hubert H. Humphrey