Thursday, June 16, 2016

“Leadership Master” Book Introduction Chapter 3: Visionary Leadership

The vision needs to be a good metaphor - 'the guiding light' and a vivid picture of the future state.

The substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about making a positive influence, providing direction, both for oneself and others. At the Digital Era with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, visionary leadership is in strong demand to navigate through uncharted water and blurred digital borders to guide businesses towards the right direction. Fundamentally, leadership is more about future but starts at today. A visionary mind has the ability to think the past, perceive what is now and foresee the future.

Vision differentiates transformational leaders from transactional managers: Vision is a foresight with a proactive understanding of cause and effect, not reactive seeing. It is a clear choice among future scenarios that advocates future trends and promotes certain behavior. The vision needs to be a good metaphor - 'the guiding light' so that people can see themselves and their work reflected in it. There are too many transactional managers who overly focus on short-term thinking due to the pressure of stakeholder, risk aversion, or ineffective strategy. A great leader is a visionary because leadership is one’s ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it. The best organizations have both vision and future orientation. Visionary leaders carry an element of "creativity" and "align" their organization around that vision while remaining soundly anchored in their "core purpose" of being a business.

Leadership vision is to serve as an enabler to make profound influences: Vision is a foresight with a proactive understanding of cause and effect, not reactive sight. The essence of vision is from the personal relatedness development, in its whole simplicity of perceptual connection of the moment. Is imagination the key that transforms knowledge from folly to wisdom? The envisioning is the imagination's inner screen lighting up in the context of where the vision grows. To envision is the focus coming in contact with the natural deployment, grown from the whole envisioning atmosphere you soak in daily life. Being a leader takes one to have a desire to do better than others in certain domains, to envision the future and clear the path, whether that be the elimination of obstacles or to provide coaching and guidance and make an influence so that the talented employees are limited only by their imagination. Top leaders need to be visionaries: someone who can think strategically, assist in “seeing” and bringing clarity to the future within the business ecosystem and beyond. Because leadership vision is to serve as an enabler of leadership influence.

Leadership vision is to be a guiding light and show the direction: A vision is how you see the future unfolding, how you dream about what the future will look like from your standpoint. Vision comes to those who exercise themselves to understand what they hear, as they listen; to perceive what they see, as they look. Top leaders are supposed to be the guiding force in the organization and even with a broader scope, envisioning and leading it towards its future. Vision is where to go, strategy is how to get there. Vision is the future you want to realize from a coordinated effort. The strategy is the systematic plan that assists you in achieving desired outcomes. Being a leader means giving people confidence on where to go and how to get there, supporting them and also stretching them to live to their full potential, both individually and as members of a high performing team.

True vision is the reality of tomorrow, and true visionary leaders are future of leaders today. Vision is required at any given stage of an organization’s life span, so do economies. Without a continuous envisioning of a better future, society is doomed. A clear vision is circular than tunnel; multi-dimensional than single lenses, colorful than black and white. It should be vivid enough to tell the story and positive enough to overcome barriers. The “vision thing” does matter more nowadays.


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