A vision is a clear, shared, and compelling image of what could be.

It’s an idealised future state that serves as a guide for action in the present.

Visionary leaders are able to see that future and inspire others to follow them there.

Being a visionary leader requires a combination of qualities, skills, and characteristics that help individuals to effectively lead and inspire others towards a shared goal or vision.

Visionary leaders are able to create a sense of urgency around their vision by highlighting how it will help you achieve your goals or solve problems (e.g., “With more resources, we’ll be able to deliver faster”).

Leaders need to be able to build a shared vision for their teams which is why leaders should always be clear with their communication and make sure that all parties understand the direction of the company.

The main things that leaders need to consider when thinking about how they want to communicate are to have a clear vision for the team and to use language to clarify that vision and build a team around it.

Recognise the interconnectedness of things and how the individual exists within a complex network of relationships.

Leadership is about making a difference and influencing others, but it is also about being able to see the bigger picture

As leaders we need to be able to connect with our people on a personal level and understand what makes them special as individuals as well as part of a team or group.

Being both pragmatic and visionary at the same time is a key leadership characteristic.

Other characteristics of a visionary leader can be defined as:

  • Persistence
  • Boldness
  • Risk-taking
  • Strategy
  • Inspiration
  • Open mindedness
  • Innovation
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Optimism
  • Charm

They must be able to see the future and have great ideas on how to get there and convince others to join them on the journey!

That is the essence of visionary leadership…

How do you do that?

You can’t see the future with your own eyes, but you can create a mental picture of what it could look like in your mind and then work towards that vision.

It’s almost like creating a blueprint for your organisation or team and then working together to make it happen!

Visionary leaders face several challenges in their efforts to achieve their goals and realise their vision.

Some of the most common challenges include:

  1. Resistance to change: Visionary leaders often advocate for significant change, which can be difficult for many people to accept. They may face resistance from individuals or groups who are opposed to change or who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
  2. Lack of support: Visionary leaders may struggle to gain the support and resources they need to implement their vision. This can include a lack of support from key stakeholders, limited resources, or a lack of buy-in from others within the organisation.
  3. Balancing the long term and short term: Visionary leaders often have a long-term view of success, but they also need to balance this with the immediate needs and priorities of the organisation. This can be a difficult balance to strike, and it requires a clear understanding of both the long-term vision and the immediate realities of the organisation.
  4. Risk management: Visionary leaders often advocate for bold and innovative ideas, which can be risky. They need to be able to weigh the potential rewards against the risks involved and make decisions that will help their organisation to succeed in the long run.
  5. Maintaining focus: Visionary leaders may be faced with numerous competing priorities and distractions, and they need to be able to stay focused on their vision and goals in order to achieve success.
  6. Adapting to new circumstances: Visionary leaders need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and respond to new challenges as they arise. This requires a willingness to be flexible and adjust their strategies and tactics as needed.

These are some of the key challenges that visionary leaders may face, but with perseverance, determination, and the right combination of skills and qualities, they can overcome these challenges and successfully lead their organisations towards their vision.