Visionary leadership is essential for the accomplishment of fundamental organizational tasks. Leadership is a crucial function constituting the management process. For instance, planning involves the formulation of objectives and possible directions. Organizing enhances the bringing together of resources in order to actualize the plans as asserted by Johnson (2010). Leading facilitates the required commitment plus enthusiasm necessary for workers to apply their ideas and talents. This, in turn, enables the accomplishment of the set objectives during planning. Lastly, the management process involves controlling the activities to ensure that things turn out right. Brown and Anfara (2003, p. 17) state that visionary leaders are the constructors of insight, boldness, working with imagination and new dawns in several business organizations. The leaders may present challenges that define people and interconnect them through a common purpose. Vision in leadership enables people to work with the power of alignment and intentionality on a high purpose. The eyes of visionary leaders focus at the horizons and not nearby or at hand. They possess qualities of social innovation; moreover, they are agents who bring changes and who often see the large picture and think strategically. Visionary leaders are also interconnected with the entire organization and external environment. Hence, a true visionary leader is concerned with the wellbeing of the entire organization and its environments. Recognition of the truth present in all the polarized issues of the society is their strong point. After recognizing problematic issues, they search for valid solutions in all relevant spheres while also addressing the causal levels of these problems as suggested by Ciulla (2004, p. 34).
Sardhar (2007) argues that a visionary leader should be capable of challenging the process of management. Being able to transform old paradigms and creating strategies as well as plans that are outside the box of normal thoughts are the characteristics of a visionary leader. He or she must be a pioneer in the field of work, striving to encourage innovations and support others with positive ideas/attitudes. Leaders with vision embody a balance of both intuitive and rational functions with broad and systemic thinking. This enables to recognize different patterns connecting the whole system and to see the large picture of the entire organizational objectives as explained by Warner and Tidwell (2000, p. 124). Through the creation of innovative strategies, they are able to actualize their vision. Anticipation of change is their prime priority, and they are often proactive to situations rather than reactive. Focus is directed at potential and available opportunities and not possible problems. Leaders emphasize on win-win approaches and methodologies and not win-lose adversarial. A truly visionary leader most often considers resources from the soul and the remarkable capabilities, which enables the accomplishment of marvelous things. It is, therefore, advisable for any potential leader to access one’s inner resources to facilitate the development of an effective leader in whatever field one resides. First, a leader needs to take a stand and be initiative in what he or she passionately believes in, and be ready to consume the heat coming with passion (Cuoros 2010). Most people fail in leadership because of their sensitivity to criticism, which for a skilled and effective leader is usually filtered and only the true and helpful values in growth remain.
Enthusiasm in work and commitment towards the realization of the organization’s goals is another principle of a visionary leader. Such a leader is in most cases able to inspire others through his or her personal enthusiasm, thus sharing the common organizational vision. According to Nanus (2005, p.94), leaders with vision are mostly successful in establishing and showing their work visions. These leaders have their foundation on having a positive picture of the future, clear sense of the direction to follow and inspiration. Vision helps to an enthusiastic leader to bring energy and efforts into form. Effective leaders communicate coherent messages that embody their vision by themselves. This communication of vision is kept continuous to facilitate the creation of strong fields, which, in turn, brings the vision to physical reality. Great visionaries are able to move efforts and energy to high levels through offering clear understanding of possibilities. Their main aim is to inspire people to become better than they were before or at present. This is achieved by identification of angels of better nature. The power of creative, inspired and lightened words can in most cases portray a given inner voice that people always recognize and later respond. Hemmen et al. (2009, p. 124) suggests that, social change is, therefore, created, giving a chance for visionary leaders to sense the spiritual desires of workers and link demands of consumers to the deep spiritual needs of the workers. The leaders have ways of transmitting energy to people, in such case; they give them new sense of confidence and hope in attaining the managerial vision. Enunciation of visions based on key principles that are utilized as guides for humanity is an aim of visionary leaders. They draw from the ageless and present wisdom and synthesize it into new wisdom that meets the needs of the time.
The visionary principle of team playing requires the spirit of supporting each other in realizing efforts and talents. A visionary leader must be reliable to allow other members to turn to him, or her whenever there is a need of that. Reliability comes with doing one’s share of work consistently, and commit to helping others enhance their talents as argued by Linsel (2012). Constructive communication is another characteristic of a leader with vision. He or she should be able to speak up the thoughts and express any ideas that he/she feels should be announced and shared. Honest, respectful and direct display of ideas to others gives the visionary leaders an exceptional quality and ultimate success of their teams. He or she should listen actively to others to enable absorbance, understanding and consideration of points and ideas. This, at the end, helps in effective communication between the leader and others, and also in problems solving. Actively participating leaders in work teams often fulfill their visionary goals. Active involvement in discussions with other team members encourages open and willing to share, which leads to cooperation and helping each other. Through correction of wrong ideas, and contributing to different discussion, a visionary leader can steer a team to success as suggested by McLaughlin (2001). Flexibility is also essential to enable diversion from possible wrong ideas to other with possible right outcomes.
Ihlenfeldt (2011, p. 124) suggests that a visionary leader, in most cases, is a role model to others. He or she has the ability and passion to inspire others by setting examples to them. For instance, in the work field, a role model visionary leader should be passionate about the work he/she does. In this way, he or she infects others by just observing the excellent work outcomes he/ she brings. Dedication to teaching others is also a vital trait enabling the actualization of their passion for serving the community. A role model has a clear set of qualities and values that he/ she uses to drive the work to success. Commitment to the community through helping others makes a leader successful and visionary. He or she is not selfish hence accepts others and helps them through any obstacle they might face across.
Finally, a visionary leader recognizes the success of others and tries to motivate them to continue their improvements. Celebrating achievements of an individual or the entire group is essential for growth and better improvement. Too much work with no play makes Jack a dull boy; hence introducing emotions at the workplace is somehow healthy for increased success. The leader and the group get to relax their minds from work as they celebrate the past achievements (Sardhar 2007). This gives the entire group the team morale and motivation to resume work whenever needed and get back to even high notch of working and commitment. Such visionary leaders are bound to realize success in every aspect of their work.
Leadership styles in North America and Australia vary incredibly. The North American leadership style is individualistic, aggressive and negative about others. The leaders seem to be more upfront and commanding than the Australian leaders. The style involves possession of exceptional values that will enable outstanding performance in letting people know, otherwise called assertion. Linsel (2012) asserts that the visionary leaders in North America believe in themselves making them lead with defined and clear vision and direction. Australia, on the other hand, has a different culture from North America and the same consequently applies to the leadership style. The style is characterized by fellowship where leaders lead by walking alongside others and not in front of others. It is calmer than the American style. High levels of performance are often shown to enhance acceptance by the preceding people and leaders. The leaders are not too obnoxious or charismatic like the American leaders. As a matter of fact, effective leadership in Australia is facilitated through egalitarianism, where a visionary leader is followed if he or she portrays no incidences of arrogance in the style of leading. Therefore, Australian leadership style reflects the principles of visionary leadership than the North American style. Warner and Tidwell (2000, p. 124) assert that leadership is substantial for an organization since it directs the achievement of goals and objectives. However, leadership is never provided in a vacuum. It is nurtured into the appealing style that an organization follows for achieving its goals. Leadership style is often influenced by the culture of the country it serves and the undergirding values of the country or organization. This is always determined by the acceptable behaviors and norms of a given organization and effects on the people. The egalitarian style in Australia requires a fellowship method of leadership while the North American involves individual enhancement style, which demands a leader who is portrayed as successful, in control and upfront.
Leadership is the process of setting new vision and direction to be followed by a group. On the other hand, management is the act of controlling and directing resources or people in a given group in accordance to principles that have already been put in place. Leadership and management overlap in most instances and play a similar role. Since the role of management and leadership involve integration of both. For instance, there is often continuous adjustments of visions and directions of leadership, and regulating resources in order to get to a given direction- management as explained by Hemmen et al. (2009, p. 125). Visionary leadership can lead to managerial success since the two overlap most often. A good leader with vision is capable of managing a process to its success unlike a non-visionary leader. Leadership entails establishing directions. The leader develops a vision for the future. Strategies for enacting the necessary changes required for fulfillment of the vision are made here. A leader capable of establishing direction can plan and budget in relation to this vision. Through planning and budgeting, the visionary leader establishes detailed steps and allocates resources necessary in achieving results. This kind of management is realized by a visionary leader.
Through aligning people, a visionary communicates appropriate directions to workers. Communication is enabled through words and deeds, after which people are influenced to create groups and coalitions. These groups are then utilized to realize their vision through strategic actions. A leader capable of aligning people is conversant with organizing and staffing, a role of management. A leader with vision can establish certain structures, which he/she uses to accomplish the initial plan as concluded by Cuoros (2010). Through staffing, he/she can delegate responsibilities and authority to facilitate the accomplishment of the set plan using the necessary strategies. Creation of systems and techniques to carry out the plan while regulating the process using policies can also be done by a visionary leader. Motivation and inspiration give a visionary leader the ability to energize people. Energy enables such people to change their ways by satisfying the basic human needs, which are always unfulfilled. Having inspirational and motivational spirit makes a leader a good manager, since he or she can control a group, and participate in problem solving incidents (Brown & Anfara 2003, p. 25). He or she is capable of monitoring the results of a process, identifying the possible deviations from the real plan, and planning to solve the deviation problems and others.
Guskey (2003, p. 16) claims that a visionary leader produces useful change in a dramatic level, in most cases. This is possible because of trust and belief the leader has in mind. Going with one’s thoughts and instincts are always vital in some circumstances, particularly for leaders whom people look after. In the management sector, such a visionary leader can produce high level of predictability that has potential results expected by members of the group or stakeholders.
The major aim of visionary leadership is the accomplishment of organizational tasks. The leaders build the necessary insight and boldness required for the new dawn of an organization. Through the presentation of challenges, the workers are enabled to connect to each other as well as to the leaders through common purposes. Common purposes are possible and achievable through the leaders’ interconnection to the entire organization and environments. A visionary leader should possess certain basic principles. For instance, he or she should be able to challenge the existing and prior processes of work. Being a pioneer in one’s field means that the leader is innovative and inventive and enabling the support of others. Showing enthusiasm is a visionary leader’s second principle, where the leader possesses the ability to inspire and motivate others through personal enthusiasm. Inspiration and motivation of workers act to enable the realization of common organizational visions. Helping others portrays formidable team playing. Team players have the capability of supporting the talents and efforts of others. A leader with vision is also able to set a good example to others. He or she is a role model to others and their behavior portrays how others should act. Celebrating achievements also constitute the principles of visionary leadership. The principle helps in bringing emotions to the workplace, which is vital for motivation of workers. Australian leadership style reflects on the principles of visionary leadership than the North American leadership style. Australian style involves calm leadership that engages others closely as the North American style is consistent with individual ideas. Visionary leadership can also be utilized to achieve successful managerial process, and it also forms a required trait of good leaders.