Visionary Leadership of Leaders
Leaders, academicians, writers, thinkers, and even contributors in management studies have different viewpoints regarding vision and its application in real life, such as in the workplace or market place. This paper examines these varying viewpoints and their application to the marketplace.
Leaders view visionary leadership as the ability to influence and guide a particular group of people or an organization towards achieving well defined long term goals that are of interest to group members (Lozano, 2001, p. 164-165). Leaders view visionary leadership as the ability to focus people’s attention towards a particular course of action in order to realize long term benefits. This also includes ability to take risks to maximize on marketplace opportunities. In the marketplace, leaders address vision through developing a company’s vision statement that defines what it strives to accomplish in the future. It is discussed through communicating to employees, stockholders, and customers of what to expect from the company in the future, and how these stakeholders play an important role in achieving the stated vision. It is implemented through developing strategic plans, which sets short term targets or goals that are to be achieved for the company to move towards achieving its stated vision. Employees, for instance, sales agent can be given sales target that they should meet within a specified period of time. The vision is then evaluated by examining how well the short term goals have been met, and how far the company is from achieving its vision, such as becoming a market leader in the industry. Evaluation helps a company realign its goals or make necessary adjustments to achieve its vision.
Academicians, by training, are abstract, analytical, and logical specialists (Shaw, 2008, p. 110). They therefore view visionary leadership from abstract, analytical, and logical perspectives. Academicians would address vision from an abstract point of view, that is, what it should be like. For example, they would require business executives and managers to engage in ethical business practices. They discuss vision from the analytical point of view, in which they examine how various factors interact to shape a company’s vision. They prefer vision to be implemented in a logical manner, in activities and process are undertaken in a sequential manner, for instance, by following set guidelines, rules, and regulations in a reasonable manner. Academicians evaluate the efforts towards achieving a vision by examining how different factors or opportunities in a market can be combined to produce the best results. For example, economics academicians have developed several formulas that can maximize a firm’s productivity to achieve its vision cost-effectively.
Writers view visionary leadership as the ability of an individual to add value to his/her followers through transformational processes. They view visionary leadership as constituting the perceptions that others have for the leadership style used in developing their shared vision regarding a particular course of action (Ihlenfeldt, 2011, p. 10). Therefore, writers address vision through creating passion for a particular course of action amongst their followers. In the marketplace, this may entail inspiring employees to energize towards satisfying market demands and a firm’s goals essential in achieving its vision. It is discussed through motivating employees, especially by providing evidence and/or successful case studies in which passion and determination helped a particular firm achieve its long term goals and/or vision. In this case, vision is implemented through keeping employees inspired and motivated as they undertake their marketplace operation and activities. It is evaluated through examining the employees’ levels of motivation, job satisfaction, perception about the company and its future, their future in the company, and how they understand their role in helping the company achieve its vision.
Thinkers view visionary leadership as the ability to have a clear idea of what to do, both professionally and personally, and exhibiting the strengths to persist when experiencing setbacks, and even failures (Satia, Kumar & Liow, 2014, p. 321). In this case, vision is addressed through pursuing aspirations with great passion. For example, in the marketplace, firms whose employees exhibit passion for their work or profession normally provide best customer care services, thereby helping them retain and attract new customers. This can increase their customer base and improve their market share, which can translate to increased profits. In this context, vision is discussed through examining curiosity, and how it can translate into meaningful outcomes. It is implemented through experimenting innovation s or innovative ideas. Evaluation is conducted through assessing whether the experimented innovations or innovative ideas have resulted in beneficial outcomes that can bring a firm closer to achieving its vision. For example, a business can predict what the future marketplace would be like, and hence start developing an innovative product that would fill the market gap. The developed product can then be presented to consumers for evaluation, and if they like it very much, the business would embark on mass production to maximize on the market opportunity.
Finally, contributors view visionary leadership as the ability to identify what need to be done in order to improve a particular course of action (Van, Moseley & Dessinger, 2012, 469-470). In addressing vision, contributors normally strive to find ways that would ensure some degree of perfection is achieved in the future. They address vision as striving towards perfection in the future. In this context, vision is discussed through exploring a business’ strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; and is implemented through minimizing threats and weaknesses, and maximizing on strengths and opportunities. In the marketplace, a company can achieve this by constantly improving its products to make them more appealing to customers. The evaluation of this vision is accomplished through examining the degree of competitive advantage attained in order to move a firm closer to its defined vision.
Ihlenfeldt, W. A. (2011). Visionary leadership: A proven pathway to visionary change. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Lozano, J. M. (2001). Ethics and organizations: Understanding business ethics as a learning process. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Satia, J. K., Kumar, A., & Liow, M.-L. (2014). Visionary leadership in health: Delivering superior value. New Delhi: SAGE Publications.
Shaw, V. N. (2008). In view of academic careers and career-making scholars: Innovative ideas for institutional reform. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.
Van, T. D. M., Moseley, J. L., & Dessinger, J. C. (2012).Fundamentals of performance improvement: Optimizing results through people, process, and organizations : interventions, performance support tools, case studies. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, a Wiley imprint.