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Published date: January 22, 2020
Last modified: January 22, 2020

Want to be seen as a visionary leader? Follow these 3 steps

What is a visionary leader? How do they differentiate from the herd?

When we consider those who have impressed their influence on history in the form of powerful leadership, we may conjure up images of Churchill, George Washington, Steve Jobs or even the likes of Trump or Barack Obama. All of the above undoubtedly have a spark; an element that divides them from the hubbub of leaders looking to be on another level.

Dave Lavinsky, celebrated Executive Coach and writer stated that it’s all about having a broader perspective. He said: “Vision in business requires that you clearly see where you choose to be in future and formulate the necessary steps to get your organisation there. Creating and sustaining a vision for an organisation calls for discipline and creativity.

“A business leader must have the passion, strength of will, and the necessary knowledge to achieve long-term goals. A focused individual who can inspire his team to reach organizational goals is a visionary business leader,” he concluded.

So, the goal for ascending to the domain of the visionary leader isn’t to be omniscient – none of the above examples of visionary leaders were any more or less informed than many other good leaders. What they did have, however, was clarity and, according to Career Specialist Suzanne Lucas, writing for The Balance Careers, three essential elements that allowed them to rise above.


Maintaining the status quo, especially in a time of economic turmoil, is an admirable trait in a leader. If your leadership manages to steady the boat and provide stability in a stormy marketplace, then no doubt you’ll be seen as successful by your employees and peers. However, visionary leaders aren’t satisfied with stability. They want growth and development, and this only comes with taking risks. However, the difference between a poor risk and an educated risk is vast. This process isn’t about being seen to be drastic, it’s about taking in as much data about the market as possible, knowing your own company implicitly and then using the analysis of this data to make calculated progressive moves.


Being a visionary isn’t about striking out on your own and only trusting your own instincts. Truly innovative leaders don’t exist within a vacuumthey stand on the shoulders of everyone within their company and ensure that they’re using all of the knowledge and experience of those within their team to achieve great things. However, the trick to utilising all of this knowledge is to listen. Spend time with people at all levels within the firm and truly get to grips with who they are and what they do. If they believe there are improvements to be made, they’ll be a better judge of this within their own field than any C-suite team leader could be.

Taking responsibility

Being the leader of the pack will always mean that you have the weight of the increased pressure of being the responsible party on your shoulders. Bad leaders will attempt to take the glory when things go right, but pass the buck when things aren’t going to plan. A truly visionary leader will understand that such a fair-weather attitude is incorrect and take responsibility for their management. This means being the driving force behind your people, having an input into their direction and enabling those below you to perform to their best abilities. If things are still going wrong, that’s down to you and you only.

Do you see yourself as a visionary leader?

Thanks to ExecGrapvine

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