This week is the second installment of our six part series about leadership styles. We are using the six Leadership Styles as defined by Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership. Each has its pros and cons, each is rarely used alone, and none of them should be used all the time. Different stages of a company’s growth require different styles of leadership. The goal is to develop your ability to use each style so you can apply the right one to each situation. Every other week we will focus on a different style, helping you to understand the style itself and when and where it is needed. We started with Affiliative, this week we’ll focus on the Visionary Style.
The Visionary Style strives to create a clear and tangible vision of where the company is going. Leaders using this style create an ideal state and communicate that future state to every employee. They have the ability to make the imagined ideal come to life so that everyone can see it. They are futuristic thinkers and focus on the big picture.
Not only do they create the vision for where the company is going, they also help tie each individual to that vision by showing them how their work will help the company reach its goals. This serves to engage each employee on an individual level and help them feel that they are making a difference.
A Visionary leader is effective in most organizations, but becomes especially effective when a company is adrift or in need of a turn around. The Visionary leader can reconnect the company to a driving purpose and help get the staff back on track. They work to create a sense of commitment to shared goals and get everyone in the boat rowing in the same direction.
Though Visionary leadership is effective in most situations, there are certain instances in which it will not work. If a leader is leading a group of experts who may have more knowledge about the possible future of the company or if that leader becomes too overbearing with the vision. The goal is to create the vision and let the employees help figure out how to get there, not to demand that they follow your path.
The Visionary Leadership Style is a resonant style, but it is still best used in conjunction with other styles. You can learn about the other five styles in our ongoing series.
If you’re interested in learning what style of leader you are, take our Leadership Styles quiz here.