The two most important keys to creating business success are a uniform vision and common goals. These qualities must begin at the highest level of management and trickle down through the organization. Leaders who uphold the vision and sell the goals to their staff create a competitive advantage for their company and win the loyalty of their employees.
Do you have the vision to steer your organization to success? What does a visionary leader look like? Like anything worth taking pride in, leadership is the result of hard work. Following are 10 key qualities shared by visionary leaders:
- They execute with confidence. Successful visionary leaders know where they want to go and how to get there. They move confidently toward their goals by initiating the action and getting others to buy in on their beliefs. In short, they believe in themselves, and others believe in them, too. The result is camaraderie, shared goals, and improved morale.
- They're self-created. If you've ever been fascinated by a leader who possesses that special something and wondered: were they born that way, or did they become that way through hard work? The answer is almost certainly the latter. Visionary leaders inspire those around them because they've thought long and hard about where they want to go and how to get there. If you want to be like them, focus on developing the visionary leader in you.
- They aren't worried about being liked. Focusing your energies on being liked in favor of following your own vision is a recipe for failure. Visionary leaders are more interested in being respected for their skills, integrity, and work ethic than they are about being liked. That's why they're willing to put everything on the line and remain focused on their company's success, not their own personal success.
- They're innovators. In today's rapidly changing business environment, successful leaders need to be innovators. Staying ahead means continually inventing new ways to achieve goals, organize, and build team effort. They embrace change instead of shrinking from it, and reach through obstacles to create success.
- They're delegators. Visionary leaders increase team efficiency by moving decision-making responsibility to the frontline. That means delegating authority to those who've earned their trust. And once they delegate that authority, they take a hands-off approach and refrain from micromanaging.
- They create learning opportunities. We all want to continue to learn and to grow, both as people and as business professionals. Visionary leaders create learning opportunities for themselves and those around them. Continuous learning opportunities are highly motivating -- they inspire employee loyalty and foster product and service quality.
- They have high expectations. If you have a burning desire to achieve, you want to be employed by an organization with a reputation for supporting its employees' personal ambitions. Visionary leaders aren't threatened by subordinates who want to achieve, because they understand that success is defined by achieving goals, and that their subordinates' success is a reflection of their own strong leadership skills.
- They recognize natural talent. No one knows what their true capabilities are until they're given the opportunity and responsibility to strive for more. If you want to be a visionary leader, seek out your employees' unique skills. Doing so will encourage loyalty and increase your odds of success.
- They believe in actions, not words. Visionaries focus on the future and can articulate what they see in order to inspire others. Visionaries are good talkers, but they're better with actions.
- They're well balanced. Visionary leadership requires clear vision, the ability to empower relationships, and innovative action. In other words, it requires a good balance of mental, emotional, and physical attributes, in addition to integrity and strong core values. When one or more of these dimensions is missing, leadership cannot manifest a vision. That's why visionary leaders possess all of the above.