Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Visionary Leadership

Volume: January 2020

“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” - Johnny Nash  
Welcome to the New Year and a New Decade. Hopefully, whatever the “rain” is in your world has dissipated and 2020 looks like clear sailing. We are at an interesting crossroad in our work lives, personal lives, political lives, etc. From a work perspective, this crossroad holds great opportunity to affirm your organization’s current vision, or to set a new course. This is also an ideal time of year to ensure that your team has a clear vision for the future. Creating or restating the vision for your team holds a variety of benefits. Six of them, at least. So, let’s crystal ball together and make certain we are clear about the benefits of being a visionary leader.

  1. Leaders who provide a clear vision to their teams create a climate that can maximize performance. Note that I did not say “a rosy vision.” I simply said vision. Good, bad, or indifferent, people want to know where they are going: With their team, in their career, and in life. As such, it is the leader’s job to communicate a vision for the future to their team members. When you communicate your vision to your team, remember to do so in a succinct, understandable fashion.
  2. Smart leaders who articulate a clear vision of the future create greater followership with team members. Further, once team members know where they are headed it becomes easier to set priorities and agree on goals. Leaders can then assist team members with well-orchestrated action plans. All this culminates in meaningful results. Voila!
  3. Leaders who share a compelling vision with their teams tend to have a higher retention rate when it comes to key employees. We are pack animals and we want to know where the pack is going and where we fit into the pack. Thus, visionary leaders provide clarity regarding where the team is going and in what time frame. Second, visionary leaders share exactly why the team is moving in a prescribed direction. Third, visionary leaders provide a detailed roadmap on how each team member fits into the journey.       
  4. Visionary leaders help key team members feel valued. Another terrific employee retention tool is to help your top performers feel that they are part of something significant. Being a part of something significant is inspirational. Help your people stay motivated and engaged by ensuring they are clear about the mission and results of your organization.
  5. Savvy leaders reinforce purpose. Since people desire to be a part of something, it is critically important that leaders share a clear vision of what your organization stands for – its purpose and positive contributions. In addition, solidifying a good vision has a lot to do with letting people know where the heck your organization is going, and why it should go there. This type of focused and visionary leadership has served organizations such as Apple very well. 
  6. Sharing a vision that “sticks” calls for excellent communication skills. This means that leaders can effortlessly leverage a variety of communication tools and techniques. Beyond excellent public speakers, visionary leaders don’t just listen to respond, they truly listen to understand. This heightened awareness enables visionary leaders to articulate their message so that it has maximum stickability with their team.

Bottom Line: Visionary leaders are critical to the organization because they create and adjust corporate culture. A strong visionary leader will inspire breakout results and help team members feel a part of something important. The work that you and your team does is special, and it is stressful. Do not let the grind of the journey deflect your people from embracing the meaning in their work. What your team does and what your organization will do in the future is noble. Share that vision in a clear and frequent manner. Seek to enjoy the journey this year and in the process, make 2020 sizzle. 
Until next time, be well.

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