Visionary leadership is something that every leader should have. When there isn’t a vision for a team, then there is no possibility of setting a cohesive goal that everyone can work toward. Every leader should have a love for that vision, have the skills to recognize what the vision should be, and then interpret daily tasks and requirements toward that overall vision. This can be achieved through innovation, better efficiencies, and support for team members on a consistent basis.
Some leaders, however, have the ability to look forward into the future farther than others. These leaders are a special breed because they have an unwavering focus on an end goal that no one else believes is even possible. One of the best examples of this leadership style came from Steve Jobs.
How Was Steve Jobs a Visionary Leader?
Steve Jobs once said that the difference between a leader and a follower was innovation. He illustrated this with the development of the original iPhone. As he was using the product to test it out, he realized that the screen on the original phone test models just wasn’t strong enough. It was made from a plastic resin and it tended to scratch easily. Jobs looked around for a suitable replacement, couldn’t find one, but then remembered about a tough glass product called Gorilla Glass.
The only problem was that the company, Corning, was not making the product any more. Jobs called up Corning to get an order placed for the iPhone improvements. Initially he was told that it was not possible. Jobs knew that Corning could convert one of their manufacturing facilities to make the glass again within 6 months and so that’s what he told them to do. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and sure enough, 6 months later the iPhone had a glass front. Now many other smartphones use this glass as well and everyone has found more business success.
Sometimes Creativity Requires a Vision As Well
One of the least talked about visionary leaders is actually one of the most famous examples of this style of leadership. Walt Disney took great pride in being able to do what others found to be impossible. This was something that was inspired by his parents, who were willing to take chances to find something great. When his family moved to Chicago because of shares they owned in a jelly factory, Disney moved to Kansas City to pursue a career as an artist.
His first animation studio was set up in a garage after he was able to take a camera home from work to study animation. Some of his cartoons became big hits locally and eventually he decided to set up a studio in Hollywood. Eventually that became the foundation of the Disney Empire that has reached nearly every corner of the planet today because Walt Disney stuck to his vision no matter what challenges headed his way.
Visionary leadership means having the forethought to see further than others can see to have a vision that benefits everyone. This allows goals to be set, procedures to be drawn up, and innovation to occur so that the job gets done.