The Characteristics of a Visionary
It’s one thing to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s entirely another to become the kind of visionary leader who can change the business world.
A visionary shapes their organization with common goals and a singular vision. They know what they want to create in the world, and they have the skills, talent, and attitude to transform that vision into a reality.
What sets them apart from other successful leaders? There are a few common characteristics that visionaries seem to share, and it reflects how they run their businesses, manage people, and organize their lives.
1. They’re Innovators
In an ever-changing world, an organization needs someone at the helm who brings creativity, flexibility, and strategic thinking to their role. When they’re confronted by an obstacle, they see an opportunity for growth. But most importantly, they’re brimming with game-changing ideas.
Forbes’ list of the most innovative leaders provides a glimpse into the types of leaders who are driving change, as well as the different styles of leadership that bring you there.
2. They’re Mavericks
Visionary leaders aren’t afraid to buck the trends and carve out their own paths. They are natural disruptors and aren’t concerned about what others think of them. That gives them the freedom to lead the charge toward a new way of doing things.
Take for example Nobul, founded by Regan McGee. The company is disrupting the way homebuyers and sellers connect with real estate agents, overturning business practices that have been done the same way for over a century.
While McGee was unafraid to ruffle some feathers, now North America’s leading brokerages and agents work with Nobul.
3. They’re Great Communicators
When you have a clear-eyed vision of your business goals and what you want your organization to look like, you need to be able to communicate those ideas to the people around you, or it will be a struggle to make those goals come to fruition.
Great communication isn’t just about clarity. It’s also about bringing people on board because they’re inspired.
Great communication is also a two-way street. As much as leaders need to be able to verbalize their ambitions, they also need to be able to listen to their team and accept constructive criticism.
4. They Have High Expectations
Visionary leaders expect a lot from their people. They’re delegators who have confidence in their teams and want to give them decision-making responsibilities, but that means they have high expectations when it comes to performance. They want people around them who share their vision and whose opinions they respect.
5. They Want to Make Good in the World
When Howard Schultz introduced comprehensive healthcare to all Starbucks’ 300,000 employees, both full-time and part-time, it made Starbucks one of the first retailers in the United States to do so. Schultz has a creed for the coffee company: “to use our scale for good.”
Visionary leaders aren’t content just to turn a profit. They want to make the world a better place and make change for good.