Design Yourself 61: Visionary Leadership

Visionary leadership isn’t just for corporate boardrooms – it is for everywhere. It can be satisfying sometimes to imagine getting to where we want to go all by ourselves, but that is not reality. To walk through the world is to interact with others – whether strangers or friends, colleagues or clients, skeptics or supporters. Visionary leadership is the essential skill to get us where we want to go, because it allows us to brings other along with us. Today we start with some context setting, exploring what visionary leadership is, where is shows up and what happens when it’s missing. We then turn our attention to how you can cultivate your own visionary leadership through linking your vision to the past, present and future, getting out of your own way, and tapping into your unique voice to share your vision with others. This week’s episode is a great fit for anyone who is looking to amplify his own vision or who is wondering how to take a vision and put it into a systems context.

“We are often the biggest barrier to our own success. Our own mindsets or emotional states can frequently hold us back. But usually we aren’t aware of that.” – Sharon Lipovsky

Ideas Shared

Recognize that visionary leadership comes in all shapes and sizes
  • It’s not just about waving your hands around wildly
  • All leadership styles can work
  • It’s not always about being a great manager (think Steve Jobs) or people person (think Gertrude Stein)
Visionary Leadership isn’t just about the future
  • What have you learned from your path up until now? (PAST)
  • What is true in the here and now (PRESENT)
  • Where are you headed? (FUTURE)
You have the capacity to be a visionary leader
  • Visionary leadership isn’t a special gift of the elite few, it is a learnable skill.
  • Not only that, but it is a human trait that allows us both to perform at a high level and feel satisfied by the connections we are creating in the process.

How you can cultivate your own visionary leadership

Connect to your own vision first
  • Don’t underestimate how powerful vision can be for motivating action
  • Your vision should get you really excited
  • When feeling stuck, try something completely new (don’t sit in front of a computer screen!)
  • See the details
  • Remember that vision is always evolving – just like you
Ground that vision in the present reality
  • Get cozy with what is true right now
  • To move forward with integrity you have to begin with an honest look at where you are
Integrate that vision into story
  • Our stories lead the way to the future
  • This means we to make sure that the story of where we have been aligns with the story of who we are becoming
Get out of your own way
  • Cultivate self-awareness
  • Identify what you need to amplify your vision
  • Always be learning
Find a way to communicate that vision to others
  • It’s about connecting to your own unique voice. Back to my friend who thought that visionary leadership must look a certain way…remember it just has to look and feel like you to work.

Resources and Links