How to Lead as a Visionary

Being a visionary leader can be hard. Often you see a vision and goal that no one else sees, and the hard part is communicating that vision to everyone. You need to communicate your vision and come up with a plan to reach it, even when the road to the goal may be unclear.

Your role as a leader is to get everyone involved on the same page and working towards the same goal.

You Don’t Need a Cement Road

Often when you set out on a journey, you or those with you want a clear map. They want a clear plan of how you will go from zero to the finish line. And while a great idea, it is often near impossible for a leader to give clear roadmap, especially when it comes to big projects.

Building out the cement road is time consuming and expensive, whereas setting up signposts as milestones along the way is quick and easy to change if needed.

You don’t need a cement road; your milestones and data points will guide you along the way. Start with small steps to understand such as placing the signposts, and then take bigger steps like cementing out the road.

In the words of Jim Collins: “First, you fire bullets (low-cost, low-risk, low-distraction experiments) to figure out what will work—calibrating your line of sight by taking small shots. Then, once you have empirical validation, you fire a cannonball (concentrating resources into a big bet) on the calibrated line of sight.”

How to Bridge Vision & Tactics

The bridge to your team wanting a cement road and you are not able to provide one is your coaching ability. You need to be able to show them why you are doing this project and how your data points will guide you along the way.

Communicate with them, allow them to voice their concerns, and then work with them. They need to understand the why behind what you are doing and what is guiding you.

And if that is not enough, dig deeper, try to understand what is causing their uncertainty. One of your roles as a leader is getting everyone on the same page, and sometimes this can mean digging deeper into someone’s beliefs and previous experiences to understand where they are coming from.

Understanding what is causing their uncertainty will help you to create certainty out of the situation.





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