LDR 8530, Developing the Organization’s Human Capitol
Derek A. Smith
Janet Jaeger, Ed.d.
A course paper presented to the Organizational Leadership Program
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Education
Nova Southeastern University
December 17, 2003
Visionary Leadership 3
The ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization or organizational unit that grows out of and improves upon the present. 3
What makes a truly visionary leader? 4
Visionary Leadership Roles 5
Visionary Criteria 7
This final synthesis paper is meant to integrate all material covered in the past 15 weeks. The task was to Choose the one attribute that I think a leader must possess to develop the organization’s human capital and elaborate on that attribute in the paper.. There are many attributes that are equally important for a leader to posses, however, only one, vision, could be chosen by me as most important. A leader must truly be visionary in order to lead an organization into the future. Change within organizations is inevitable and organizations managed by visionary leaders will enjoy the greatest success. Through their ability to predict the future, visionary leaders will have prepared their firms to deal effectively with change and to take full advantage of the developing opportunities.
Definition of Vision
The ability to create and articulate a realistic, credible, attractive vision of the future for an organization or organizational unit that grows out of and improves upon the present.
Simply stated, visionary leadership is about envisioning where an organization should be in a reasonably long-term future, conveying this vision in various ways to others, motivating individuals to share and commit to this vision, and aligning resources and processes to accomplish it.
Nanus, (1992), points out that the “right vision of the future for an organization” is a compelling and acceptable idea, one in which a leader effectively communicates and motivates people to act. The action resulting from this causes people and their organization to evolve and make progress (p. 16). In establishing this right vision, Nanus cites four “forces.” Four establishing “right vision”
“The right vision attracts commitment and energizes people.”
“The right vision creates meaning in workers’ lives.”
“The right vision establishes a standard of excellence.”
“The right vision bridges the present and the future (pp. 16-18).
What makes a truly visionary leader?
What does it mean to be truly visionary? Real vision and true visionaries can lift us out of the muck and mire and into the higher realms of human potential and possibility. How, exactly, does one go about doing that? Basically, the visionary doesn't settle for the norm, they are interested in pulling people up and in the process invigorating and stirring a greater possibility. The visionary spreads the seeds of possibility so that it might take root in others and find its way into common reality.
The true visionary walks the fine and often challenging line between the inspired world – intuition, reflection, the Divine-inspired – and the material world of action, effects, systems, powerful special interests, ego, status quo, and tangible results. (Walters, 2002)
The true visionary leader exhibits these skills:
The ability to explain the vision to others.
The ability to express the vision not just verbally but through the leader’s behavior.
The ability to extend the vision to different leadership contexts.
Visionary Leadership Roles
To further the meaning of visionary leadership, Burt Nanus (1992) analyzes the roles of visionary leaders and distills them down to four: 1) direction setter, 2) change agent, 3) spokesperson, and 4) coach. (See pp. 10-15).
The first visionary leadership role