What do you picture in your mind when I say the word “visionary”? What words or images are summoned, or who do you think of at the mention of the word? Maybe it is someone like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk? And you would be right, both have clearly displayed creative, inventive and even prophetic traits.
But a visionary is much more than having a vision for the future. A visionary sets clear direction for everyone to follow, provides encouragement, and creates a pathway for those around them to follow. A visionary enables the people in their team to provide input, share ideas, and contribute; it is not just on the shoulders of the vision caster. They create an environment or culture for innovation, where all concepts have potential, and when filtered through some realism can be the next best thing.
A true visionary understands that their supporters, the ones around them, make the most of the vision and step into it and embrace it as their own. It is as much about, or even more about, the team, working with them to see the vision come to pass. The visionary has to have the right team that applies the common-sense requirements for design, finances, resources, management, marketing and everything else to take the vision and make it real. Very few visionaries can deliver the practical requirements of the dream; the right team is essential.
Leaders in business have to have some visionary characteristics. Whether it is supporting a greater vision from their leader, or having their own, it is important to enable those around them to contribute and be a part of the future. Most people want to contribute and leave a legacy; so as a leader what are you doing to help this happen for those around you?