Originally published by Anne-Maria Yritys on LinkedIn
“Action without Vision is Only Passing Time, Vision without Action is Merely Daydreaming, but Vision with Action can Change the World” (Nelson Mandela)
One of the most important qualities of successful leaders is to have vision – in other words, to possess the capability of envisioning a desired future. Vision, together with the capability of taking action and thus executing what a visionary leader has imagined in her/his mind, is according to some a missing piece in the puzzle of many leader´s minds. The lack of vision in leaders often results in actions that are neither benefiting leaders themselves, nor those around them.
No matter how important it is to take action, and work towards reaching goals, visionary leaders know when it is time to step back, pause and relax instead of making drastic moves that may either be harmful to themselves and their societies/surroundings, or result in leaders adjusting their sails according to current winds blowing, making their ships sail in any direction the wind may be taking them.
How then, do visionary leaders adjust the sails of their ships in a way that allows for them to navigate their ships in the right direction?
Visionary leaders do share many common attributes, including:
Visionary leaders live with purpose and meaning
All visionary leaders are on a mission in their lives. They have found purpose and meaning in everything they do, in the actions they take, and in the actions they are willing to take. Thus, the first step in becoming a visionary leader is to find that purpose and meaning in your life/career. What are you here for? What is your purpose, and what is your meaning? What are your aspirations? What are you willing to do, and how are you willing to spend your time fulfilling that purpose and meaning?
Visionary leaders focus upon holistic well-being
Visionary leaders know the importance of living their lives in a way that serves, and nurtures, both their bodies and minds. Overall well-being is at the core of leading a successful life, having a purposeful career and for living the purpose and meaning of your life. This includes nurturing your body and mind in ways that serve and benefit you and others through rest, physical activity, meditation, healthy food and healthy living habits. A healthy lifestyle, thus, is essential for all visionary leaders.
Visionary leaders engage in, and align daily activities according to their vision
Visionary leaders know how to combine their purpose and meaning with holistic well-being, engaging in activities that enable them to realize their vision. In order to make your vision come true, you therefore have to be capable of imagining, creating, and letting go of activities and habits that do not serve your vision.
Visionary leaders live with a purpose of serving others
True visionary leadership can only be executed with the purpose of helping and serving others/society. How is your visionary leadership benefiting those around you, or society in general?
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” (John F. Kennedy)
Visionary leaders co-operate and team up with others
Visionary leaders realize the importance of co-operation and teamwork, and understand that visions can only become reality with the help and support from a strong team, people who share the leader´s vision, or a team with many visionary leaders sharing the same vision, a willingness to co-operate, create, and find ways of making their vision come true.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (African Proverb)
Visionary Leaders have the courage to rise above their fears
Visionary leadership requires having courage. Courage is not lack of fear, but rather the ability to act upon the things you believe in despite of, and through transformation of fears into a space of compassion, love, and passion.
Visionary Leaders are connected to source
In visionary leadership, being connected to source means everything. The stronger your connection to your inner wisdom and intuition is, the easier it gets to actually express and live your vision to those around you. Visionary leaders also know how to create a bridge between their heart and mind, enabling them to freely engage with themselves and with their environments in a deep, almost mystic way.