Visionary Leadership: Two Key Skills Every CEO Should Master
What is the core skill that separates leaders from managers? According to Rob-Jan de Jong, author of Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, “one of the most important qualities of leaders is the ability to lead and engage others with your future-oriented, purposeful picture of the future.”
Unfortunately, business leaders often spend so much time struggling with today’s problems that they don’t devote enough time to preparing for tomorrow’s challenges.
Are you a visionary leader?
- Visionary leaders look for the future and take into consideration all possibilities.
- Visionary leaders seek new opportunities for their organisation and for every individual employee.
- Visionary leaders want their employees to continuously improve and develop new skills.
- Visionary leaders share their vision with others, engage employees and get them excited about the future.
Becoming a visionary leader
To become a visionary leader, you must develop two key skills:
#1. Ability to see things early
- Learn to notice changes and think how they can impact your business – this will give you a strategic advantage.
- Record your innovative thoughts and integrate them in the way you think and run your business. Over time you will notice that people start to see you as a person who always looks ahead and has many interesting ideas at hand.
#2. Ability to consider all possible outcomes
- After recording innovative ideas, think about what influence they can have on the future of your company. It’s typical for the humans to see outcomes in an overly positive way, so do your best to avoid biases.
- Practise ‘responsible leadership’ – take into account all possibilities, even the most unpleasant ones. Consider different scenarios and ask yourself: what can happen if this scenario doesn’t turn out well? How can we prepare/respond?
It’s normal to be afraid of changes and have the fear of being wrong. But keep your mind open and when making decisions, care not only about short-term results but think about long-term outcomes that may impact your company’s path.