When it comes to leadership, there is really no one way to be effective. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t leadership styles that work far more effectively in one situation versus another. There are also leadership styles that are flat out ineffective over the long haul. One of these styles is the visionary leader. While all leaders need to have a vision, there is a huge difference between a leader with vision and a visionary leader. Here are three reasons that visionary leadership fails.
Visionary leaders have difficulties with small steps and mundane actions
Great leaders know how to cast a broad vision, then help their people transition to the trivial task of carrying out the thousands of individual steps it takes to achieve it. While it’s true that visionary leaders can inspire people to push beyond their limitations and achieve more than they dreamed possible, no one wants to be “go-go-go” day in, day out, 365 days of the year. We all love Disneyland, but no one really wants to live there.
Visionary leaders have difficulty with anyone that doesn’t agree with their vision
Visionary leaders often rely on razzle-dazzle to get people fired up and enthusiastic about a vision. As long as everyone is, their combined energy can create an almost unclear reaction, allowing them to accomplish the impossible. One “wet blanket” however, is often all it takes to keep the energy in the room from powering an explosion. In some cases, however, this is simply a matter of cooler heads prevailing and wanting to get a few more details before leaping into an “exciting new endeavor.”
Visionary leaders achieve greatly, but they also fail just as spectacularly
Visionary leaders are like supernovas speeding across the sky – indeed a sight to behold. But when they crash and burn, it is just as spectacular. When visionary leaders crash and burn, however, they often take the whole ship down with them. While everyone wants to be a part of the “miracle success story” that visionary leaders are capable of creating, no one wants to be a part of the absolute train wreck they can create as well. While following the tortoise may not be quite as glamorous or exciting as following the hare, we all know who wins in the end.