Thursday, 14 April 2011

Visionary Leadership

As a leader, do you know where you are going, why, and with whom?

Change is Constant

Positive action: Know where you are going; Know why you are going there; and Know who is going with you.

There are a great many books  on visionary leadership.  They each present their own philosophical perspective, often accompanied by wonderfully quotable quotes.  Yet, visionary leadership really boils down to a few specifics for leaders: vision, values, and visibility.

Vision: Know where you are going

Values: Know why you are going there

Visibility: Know who is going with you

From: Ten Principles for New Principals by Mark Joel
Published by: Robin Fogarty & Associates


  1. I really liked this post because it got me thinking about visionary leadership. I have always had a rather philosophical idea of what visionary leadership was but after reading this, I see that it makes a lot of sense. The idea of having a vision, having values that help me know why I want to accomplish something, and having the visibility with others so that I know who else wants to accomplish what I want to accomplish suddenly makes a lot of sense. I really want to try this out the next time I take on a specific leadership task. I want to monitor myself for vision, values, and visibility so I can think about myself as a leader and just how visionary I am.

  2. April 2011 at 18:32

    Of the 3Vs I think values is the most important - I think leaders do need to know where they are going, but if they don't know why - it doesn't really matter. Fullan talks about the moral imperative of student success as a driver for school improvement - I agree. We must attend to equity of outcome in all that we do!

  3. Hmmm.....values is the most important? I need to think about that. I agree that values are essential but I think the other two elements are as well. Perhaps it's the interplay of the three that make this work. In a sense, you can't take out any one part. Each is essential and reliant on the other two.

  4. I also believe all three are important and necessary. As a leader one must know their vision, have a plan to get there and also create capacity so the vision can be obtained. Building capacity and shared vision creates a much stronger outcome.

  5. I think that the interplay of the three Vs is necessary. The vision drives our course forward. It is needed to have focused direction in decision making. I am a person who needs to know why. If I am to impact and encourage others to come with me towards a goal, I need to present, convice, defend, and sell the goal. In order to do this effectively, I need to clearly know and understand the reason why. The visibility is harder to match with the definition given but I clearly understand that a learder's role is to influence others towards a common goal. Getting to any point of success alone is not very impactful.

  6. Shanti, as I read your comment about how you need to "know and understand the reason why", it reminded me of the moral purpose that Fullan and others have written about so much. I wonder if "the reason why" is a moral purpose, then everything makes much more sense. It's also much easier to be committed to something which feels as if it's driven by a moral purpose.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I totally agree with the idea that values are key to effective leadership. To know what you believe allows you to be consistent in your descisonmaking and your outlook.

    This consistency allows people to come to trust your thought proceses as beign fair and just. Disagree or not, people know where you stand thus giving your leadership the integrity which can excite others to follow.

    Values-- or more important, knowing and recognizing your own values-- are a main ingredients to being a visionary leader.

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