Visionary Leadership

by robertr

February 9th, 2009

Dear Carnegie Coach:

I am a mid level manager at a large multinational company. I was recently up for a promotion, but in the end I was not selected for it. The feedback I was given was that I need to think beyond just the task at hand and look at the bigger picture. What can I do to make sure that the next time a promotion comes around I am not left in the dust?


Dear Sarah,

You are not the first person to receive this type of feedback. Although I’m sure that you are disappointed at the moment, this is great feedback from you manager or supervisor. He or she has presented a challenge to you that you should be able to meet. What you need to become is a Visionary leader. Here are a few suggestions that will get you on track for your promotion and a successful career.

  • See the strengths in others – They use those strengths to encourage teams to their highest level of performance. The visionary leader spends far more of their coaching time building on the strengths of others than dwelling on perceived weaknesses.
  • Build bridges between team members – Not only does the visionary leader see individual strengths, they are able to connect those strengths to form strong teams. They build bridges of experience, training, and education between colleagues.
  • Focus on planning and preparation – It is impossible to be a visionary leader without thoughtful planning and thorough preparation. Visionary leadership doesn’t happen accidentally. A visionary leader relies on the thoroughness of their plan for their eventual success.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone – Ask yourself “Am I stagnating, falling into routines or comfort zones?” They look for new challenges and seek out mentors and trainers who can guide them to develop expanded leadership skills and strengths.
  • Do your homework; always make informed decisions –Leaders today have a tremendous advantage in their ability to acquire knowledge via internet research. There literally is no excuse left for leaders to make uniformed decisions, despite the fact that we see it happen frequently.

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  1. Quinnie Wong, Internet Marketing Director /

    I have had similar experience, too, when I was working for other companies in my earlier career history. What I have learned is that – I have something to learn! The other person who got the promotion might have better people/leadership skills, or she might have some specific skills that the new job required, or she might have better connections with other offices, etc.

    Once I saw the strengths of the other person, I stopped “blaming” the company for being unfair to me. Instead, I got motivated to become a better employee and a more qualified candidate for the next promotion.

  2. Pingback: Apa Saja Weblog » Blog Archive » How to become a visionary leader

  3. Donna @ Mybusinessforsale /

    Not getting the job can be very traumatic, but getting the feedback is the positive you need to take out of this experience, and work on to improve.

    Visionary leadership does sound very airy-fairy, but bringing out the best in your team members is ultimately going to make your life much easier, even if it means less limelight to yourself.

    Focusing on the positives and strengths of people, and delegating tasks accordingly, rather than their flaws or perceived shortcomings really
    gives them the opportunity to shine.

    Better luck next time round, and may you grow and mature as a leader and manager of people.


  4. Guy Farmer /

    We often lead by looking at the trees rather than the forest. I find it helpful to first build a foundation based on relationships and helping people use their talents and abilities. When we give people the opportunity to work from their strengths they are far more likely to participate actively and to feel happy about it. Leaders sometimes get caught up in what their role is but, if you think about it, we can lead more by simply letting people do what they do well and being available if they need support.