I admit that I’m a bit of a control freak and my husband is not. Case in point: When we get in the car, he pulls up the Waze mobile app—even if he knows how to get to our destination—for step-by-step directions. I’m the opposite. I might pull up Waze, but I don’t always follow the directions. Sometimes I know another route that’s better and this thinking puts me more in control.

To be a practical visionary, you need both the vision to imagine another reality (an alternative route to take) and the practicality to find a way to make it happen. A practical visionary synthesizes the duality of being both visionary and practical, but then a further step is needed.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’ll share these key insights to be a visionary leader, from Corinne McLaughlin, executive director of The Center for Visionary Leadership and co-author of Spiritual Politics and Builders of the Dawn.

The Need For Real Leadership Today. There are plenty of visionaries with grand ideas and endless words about the future who can’t seem to ever really do anything. They never take effective action to meet real human needs. And there are also plenty of practical people who are good at doing things the same old way they’ve always been done—with the same old problems resulting.

But what’s really needed today are visionaries who have explored new routes and new ideas and are willing to serve as leaders, says McLaughlin. They must courageously communicate that vision to others—and then carry it through.

Visionary leaders shape their purpose into a specific mission and design an appropriate strategy for achieving their goals.

So, ask yourself, do you need more vision in your leadership—or more leadership for your vision? Do you need to incorporate new ideas and inspiration, or do you need to know how to make your vision a practical reality in the world?

Visionary leaders are not just good with words; they’re also effective with actions. Many visionaries fail in their efforts because they’re too far ahead of what society is ready for. Their challenge is to envision the next step needed for the near future—not something that will take a hundred years to manifest. It’s more effective to focus on vision that can be achieved in the foreseeable future, outline the steps needed to manifest it and work, in turn, on each step.

To learn the qualities of a visionary leader and how to apply your vision, read PCT again tomorrow.

Source: Corinne McLaughlin is executive director of The Center for Visionary Leadership and co-author of Spiritual Politics and Builders of the Dawn. She directed a national task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development, co-founded a spiritual and environmental community (Sirius) in Massachusetts, and is a Fellow of the World Business Academy.