“Leadership is about influence, not control. I am not the first person to make this observation, but it is worth repeating. The truth is that control is an illusion. You can’t control anyone, even the people that report to you.” – Michael Hyatt
Let’s take the assertion above to cushion our insight about “visionary leadership.” After we have established it last week that “purposeful leadership” is birthed based on the direction followers want leadership to sail. In the aspect of visionary leadership, the cross falls on the leader because the call for visionary leadership is seldom and it mostly arises in the time of confusion or when the modus operandi has hit the bull wark.
Visionary leadership is about causing a new dream in your followers, instilling in them the warmth to resist any temptation and obstacles impeding them from forming the world of their dream. Visionary leaders always emerge when their followers have lost the direction and they will come to reframe the mindset of their followers. These leaders illuminate the future of their followers and become the champions which they can rely.
This is what African countries should learn from our forefathers. Most importantly after the Second World War, there was need for African countries to initiate a formidable future where Africans can live and relate among themselves with absolute liberty and values. These leaders rose to the need.
These leaders were trusted with the welfare of their subjects, but what made them exemplary is that they were able to thrust in their followers; the beliefs their followers reposed in them. Ronald Reagan said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
That is what Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Camara Lahaye, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Helen Johnson Sirleaf, Winston Churchill and other visioners did for their people. No matter how cracked the wall is, visionary leaders synergise with their followers, negotiate with them on how their present can affect their future and strive to engineer the future that even the man with the meanest dream among their followers could subscribe.
At some point in our lives, we would be called to lead with vision. For us to instigate that vision, we have to humble ourselves. Orly Maravankin submitted, “Humble leaders know they don’t have all the knowledge or answers and therefore they actively listen to learn. They also know their own limitations and that self-awareness helps them get better.”
We don’t need to wait to attain leadership position before we can carve visions. We can also lead ourselves personally. Life of vision don’t make people accept defeats as the final outcome of their actions, it makes them envision prosperity. Life of vision never settle for less, s/he always believe in taking actions on what will position him/her towards the future it has projected and pictured.
Sulyman Sodeeq Abdulakeem is a writer who co-authored the book “Responsible Living: Live to Fulfill Your Potential.”