visionary leader meet experience

Without leadership development, visionaries can bulldoze the very people they have a heart for, as seen by the early lives of Joseph and Moses.  Joseph is an excellent example of the visionary leader Baldoni writes about in his book Great Communications Secrets of Great Leaders. In their research,  Taylor et al. found that with their ability to create and communicate their visions, visionary leaders can energize their organizations by "providing meaning and purpose to the work."

Interestingly throughout the Scriptures, we see examples of visionaries like Joseph and Moses who know their purpose and calling, have a strong vision in their hearts, and yet when they try and live out their visions before the right time it seems as if their whole world falls apart.  Joseph was sold into slavery, falsely accused, and ended up in prison (Genesis 37-40).  Similarly, Moses tried to protect the Israelites from the Egyptians, killed a guy, and wound up as a shepherd for the next 40 years (Exodus 2).  Both eventually ended up fulfilling their visions in more incredible ways than they likely ever imagined, but not after some years of maturing and submitting their dreams entirely to God.

Experience was the difference for both Joseph and Moses between their visions and successfully living them out.  In her article on developing visionary leaders, Korngold offered that while education and formal training are important for leaders today, the best leadership development for visionary leaders actually comes in the form of hands-on experience.  She offered that it is in the midst of the experience that emerging leaders can hone their skills and continue to develop their "care, loyalty, obedience, and imagination," all of which are essential when fulfilling one's vision by empowering followers along the way.  Afterall, without the assistance of others, few visionaries ever realize their dreams. And if visionaries stop at dictator-like 'leadership' telling people to do this and that without empowering them in the process of realizing the dream, they've failed to engage in the greatest responsibility of leadership: empowering others to become their best selves along the way.

With leadership development and submission to God's timing, young visionaries can become some of our greatest leaders yet.