What is a Visionary Leader?
It’s not uncommon to hear someone referred to as being a visionary leader. In fact, some people even call themselves visionary leaders and list being visionary leaders on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. But what does being a visionary leader really mean?
What is Vision?
The word vision when applied in a management or leadership context describes the ability to imagine a different or better future. Being a visionary is far from ordinary. Neuroscience research implies that visionary leaders may in fact use their brains differently than non-visionary types.
Arizona State University Research
To gain some insight into what a visionary leader might be, an Arizona State study into visionary leaders conducted by Pierre Baltazard could provide some answers. Baltazard required his research participants to think about the future, then he measured their brain activity using EEG technology.
A Key Research Finding
Research participants were classified as being visionary and non-visionary business, academic or political leaders based on observations from interviews. A key finding of Baltazard’s research was that the levels of brain activity differed appreciably between participants considered to be visionaries and those considered to be non-visionaries.
What the Research Shows
Baltazard’s research showed that visionaries have much higher levels of activity in the parts of the brain associated with visual processing and with the organizing of information. In fact, according to Baltazard, visionary brains showed greater activity in the occipital lobe – the part of the brain associated with visual processing and procedural memory.
Elaine Allan, BA, MBA
Technology & Business Blogger
Vancouver, BC, Canada