Leaders of today can be categorized by their various leadership styles, but all successful leaders have one thing in common: they are visionaries. For example, Presidents Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan; high-tech giants Steve Jobs and Bill Gates; and world figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King all had visions far larger than themselves and the role they played. For example, Gandhi is single-handedly responsible for returning India to home-rule after centuries of being ruled by Great Britain. Martin Luther King is considered to be the father of the civil rights movement in the United States. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs revolutionized the technology industry with their MS-DOS and Windows software, and the iPhone, respectively.
Each of these leaders constructed a vision that was creative, clear, and concise, and that also complemented the organization’s culture and strategy. They all possessed the foresight to plan strategically for potential opportunities and threats, and once they constructed their vision, they were able to influence people, implement policies and procedures, and execute on the vision (i.e., turn that vision into action).
One key thing with visionary leaders is that they are the creative geniuses behind the vision, and nearly all of them lead by example. Which brings us to the next point: Microsoft certainly isn’t the company that it was after Bill Gates stepped down – will that same fate happen with Apple now that Steve Jobs is no longer running the company?
Please review The 100 most influential people according to TIME. To see the full list, click on “Full List” on the top banner, or choose from one of the selected lists such as “Pioneers”, “Titans” or “Leaders”. The 100 Most Influential People (2016). TIME. Retrieved from http://time.com/collection/2016-time-100/
Select a leader (President Barack Obama) the TIME list who you consider to be an outstanding example of visionary leadership. The descriptions are short, so you may need to look at several before you find the person you want. I selected President Barack Obama.
Conduct some additional research on this person. Then write a 5- to 6-page paper where you:
Analyze your subject leader’s style and explain why this leader is a visionary.
Keys to the Assignment
The key aspects of this assignment that, at a minimum, should be covered in your paper include:
- Why do you characterize this individual as visionary? Give specific examples.
- Based upon your research, analyze the added value this visionary leader brings to their organization or field.
- Do you think visionary leaders are needed in every organization? Why or why not?
- What business or environmental conditions particularly call for visionary leadership?
Your paper will be evaluated using the following five criteria:
- Assignment-Driven Criteria (Precision and Breadth): Does the paper fully address all Keys to the Assignment? Are the concepts behind the Keys to the Assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
- Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking and Depth): Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
- Business Writing (Clarity and Organization): Is the paper well written (clear, developed logically, and well organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the Keys to the Assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
- Effective Use of Information (Information Literacy and References): Does the paper demonstrate that the student has read, understood, and can apply the background materials for the module? If required, has the student demonstrated effective research, as evidenced by the student’s use of relevant and quality sources? Do additional sources used in the paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
- Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?
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