Visionary leaders are the vital component for successful non-profits, but these organizations tend to be under managed. A study by Stid and Bradach in the Journal of Strategy and Leadership shows that the strength for non-profit organizations lies in the management practices, which are the most successful when a visionary leader is in place. These charismatic leaders are able to recognize the importance of updating and implementing management competencies to allow the organization to excel over time.
Six strategies of visionary leaders from successful non-profits (Stid & Bradach, 2009):
- Understand the difference between management and leadership
- Leading is being able to articulate a vision while managing is ensuring results will be achieved
- Achieve strategic clarity
- Set priorities and performance measures while making tradeoffs
- Implement the strategy with accuracy
- Make the objective of the organization’s work simple and clear
- Highlight a few key metrics to maintain focus
- This will make it more realistic to achieve the organization’s overall goals
- Develop and align the leadership team
- A strong leadership team with core capabilities and experiences will build a strongly managed organization
- Help the organization realize the benefits of a better management strategy
- It is critical to be active and reinforce the need for why change is necessary
Establishing a framework and development plan for implementing these strategies is key to becoming a high performing organization. Visionary leadership has its benefits beyond what it can do for the internal management of the organization. It is also drives fundraising dollars and volunteer hours. The perfect combination is to find an individual who can both lead and manage a company effectively.