11 Characteristics of Visionary Leaders

Visionaries. They're on the front end of every great mission. Visionaries can "see" the future. And then they describe it to us so we can see it too. They're the "idea" people. That's important, because ideas are more powerful than labor. Ideas set forces in motion that, once released, can no longer be contained. Here's an acrostic that helps explain what makes visionaries tick...

Vision—More than anything else, visionaries are propelled by great dreams. They’re pulled along by the grip of destiny. Invariably, the force of their resolve pulls us along with them.

Innovation—Visionaries give the world “ideas” that change the existing order. They exude creativity and imagination. They embrace an uncertain future.

Sacrifice—Visionaries deny themselves for a greater good.  They’re so committed to their cause that they are willing to risk rejection.

Integrity—At their core visionaries have unwavering character.  A handshake still means everything to them.  This inspires confidence.

Optimism—Visionaries possess a passion that touches that noble impulse in each of us. They inspire us to want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

Never Give Up—Visionaries display unwavering belief in their mission.  Against all odds they show tenacity, perseverance, and faithfulness to their call. Their motivation rests on deeply held principles, not opinion polls.

Ability—Visionaries possess special abilities.  They are people of skill—whether inventor, philosopher, theologian, scientist, artist, writer, poet, or preacher. They possess innate intelligence.

Relate to Others—Visionaries have empathy and love for people.  Their people skills include compassion, and listening.   They relate to people from all walks of life.

Impact—Visionaries set the forces in motion that change the world. The best ones are marked by a profound humility. And if in their own lifetimes they achieve greatness, they are often the last ones to think so.

Excellence—Visionaries demand excellence from themselves, which spurs us to be like them.  Their striving for excellence is often confused with perfectionism. 

Servant of Others—The best visionaries are first of all godly. They do what they do to bring glory to God. They exist to serve their God by loving and serving others.

Until every church disciples every man...