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VISIONARY LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF CHANGE

In 2017, Gopinath Menon assumed the role of Principal at "The New Indian School W.L.L" in the Kingdom of Bahrain, following an illustrious 12-year tenure with the Peevees Group of schools in Saudi Arabia and East Africa. Leading a diverse school of approximately 4000 students, spanning from Kindergarten to Grade 12, Gopinath Menon's tenure has been characterized by introducing innovations and fostering positive changes in a mixed-gender setting. Founded in 1990, the school boasts a rich legacy. His journey is marked by proven credentials, teamwork, and achieving desired results. Gopinath Menon focused on leading instructional excellence, setting aspirational school goals, and ensuring that teachers received adequate support to meet these goals.


His leadership approach emphasizes implementing systems and structures to cultivate, hire, develop, and retain a diverse and highly-effective staff, including members of the school leadership team. This involves modeling self-awareness, personal responsibility, and holding individuals accountable for maintaining authenticity. He firmly believes that a successful student is one who combines scholastic excellence with co-scholastic achievements, coupled with refined character and the ability to be a role model for others.


Best Practices in Education:


Empowering Vocabulary: Unveiling the Word of the Week:

The school has introduced the "Word of the Week" during weekly morning assemblies to enhance language skills and expand students' vocabulary. Carefully selected words, tailored to individual proficiency levels, ensure that students are appropriately challenged while grasping the meaning and usage of the words. This ongoing vocabulary enrichment program fosters a love for language, encouraging students to explore synonyms and appreciate the power of words.Additionally, the school emphasizes a shared reading experience through the "Whole School Reading Together" program. This promotes a reading culture and celebrates the joy of literature, supported by other monthly activities like Mental Math and Mind Sport, designed to enhance problem-solving skills and expand students' knowledge.

Nurturing a Greener Future: Uniting for Eco-Friendly Initiatives:

The school has overseen the establishment of a dynamic "Environment Club," led by a dedicated teacher and supported by student leaders. Comprising members from grades 1 to 12, this club actively engages in various activities promoting environmental awareness and sustainability within the school community. Notably, the creation of Environment club badges using reused materials exemplifies the commitment to recycling and upcycling.

Visionary leadership involves setting a clear direction for the organization and inspiring others to achieve that goal together. It also includes guiding people through difficult times, developing visionary strategies, and staying focused on the end goal. A visionary leader sets a long-term vision, creates a strategic plan to achieve that vision, and empowers others to collaborate towards that shared goal. At its core, visionary leadership is about leading with a clear purpose and a forward-looking perspective. Visionary leaders inspire and guide their teams toward a shared vision of the future, driving innovation and positive change


1. Trust: Trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially in a professional setting. Leaders who trust their employees are more likely to build a strong team and achieve their goals. Trusting employees means giving them the freedom to take risks and make decisions. When employees feel trusted, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and go the extra mile to achieve their goals.


2. Empowerment: Empowering employees means giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. It means giving them the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to take risks and make decisions that can lead to innovation and growth. 


3. Communication: Communication is key to any relationship, and it is no different in the workplace. Leaders who communicate effectively with their employees are more likely to build a strong team and achieve their goals. Effective communication means being transparent and honest with employees, actively listening to their concerns, and providing feedback.


4. Recognition: Recognizing the efforts and achievements of employees is important for building morale and motivation. Leaders who recognize the hard work of their employees are more likely to build a strong team and achieve their goals. Recognition can take many forms, such as verbal praise, bonuses, or promotions.


5. Flexibility: Flexibility is important for adapting to change and achieving goals. Leaders who are flexible are more likely to succeed in their vision. Being flexible means being open to new ideas and approaches, and being willing to make changes when necessary.


Visionary Leadership


Crisis and change, is an unprecedented opportunity. During the last decade, the major reason of a failed implementation of a new strategy is the ‘resistance to change’ of employees. Visionary leaders understand this factor, use the momentum, and reshuffle their resources. Instead of down-sizing, this is the best time to re-allocate the right amount and capabilities of teams to where it really matters. Courageous leaders are willing to experiment and entrust their employees with new tasks and responsibilities, train and empower them. 


Visionary leadership refers to a leadership style in which an individual identifies the potential for transformational change and takes the steps needed to bring about that change. Here’s where things get interesting: you do not necessarily have to be in a leadership role to be considered a visionary. For instance, you can emulate visionary leadership by being the person who has an out-of-the-box approach and is always full of ideas. The goal of visionary leadership is to inspire others and achieve targeted goals, and it could apply to any level of management or collaborative work.


Successful visionary leadership is not just about having a grand vision or a long-term plan. Visionary leaders inspire their followers to believe in their vision and empower them to take ownership of their work. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and it is no different in the workplace. When employees feel trusted and empowered, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and go the extra mile to achieve their goals. In addition to vision and inspiration, a visionary leader must be able to effectively execute strategies to turn their vision into reality. They must possess the ability to identify and seize opportunities, make tough decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances. 


Visionary leadership seeks leading organizations’ stakeholders to success. The leadership function is nulled if the stakeholders do not have specified goals and objectives. Leaders are therefore required to wholly understand what they expect both in the short-run and in the long-run. Leadership, in an organization, ought to receive all the necessary support to achieve its mandate. In addition, Leadership, through its interaction with the employees, has the potential of breaking or making an organization given its effect on operations. Contextually, the development of leadership capability is best seen as the resolve of people who hold positions of power or authority in an organization. Leaders are summarily exposed to several responsibilities, which are planning, coordination, controlling activities, and directing. All the factors mentioned above are important for a firm to achieve its set objectives.


 Visionary leadership is a primary cause of the entities of leadership. As such, it is the style of leadership which is focused on the goal’s accomplishment function of any organization. Leadership has aspects of differentiation against management. In as much as they are different, both categories have similarities as well. Goals differ from tasks in various aspects. Goals are generally large initiatives, which a person or a group of people set and seek to attain. Such could include building a school or say sponsoring someone's college tuition for their whole stay in college. On the other side, tasks are smaller and may be, but not limited to being part of the goals. For instance, in the building of a school example, the tasks could be completing five classrooms each month. Tasks are easily changeable, but goals are more bound and only measurable at their final stages. Leadership, therefore, focuses on the accomplishment of goals. Goals carry a bigger intensity and are therefore appropriate for stakeholders, therefore requiring focus more than tasks do. Leadership follows the observance of goals, while management is more aligned to accomplish tasks. Additionally, the concept of risk differs across the two categories. Management is biased to the minimization of risk. Minimizing risk can occur across various paradigms. One prominent method of eliminating risk is staying off decisions, which one is unsure of. This could, for instance, reflect managers shying away from volatile investments. On the other side, leaders have a high appetite for risk. In this regard, leaders are more likely to go beyond the norms and seek to introduce changes, which are appropriate, but they may arouse doubts at their initiation. Visionary leadership encompasses three elements, which are the individual, the behavior of the individual, and lastly the context in which the leader is. Leading an organization with a vision is an effective tool for holding and attracting command. In any organization, leaders hold power, and therefore, the opinions have the advantage aspect. Therefore, a leader gives instructions for instance, and the instructions would be taken more seriously than for a person who is not in power. Such opinions, directives, or orders are only appropriate if a leader has a vision. Visionary leaders inspire others to lead, and they themselves lead by example. As such, visionary leaders are more likely to consider the long-run indications of present actions. They, therefore, do not see authority as a personal tool or a tool for personal gain. Rather, they view authority as a resource, which is to be used for the good of all, and therefore seek to benefit the organization that they represent. 


Lastly, visionary leaders illustrate a high sense of personal dedication, charisma, inspiration both at the individual level and to others as well as depicting high intellectual and problem-solving skills. Owing to the fact that organizations are founded on workers and leaders, it is important that organizations ought to explain the concept of the role of visionary leadership in organizational change. With a clear understanding of the context, workers can achieve their goals in a more streamlined manner and act in any challenges, which emerge along the way. Overall, workers are only successful when led by visionary leaders. 


The aim of the present study is to indicate whether there is a relationship between organizational change and visionary leadership or not. In the study, people holding leadership positions in the selected sector, which are under evaluation, will be evaluated and therefore help the study either hold the hypotheses set appropriate or otherwise. With the theoretical framework, which contains concepts which are related to the area of study being discussed below, the paper will have a foundation on which it can base its premises. The research also will help future scholars know of what visionary leadership entails, especially in busy sectors of the economy, such as the banking sector. This study additionally will strengthen the understanding of authority in a selected organization as leaders rather than plain authoritative managers. A leader works as a change agent who can manage an organizational process effectively. The process of change demands an effective and highly skilled leadership that can perceive the most desirable feature and address the issues in the most appropriate manner. Change is important for any organization for success and for their competitive advantage. Without change, businesses would likely lose their competitive edge and cannot easily be thrived. Adoption of change requires some practical steps within an organization to motivate the employees as most of the employees do not accept the change and resist it. This is the main reason the organization fails to adopt the change. For this purpose, the leader acts as a change agent because a successful leader creates an environment that persuades employees towards a common goal and motivates them through effective communication, and plan employees’ actions, etc. Leaders with a clear vision and ability to implement it can enhance the motivation, morale, and performance of followers and encourage them to learn and adopt new opportunities. So, the role of leadership is very crucial when considering the change in the organization.

Traits of a Visionary LeaderWhile anyone could be a visionary, there are a few traits visionary leaders have in common:


Open-Mindedness


Visionary leaders aren’t afraid to broaden their horizons and navigate new ideas territories. On the contrary, they welcome innovative approaches and ideas. They are open-minded and willing to think beyond the conventional approaches. This allows them to fixate on the big picture and figure out efficient ways of achieving their goals.


Effective Communication


Visionary leaders do not just dream big; they also motivate their teams to do the same. They possess exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, which helps ensure that everyone is on the same page.


Risk-Taking


Visionary leaders are risk-takers. They are not ones to play it safe. Instead, they dare to be different and take risks. This is not to say that they are impulsive. Visionary leaders are heavily goal-oriented, and the risks they take are calculated and usually pay off.




How Can You Gain Visionary Leadership Skills?


So, how can you become a visionary leader? There are plenty of ways to go about this. From attending workshops and taking courses to volunteering at events and actively practicing assertiveness, public speaking, and empathy, you will find various ways to enhance your skills. You can also join a mentorship program or learn more about the leadership styles of your favorite visionary leaders.


A visionary leader can facilitate a more effective organizational change, contributing to its success. Consequently, this research proposes a model derived from leadership competencies that highlights the role of leadership in achieving sustainable success through organizational change. The model aims to articulate the relationship between successful organizational change and the pivotal role played by effective leadership.


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