Leadership: Vision, Passion, and Emotion

@mr_brett_clark 2 Comments

I've been thinking a lot about leadership lately. I've been thinking about it from the standpoint of a follower and a leader. In some ways we are always following and we are always leading. Even if we don't realize it. So I think it is real important that we think about the type of leaders we want to follow and the type of leader we want to be.

One could look at leadership as a combination of a person's vision, passion, and emotion. I think it's real to watch leaders balance these three components and the effects it has on those who are following them or are suppose to be following them. 

I have seen leaders who you knew what they wanted but were hard to read emotionally. Does that make sense? I knew exactly what they wanted and what they expected out of me but when I talked to them I couldn't really tell how they felt. Their decisions were based on their vision and passions but they kept their emotions in check.

Then I've seen leaders who you knew exactly how they felt but you didn't know what they wanted from you. I could tell if they were pleased or angry but I never knew what they wanted. Therefore I was always more nervous talking to them because I felt like I was flipping a coin and I was either going to get happy or mad. When this type of leader makes a choice it is hard to tell if they made it based on their vision, passion, or emotion because they haven't articulated where the are headed.

I must admit, I'm not sure if any of this makes sense. Let me just boil it down to some bullet points.

  • I can't over emphasize how much I want a leader who has a clear vision and can articulate it well.
  • I want a leader who has passion but keeps his/her emotions in check because I think emotions can effect decisions and it's not always positive.
  • Not only do I want these things as a follower but I want to have them as a leader.

So now you can tell me if this blog post makes sense or not? How important are vision, passion, and emotion to you as a follower/leader? Can you really be called a leader if you have no vision? Can you be passionate but not emotional? Should you be?

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  1. I also wonder, Pal, whether or not the balance preferences between vision, passion and emotion are different depending on an individual person's style.

    For example, if I had to prioritize the three characteristics, I'd rank them emotion, passion and vision -- it's the old, "I don't care what you know until I know how much you care" kind of thinking.

    Sure, I want a leader with a vision -- but if he/she isn't deeply and emotionally connected to the work of the school, then I can't buy into any vision that they set.

    Is that the same ranking you would give?

    Probably not -- we probably have different styles.

    Which raises even more interesting questions: Does a leader end up with followers who have similar preferences and styles -- and if so, what impact does that have on organizational progress?

    Good thoughts...

    1. Hey Bill,

      I appreciate your comment. I think a person's personal preference plays a huge part in what kind of leader we prefer. I would hazard a guess that there are a lot of leaders out there that are being followed by people who are similar to them. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I think it's important to have balance and that has is difficult thing to find as a leader. It means you have to hire or place people on your team that are different than you and might even have opposing view points. I often look at my PLN and wonder if I'm following enough people on Twitter that challenge my thinking.

      Thanks for making me think more deeply about this post!