Vertical and Horizontal Visionaries

I had a Client who had been promoted into the upper ranks of his large company. He believed that all the others at his level were there because they were visionaries. He did not see himself as visionary.  He did not see himself as a ‘blue sky’ type of visionary … and he isn’t wired that way naturally. But he is one who can see from horizon to horizon and know what needs to be done once he understands the Vision. The ‘blue sky’ folks are the Vertical visionaries and he is the Horizontal visionary.

The Vertical Visionary:     1)      Starts with a high level outcome – the end result as they envision it    2)      They then envision more detail – but only in terms of outcomes – not process    3)      Their next natural step is to converse about the ‘blue-sky’ in terms of the reality they understand – in the vertical dimension – big picture terms.

Because they understand this reality from a sense of envisioning the outcomes, their ‘voice’ in the matter actually becomes critical in the horizontal vision process – they actually help provide clarity of direction for the larger whole. They don’t contradict, or argue with, the horizontal visionaries. They actually support them by providing the expectations needed and around which process must be built. Their challenge, many times, is to do this in a clear and compelling manner.

The Horizontal Visionary:    1)      Starts with detailed outcomes – actual processes, etc. – the end result as they envision it    2)      They then envision the implementation process (also in detail)    3)      Their next natural step is to converse about the ‘blue-sky’ in terms of the reality they understand – in the horizontal dimension – implementation terms.

Because they understand this reality from a sense of envisioning the detail, their ‘voice’ in the matter actually becomes critical in the vertical vision process – they actually help provide clarity with their practicality. They don’t contradict, or argue with, the vertical visionaries. They actually support them by keeping them honest and help them face the realities that, if ignored, could hinder moving towards the larger vision. Their challenge, many times, is integrating big picture language into their communications as they try to motivate others in the processes.

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About Jeff Brunson

In this whirling 21st Century the individual needs to embrace the authentic self and confidently leverage the energy and power found there. As we entered the 21st Century, I became more concerned about what leaders like you needed for successful influence and personal fulfillment. As we move deeper into this challenging 21st Century, I’m more convinced than ever that the core of my work is in helping individual leaders remember who they are − a trueness. It is about confidence found in your authenticity.

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