Jeff Bezos was a visionary leader but some say that he was a transformational
Jeff Bezos was a visionary leader; some say that he was a transformational leader. Not surprisingly, the visionary mode comes naturally to “transformational” leader – those who seek to radically change an organization (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2004). Visionary style is most appropriate when changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2004). Jeff Bezos had an incredible vision of what Amazon.com should look like, and he was able to communicate this vision to his employees effectively when he started hiring workers. In the beginning it was only Jeff Bezos, his idea, and the vision that he shared with his trusted friends and family. A visionary leader not only empowers his audience; it also empowers him (Westley & Mintzberg, 1989). When the time came to hire employees Jeff Bezos had to share his vision with them. What distinguishes visionary leadership is that through words and actions, the leader gets the followers to ‘see’ his or her vision-to see a new way to think and act-and so to join their leader in realizing it (Westley & Mintzberg, 1989). This was happening all at a time of uncertain technological change. Visionary leadership and the will of the leaders to executive their vision can help in thriving on technological change (Dwivedi, 2006). Visionary leadership is dynamic and involves three stages: (a) an image of the desired future for the organization (vision) which is (b) communicated (shared) and which serves to (c) empower those followers so that they can enact the vision (Dwivedi, 2006).
Dwivedi, R. (2006). Visionary leadership: a survey of literature and case study of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at DRDL. Vision, 10(3), 11-21.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2004). Primal leadership, learning to lead with emotional intelligence. (1 ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.
Westley, F., & Mintzberg, H. (1989). Visionary leadership and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 10, 17-32.