Visionaries tend to have wonderful imaginations, and are always looking ahead to the newest trend or “next best thing”. Their lateral thinking allows them to see new angles on old ideas. They thrive best in a relaxed environment, bouncing ideas off other people. Great motivators, a visionary can paint a vivid and rosy picture of their dreams and goals.
They are most likely charismatic speakers and presenters, and superb networkers. Communication tools were made for them, and they enjoy a multi-media approach whenever possible. If one idea fails, they are confident, adaptable and resilient enough to shrug it off and find another.
Strengths: Creative ideas, optimism, vision, inspirational leadership, looking at the “bigger picture”.
Possible weaknesses: Not always following through, changing their mind, at times being slow to initiate, sometimes leaving the details and process to others.
This personality has the energy, drive, enthusiasm and positivity of the "Go-Getter", but it is harnessed to something different: discovering new ideas and possibilities. He/she is an "innovator", with a huge imagination and a need for adventure. They are people who seek "the bigger picture", and who leave the hard graft to someone else. They work hard to inspire others to carry out their dreams and schemes but sometimes skip from idea to idea at a dizzying rate, without seeing most or any of them through to completion.
Ideally, they see themselves as "consultants", interacting with others in an equal but informal way. They love nothing more than a good brain-storming session, sitting around a table and sharing ideas with their co-workers. They work best in companies where the structure is loose. Their desks will be covered in a variety of paperwork, books covering a range of subjects, and fun gadgets (to keep the imagination alive), alongside the most up-to-date tools for internal and external communication.
Appearance and presentation
In appearance, there will be a "Peter Pan" quality about them: they will look younger than their years and have the energy and bounce of a teenager. They are always smiling, as the world is like a big box of toys to them, ripe for the picking. They can look smart and up-to-date when needed, but prefer a more relaxed dress in the workplace (no tie, shirtsleeves rolled up, trendy jeans, etc.). They like bright colours, both in clothing and in the workplace.
They see one of their roles as keeping co-workers happy and motivated: to that end, they are optimistic, entertaining and witty. Their presentations pull out all the stops, using multi-media to present an inspirational message and revealing the charismatic showman lurking within them. They are great story-tellers and natural pranksters. They often make decisions impulsively or from instinct, and their buying trends can be erratic, as they jump from one thing to the next in the search of the elusive "next best thing".
They excel at communication, and their emails are shot off quickly and frequently and are full of enthusiasm, exclamation points and emoticons. They love sharing and discussing ideas but keep the "special" ideas close to their chest. Networking is their life’s blood, and they always feel the need to keep people entertained. However, this personality type needs good subordinates who can flesh out their plans and ground them in reality (costs, procedures, deadlines, etc.).
How to work better with a 'visionary'
Pitching new ideas/work (i.e. projects) to them
- Show them how their dream can become a reality – through you
- Keep up the energy and enthusiasm
- Make it a give-and-take experience, so that they can brainstorm
- Supply the details that they are hazy on
Writing proposals or reports for them
- Don’t be afraid to highlight problems – they like the mental challenge
- Let them know how they are doing at each stage
- Agree with their “bigger picture”, but provide the details
- Get their written agreement to both their commitment and the mutually-agreed business terms
How to present to them
- Be energetic and enthusiastic
- Use a multi-media approach for the “wow” factor
- Throw out all kinds of options within a broader picture
- Include some story-telling and anecdotes for imaginative interest
Get a foot in the door with them (make a good first impression)
- Always share their vision and their level of enthusiasm
- Suggest an idea that appeals to their sense of adventure
- Network your way to them
- Show them a new angle on an old product or service
Giving feedback, or delivering bad news
- Be fearless; they will just chalk bad news up to experience and move on
- Present the failure as another “interesting opportunity” to explore
- Be enthusiastic and fulsome in your praise of a successful idea or of the people involved
- Give your feedback, but also ask for that of everyone involved in the project
How to communicate with them (i.e. keep them happy)
- Emails are great, but meetings (for brain-storming sessions) are even better
- If possible, drop by the office for a chat whenever you know that they’re in
- Emails should be chatty, informal and always upbeat
- Let them know how successful you’ve been in similar campaigns – you can even ‘name-drop’
Chasing for feedback (or an invoice)
- Best to pre-empt this, by getting everything in writing first.
- Try a chatty enthusiastic email, with what you want in the last paragraph
- Get to know their secretary or deputy, so that they can help do the chasing for you
- Give them ideas on how you think things are going, and ask for their comments
At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.