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Visionary v. Operational Leaders

Tonight I was thinking about leadership.

I think there is a difference between visionary leaders and operational leaders. Visionary leaders are people who see something others can't see, and they are able to call people to follow them towards the picture they paint of the future. Operational leaders execute the tangible; operational leaders lead by showing people they right steps to take and ensuring that those following them stay on track.

It seems to me that visionary leaders sit on top of the leadership hierarchy and they set the direction the ship sails in. Operational leaders come underneath the visionaries and support the execution of the vision. Visionary leadership is must sexier than operational leadership, but both kinds of leaders benefit from the presence of the other.

I'm an operational leader. I function best when the direction is set by another and I'm asked to execute the details. It doesn't feel great to write that but it is the truth. I get afraid that even writing it means I will be prevented from some unknown future leadership role. But I have to be content and joyful as the leader Jesus made me to be at this point in my life. And I have to acknowledge that I would be happier in a lesser leadership role if it means I can spend more energy utilizing the ISTJ personality that the good Lord gave me.
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