The Visionary Leader
When Frank Coleman first began his job as president of Hi-Tech Aerostructures, most managers and employees felt a surge of excitement. Hi-Tech Aerostructures is a 50-year-old, family-owned manufacturing company that produces parts for the aircraft industry. Coleman had a vision for transforming Hi-Tech into a world-class manufacturing facility. In addition to implementing cutting-edge technology, the vision included transforming the sleepy paternalistic culture to a more dynamic, adaptive one and empowering employees to take a more active, responsible role in the organization. Vice President David Deacon was on the transformation team. Coleman and Deacon crafted a vision statement. Coleman laid out broad ideas for the vision statement. When months later, the team submitted specific plans and goals, Coleman suggested revisions. Nearly a year later, the team waited for Coleman’s response to the revised proposal. Once again, Coleman suggested a different approach. Deacon felt that Coleman would lay out another vision and ask the team to start over.
How effective would you rate Coleman as a visionary leader? Discuss.
Where would you place Coleman on the chart of types of leaders illustrated in Exhibit 13.1? Where would you place Deacon?
If you were Deacon, what would you do?