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?