One model of leadership that has evolved and been popular since the 1990's is visionary leadership. Although it can be traced back to the arly 1990's it has been more recently identified as a model which can help ensure organizational survival and success in today's chaotic environment (Dwivedi, 2006). Dwivedi (2006) points out that various researchers including Tellis (2006) and Covey (1991) has identified that visionary leadership is associated with high performing organizations. The success of this model comes from the human motivation created when leaders share their vision across the organization. "Thus if the vision of leaders is widely shared and inspiring, it can be a powerful strategic device for motivating people and taking the organization to great heights." (Dwivedi, 2006, p 12)
Visionary leadership has a number of strategic benefits. Visionary leaders are often spiritual. It is this sense of spirituality and focus on providing meaning that inspires those around the leader. It helps to align those around the leader towards the meaning being conveyed in the vision. From a strategic perspective, overcoming the resistance to change is a significant challenge to most leaders. Visionary leaders as identified by Senge (1991) can help to overcome the resistance to change by engaging people and making them want to become a part of the new vision which is being communicated. And visionary leadership is needed to foster the innovation critical to success in today's constantly changing environment. Innovation is needed not only in new product development but also in the science of management and leadership. Organizations such as Wal-Mart and Southwest Airlines have made major innovations focused on providing responsibilities to front line employees (Dwivedi, 2006).