What Does Perceptual Style Theory Tell You About Leadership? Part 5 – Vision and Adjustments

In the first two parts of this five part series on PST and leadership we looked at the nature of leadership and the five qualities of leadership affected by PST. In the last three articles look at how each specific PS leads. Each article looks at two PST based opposite PS and provide real world examples of each style*.

Lynda-Ross Vega

Lynda-Ross Vega

People with the Vision Perceptual Style are dynamic, energetic, risk-takers who inspire, encourage, and motivate followers with an intense, optimistic commitment to a long range vision. Vision leaders attract followers with their ability to paint a vivid picture of the way things will be in the future and how they will be better than they are now. Flexible and enthusiastic, Vision leaders are always open to new opportunities and courses of action that will move them and their followers closer to where they are headed. The failure of any particular direction, plan, or strategy does not faze them, and is seen as only a temporary setback. How they get where they are going is less important than getting there, so they will quickly regroup, find a new plan and move forward with the same optimism and commitment that they had initially. With their long-term end constantly in sight Vision leaders motivate others to join them with, sweeping them up in their excitement and commitment to action.

Finding examples of Vision leadership in the real world is not difficult because their combination of daring and charisma make them highly visible. In the political realm Vision leadership can be seen in Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., Ann Richards, and Barbara Jordan. Actors George Clooney and Angelina Jolie exemplify Vision leadership. Military Vision leaders would include General Douglas MacArthur, Colin Powell, and Sioux war chief Crazy Horse.

People with the Adjustments Perceptual Style lead by educating. Providing information, not just facts and data, is a common behavior for Adjustments. They have an enormous catalog of knowledge that they share willingly when necessary. They lead by providing others with clarification, explanation, and insightful illumination of events and situations. They are calm and assured analytical leaders who prefer to observe and remain watchful until such time as those who need their expertise are ready to receive it. They patiently and repeatedly show people how to respond clearly and thoughtfully to events and situations. The breadth of information on which they can provide education is impressive and always contains a wealth of relevant detail and overlooked connections that others fail to see until they are explained. Their calm and unhurried manner, meticulous research, and dedication to wisdom and moderation attract followers who appreciate the patient confidence they bring to their role as leaders.

Adjustments leaders often do not seek the spotlight, but are propelled into it by their followers. In the political realm, there are three US presidents whose public behavior suggests that they are Adjustments – George H. W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, and Barrack Obama. Other examples of Adjustments leadership include Julia Childs and Meryl Streep.

*It is impossible to determine another’s PS by observation alone. This is especially true for public figures. The examples provided ‘appear’, based on their public behavior, to be the PS for which they are used as examples. However, without having them complete the Perceptual Style Assessment their assignment to a particular PS is an educated opinion only.

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