The Difference Between a Visionary Leader and an Operational Entrepreneur

Sep 12, 2022

Can you be a successful entrepreneur but not a visionary? And vice versa, can you be a successful visionary but not really an entrepreneur? Perhaps before you can answer those questions, you must first decide: Are you an entrepreneur, a visionary, or both? And, most importantly, how does leadership fit into it all? As we continue this brand new season (Season 5) of Leadership Is Feminine, I invite you to ponder these questions with me. Often, as business owners, there are questions we don’t think to ask ourselves but find if we did, we’d learn so much and find immense magic in the answers. To that end, I want to explore the difference between a visionary leader and an operational entrepreneur. Is being an entrepreneur simply the operational expression of the visionary? What is the value of being a visionary? Let’s dive in.

“When you’re a real visionary, when you really, really do see things other people don’t see, and you believe in the possibility of what you see that doesn’t exist yet, you have the potential to change the world with your vision.” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • Earmarks of a visionary vs an operational entrepreneur
  • Shift in perspective
  • Your ideas are the asset
  • Leave survival thinking in the past
  • Investment in yourself is never a waste

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

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Kris Plachy: What does it really mean to be a visionary? I want to change the way you’re thinking about who you are right now. Let’s do it today. Here we go. Welcome, welcome to the podcast. I’m Kris Plachy. Welcome to Leadership is Feminine. And I want to have a heart to heart with you today. I think that we need to have a conversation. So, let you and me have a conversation.

And what is always true is these conversations I bring to you are ripped directly from the coaching conversations that I have with my clients. And some of the biggest learning that we all do together is really with some of my most successful clients. It’s kind of in retrospect, like, “Oh, yeah, that’s what we wish we knew.” And that was certainly the case for me on several occasions, even today, talking to a few of my clients.

So, the first thing I want to invite you to question and ask yourself is: Are you really an entrepreneur? Or a visionary? Or both? Can entrepreneurs not be visionaries? And can visionaries be really terrible entrepreneurs? And where does leadership fit inside both of those? Is entrepreneurship simply the operations of the visionary? In other words, is being an entrepreneur, the way in which a visionary expresses their vision? Is that always the case?

So, I think the truth is to most of, if not all of those questions, maybe. I think it depends on the person. I’ve certainly met entrepreneurs who are not visionaries, they are all tacticians. They are operations experts. They know how to do things. But they do struggle with seeing vision, seeing direction. Now all of us even as visionaries, will have days and moments and sometimes seasons where we can’t tap our own vision. It gets lost, we get lost, we get confused, that’s very normal. So, I don’t want you to use that example.

What I do want you to hear though, is that being a visionary requires a growth mindset. In order to really be a visionary, you have to believe in something that doesn’t exist yet. And you have to believe hard enough in that, that you will pursue that, despite the fact that it doesn’t exist yet. And that you will continue to pursue that vision, even if you don’t see it turning into anything right away.

But operations folks, people who tend to be very operationally focused, can struggle with growth mindset, they can struggle with that, because they don’t know how to put something in place that they can’t see. They need somebody else to show them what to see. And then they can start to build the system and the framework and the practices to support it, which all of this makes perfect sense, I would think, to you, as it does to me. But here’s where this becomes an issue.

So many of you know, if you’re a longtime listener, which I know many of you are, that I coach and advise female entrepreneurs really at every level in their business, on how to think about build practices for and develop high-performing teams and systems for teams to perpetuate to grow the business. And I coach and advise women in our How to CEO program, which is really our foundation program, where we give you very comprehensive blueprints for all of the most critical foundational practices you need to build teams, even if that’s two people.

I also host an immersion program, which we will be hosting at the end of October in Sacramento. And that will be as it sounds, an immersive program live in-person with you, the owner/CEO and your operations leader. And for many of you, that will be different, that will be your GM, operations director. It could even be your operations manager, your executive assistant, if it’s just a couple of you. The requirements to attend are that you are a business owner and that you’re generating seven figures in your business. And we are actually going to do, what we teach and How to CEO, and also add into that you designing and documenting all of your team systems with us live. It will be off the hook and intense.

These are going to be 10-hour days, I am not going to make it up. But I know it will change your life. Because once you build it, it will be done. And it’s the only way, because I have women who I’ve worked with in How to CEO and in the lab for a long time, and they’re still not able to get some things done because they don’t have time. It’s always the thing that you know you need to get to that you don’t have time to do. So, I want you to extract yourself from your business with your ops person and come and spend that time with us here in Sacramento.

So that’s at <a href=""></a>, you can check out all the information there that you want. Or you can go to <a href=""></a>. Okay. Then we have The Sage CEO, and The Sage CEO is my VIP program where I work exclusively with those clients. It’s private coaching, we go on retreats together. And I’m working with women who really have mastered a level of leadership in their business they never thought was possible. So, these are all women who went through How to CEO, did the work of building all of the frameworks for their business. And now, here’s where we’re sitting with them. They’re all visionaries. These are people who see so much potential in the world. They have downloads regularly. Visionaries are constantly fighting off their ideas. It’s hard to practice constraint because you have so many.

But once you’ve learned how to build a team, then what happens is you get these ideas. And those ideas are easily implementable, easily implemented, because instead of your brain saying, “Oh, my God, that’s going to be so much work, how am I going to get that done?” Which is how you built your first business? Your brain says, “Oh, my gosh, that’s so exciting. Who can I tap? What type of people do I need to bring on to make that happen?” And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

When you’re a real visionary, when you really, really do see things other people don’t see. And you believe in the possibility of what you see, that doesn’t exist yet. You have the potential to change the world with your vision. But there are so many of you listening to this podcast right now who are stuck, because you want to also control all of the operational function of your business. And you can’t, you cannot work 100 hours a week for the rest of your life, you’re going to have to learn to think like a visionary leader, and not an operational entrepreneur. It’s such a difference.

And I was talking with my client today who has built this beautiful business, her business is thriving, and she’s working so much less—not so much like ‘not paying attention’ not working, but she’s not doing the weeds work. And I know you know what I’m talking about. And now what we’re talking about is how she had two ideas that could potentially make millions of dollars. And her brain is like, “Yeah, I just need to put the team together for that.” It’s not how hard she has to work. And she didn’t even hear the shift in herself until we really addressed it, like, “Look at that, look, you had an idea.” And now you’re thinking about who will make that happen versus it being you.

And I don’t think many of us even get that. We don’t understand. This is why you hide from your own mind. This is why you make decisions to not advance ideas because you don’t have the people to execute. This is why you were limited. And you think it’s because you can’t find good people. And listen, I’m right there with you, but I don’t buy that from myself either. I have to invite myself to step higher up in a leadership role. We all do. Because listen to me, women of the world. You are brilliant. We have the answers to the world’s problem, y’all.

And if you’re going to tell me that the reason you can’t get that answer in the world is because you don’t know what to do about Rhonda in Accounting, or George in Finance. Absolutely not, that is an unacceptable reason for you to limit your potential, not when it is fixable, but you have to decide. Because if you want to control everything, if you want to be that only operations leader where you don’t indulge in your vision, and all you do is look at what’s right in front of you all day, and you’re in transaction and tactic mode all day, you will not fulfil the potential of your dreams. Because my guess is if you’ve had one vision about what’s possible in the world, you’ve had two or four. Each one of those has the potential to change the world. Are you an operational entrepreneur? Or do you want to become a visionary leader?

And if you want to become a visionary leader, are you willing to invest in learning how to become that woman? Are the ideas you have in your mind, worth it? Is the vision that will not leave you alone, worth it? You are the asset, your brain is the asset, your knowledge is the asset. Your vision is the asset. Your effort is not the asset. But you, like so many of my other clients, have placed value on your hard, hard effort, your hard work. And so when you get a new idea that you know could be amazing, but you don’t know how to wrangle and put together a team to make that happen, you give up on the vision before you even start. And I just talked a little bit about this on an Instagram post.

Do you think that’s what Mark Cuban does? Do you think that’s what Richard Branson does? They just give up because they don’t know how to manage a team. They don’t know how to hire good people? No! They have a growth mindset. They are visionaries. Anything’s possible. Of course, I’m going to find good people. Do I have to look for a few for a while? Sure. Might I have to fire a few? Absolutely. Are there going to be people who I think were amazing, but they don’t work out? For sure. Do I keep going? Uh-huh. Because why? Because the vision is what this is about, not operational efficiencies, not making sure that that email didn’t have a mistake in it, not making sure that everybody does everything exactly like you want. What is the vision, Mama? Get bigger, get higher up in the tree. If you’re so far down in the weeds, your overwhelm is suffocating you and you are preventing the rest of us from benefiting from those ideas that you have that really will change the world.

So, I know I told you we’re going to have a little bit of a chat. How are you feeling? Are you annoyed with me? I’m not trying to annoy you. But I am trying to invite you and I am trying to provoke you. I feel a little frustrated. I feel frustrated because I’m listening to so many people complain about how terrible workers are right now. But they aren’t terrible. Are there some terrible ones? Amen. But do you know what else is true? There are some really terrible bosses. And there’s a belief in the world that either says, I’m not going to let this stop me. I’m going to find amazing people because there’s so many amazing people on this planet, or I’m never going to find any good people. There aren’t any good people and everybody’s lazy, nobody wants to work.

You get to decide how you want to think about this. And guess what? How you think about it, will predict the results you get. But a visionary doesn’t even entertain that because the vision is too big of a deal. Why would I get so tangled up in what’s going on with Joyce and Rhonda and John, when I’m over here with this big, big vision. I’m a visionary leader, I know how to assemble a team and motivate and encourage, and inspire. But if all I’m doing is trying to control and force people to do what I want, I’m just in an operational mindset. Now do we need ops to make things work? Of course, we do. But we don’t need you doing that, Mama. We need you to learn how to lead. We need you to learn how to bring people with you, how to assemble a team of experts, of people who are engaged and inspired to support the vision not you It’s such a difference. These are subtleties. But you have to think differently. So, this this season has changed, right? You have to think differently, if you want to achieve different results, and too many of you are buying into the small-minded thinking of the population, and mass. And that’s not who you are; you are different, you are special, you are unique. And that requires you to challenge yourself. And to ask more of yourself than settling. It’s time to step back into growth, thinking. We’ve been in survival thinking for two years, put it to bed, it’s time to think like a visionary leader, and to know that those gorgeous dreams of yours deserve powerful resources, which translates into the skills and abilities of others.

We’ve changed. That’s why we’re offering the Immersion program for people who want to come and do this work in person and leave with tangible, implementable, actionable practices over the course of a week. We’ve also changed How to CEO, so now it’s 12 weeks with 12 Live Q&amp;A calls every Friday at 10. We’re doing everything we can to modify and adjust how we give you what we know you need, given the constraints that you work under.

So, for all of you who say, “I really want to do this, I just don’t have time.” If you were like the client I talked to you today, who told me that she actually took six days off work and felt terribly guilty about it, and I was part of what we were talking about. But during that course of time, she came up with an idea that she’s pretty convinced will generate about $20 million in her business, is that a waste of time for her to not have been at work for six days? If you knew that investing in yourself for, I don’t know, four days would translate into 10 times-ing the profit and revenue in your company, would you do it? Would you think twice about it? Have you ever put together the fact that when you invest in yourself, you’re doing that? Have you ever put together the fact that when you invest in other people to deliver on your vision, you’re doing that? Or are you just looking at the day to day what does the balance sheet say?

Visionaries focus on what’s possible, visionaries believe in something they can see that doesn’t exist yet. And that, my friend, is what you’ve got to ask yourself now. You have one quarter left in 2022, and I say it’s time to get it. What do you think? I’ll talk to you next week.

Hey, entrepreneur, you started that gorgeous business of yours to do some real good in the world. You probably didn’t start your business to manage people, but here you are, having to figure out how to manage people to get work done, and maybe it’s not going so well. So, head on over to <a href=""></a> and let’s talk about how we can help you learn how to lead, manage, hire, fire, and all the things so that you can build a team that expands on your amazing dream.

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