Considerable attention has focused on the leadership roles of politicians, and officials in nearly any organization. Emerging from this focus has been a renewed interest in examining the impact a leader's vision has on an organization. Literature has been generated from many sources, including business and education, to look at the role of visionary leadership in providing direction for the organization. Looking at organizations as cultures, two teams of researchers, Deal and Kennedy ( 1982) and Bennis and Nanus ( 1985), studied companies and their leaders. Their findings, which explain success and high performance in the business realm, are applicable to school organizations.
Successful companies are characterized by prominent values and beliefs that are freely articulated by members and affect their performance. These values and beliefs form an explicit philosophy assertively communicated by the leadership and shared by all members of the organization ( Deal and Kennedy, 1982). Innovative organizations have a highly developed sense of purpose, and the energies of all members are aligned for the accomplishment of a desired future state ( Bennis and Nanus, 1985).
Company leaders who achieve legendary fame are intuitive, persistent heroes driven by a desire to create, to defy order, and to realize a vision that in time proves to show prophetic wisdom. They incorporate their vision into the company's culture by getting others to own the vision. The attention devoted to the business world and the U.S. economy provided impetus for a book titled Visionary Leadership, ( Nanus, 1992), which captured a renewed interest in leadership.