Realist vs Visionary: Where the Difference Lies?

realist vs visionary

You might have found that one portion of colleagues in your office seems to be very enthusiastic about intuitions and constantly finds innovative ideas. Then there are the ones who are practical and have a conservative perception towards change. While it would seem that a conflict between the two personality types is inevitable, a balanced existence of both can be a boon to the organization.

Who is a realist?

People of this personality type rely on concrete inputs. They are practical, logic-driven, and objective. These people judge an incident as it happens. The event does not involve emotional impacts when they describe it in their own words. Since these people are focused on physical existence, most of them show significant progress in mechanical and outdoor sectors rather than strategic sectors. A realist-

  • Prefers independence
  • Looks for stability
  • Filters out reliable information
  • Focuses on practical issues
  • Plans and executes it cautiously
  • Chooses logic over emotions

Realists may find it hard to collaborate with people of other personality types. Some may find their work ethics rigid. Data-driven and mechanical or situational evaluations can be greatly benefitted with the contributions of realists.

Who is a visionary?

Visionaries are those who are able to present a vision and find innovative paths to reaching that goal. They are idea-driven, motivating, and able to implement their strategies with accuracy. A wide range of imagination and the capability of engaging in debate makes them good communicators. High emotional intelligence allows them to make future-focused decisions in case of crisis. A visionary –

  • Is capable of keeping track to trends
  • Prefers strategic roles
  • Embraces change
  • Innovates and motivates
  • Communicates excellently
  • Tends to be good leaders
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Visionaries perform well in autonomous situations. However, their tendency to take risks might bring adverse results and complicated scenarios. Unless a visionary has clarity and preciseness of a basic subject, the progress might be hindered. His/her presence might make others feel less enthusiastic.

What’s the difference between the two?

Even though there are gray areas between the two personality types there are a few major differences that draw the line.

To begin with, the fundamental idea based on which they make decisions is different.

A realist needs the physical presence of components when a visionary forms an abstract idea of the goal and forwards based on that.

In the case of being humanistic, a realist can hardly be as considerate as a visionary. A visionary’s ability to regulate human emotions aligned with strategies makes it easier for being a team player but a realist might not function well in a diversified team.

However, realists do well in a structured workflow while a visionary might persistently look for improved ways.

Realists tend to be conservative and stick to conventional ways of conducting a function, which makes them less prone to experimentations.

Visionaries, on the other hand, receive new ideas with courage and show eagerness in fiddling with ideas to find the optimum one. For long term strategies, they are the ones who can project possible positive and negative outcomes based on experience and wisdom. They can show the qualities of a leader. On the flip side, realists do well when they receive information and instructions.


Example of realist and visionary

It is very easy to name visionaries human history has seen. Probably a hundred names flash when we think of visionaries, in versatile sectors.

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Henry Ford, Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela have shown admirable features of visionary leadership. Walt Disney pulled off one of the most amazing business strategies of history. Steve Jobs created a revolution in the tech world.

The contribution of realists can’t be ignored either. Sigmund Freud redefined psychology. J K Rowling has shown mesmerizing writing skills. So did Franz Kafka. The contribution to politics can be praised knowing Abraham Lincoln was one of the realists.

Can there be a bridge?

Businesses these days include personality testing while recruiting. It can be stated that there will always be a variety of personalities present in any given situation.

Hiring ones of a certain personality trait will result in decreased organizational diversity. A harmonious working strategy can help harness the best of both worlds.

Visionaries can be in charge of idea-based strategy formulating and the expertise of realists can speed up the practical process. Simultaneous exchange of information will ensure quality service and the most optimized use of available workforce and resources.

At the end of the day, it is a group of humans working together to bring a positive consequence individually and organizationally. Regardless of personality types, everyone should have the opportunity to enhance from their respective positions.

Here are some FAQs answered briefly

  • What is a realistic personality type?

A person of a realistic personality type perceives his/her surrounding in a practical and logic-based manner. Clarity of thought, focus, objectivity, etc are common qualities of a realist. Rational thinking and unbiased opinion can be expected behavior of this personality type.

  • What makes a person realistic?

Ability to be objective regardless of the situation, being able to see both sides, being practical, etc express the presence of realism. Making fair judgments based on logic enables them to harness the facts and make the best use of the available information.

  • What is the main goal of realism?
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The main goal if realism is to portray both sides of any aspect no matter how minor the impact or the side itself is. This idea emphasizes on actual reality, filtering out human emotional bias.

  • What is a visionary personality type?

A person belonging to this category has good intuition and can envisage a probable directional change. A subjective, caring individual who wants to add meaning and value to the existence of others whilst still being successful in doing so via one’s loving, informing, and motivating behavior.

  • Who are a few mention-worthy examples of visionary people?

Famous personalities like Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela, and many others have set forth examples of visionary personality type.

You May Be Interested in:

  1. How To Be A Visionary Entrepreneur
  2. Ryan Eliason’s Visionary Business School Review 2020
  3. Meaning, Style, and Examples Of Visionary Leadership: When Aim is To Thrive


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