Some organizations have clearly defined goals and many of the tactics to meet their goals come readily to mind.  An economics department wants to produce the best research possible and the best grad students possible.  They try to hire great professors, train students well and place them in good universities.  If the organization is resource constrained, there will be conflict.  A good leader for this kind of organization needs strong arbitration and mediation skills but not vision.  A neutral player is the ideal leader.  A leader with strong preferences one way or the other will alienate some members and escalate conflict. Only if the organization needs to radically alter course will vision be required.  For example, if an economics department wants to leap up in the rankings or is in danger of decline, a visionary needs to take control.

But in most organizations and at most points in time, things are not so easy.  A firm wants to maximize profits but how should it do so?  For example, Microsoft has done very well for itself but how many it avoid being left behind as Apple and Google capture the imagination of new consumers?  And Microsoft needed a vision when it started and when it grew.   In some organizations, there is a fundamental uncertainty about what an organization should be doing and where it should be going.  Almost everyone may accept that the status quo is not sustainable and that a leader with a vision for the organization should take control.  In this scenario, there are common values among the members of the organization and for better or worse it will move in some direction established by the vision of the leader.  If everyone does not agree, then the organization will stay at the status quo.  It may slowly or even rapidly depreciate.  Only a random shock can salvage it.