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Realist vs Visionary (5 differences & similarities)

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In this blog post, we are going to learn about what is a realist personality and what is a visionary personality. We will also be highlighting certain differences and similarities between a realist and a visionary. Later, we discuss how to find out if you are a realist or a visionary.

What is a realist?

Realists are people who think practically and from an objective perspective. They think of the world ”as it is”, they do not get carried away by unconscious biases or aims that are very idealistic. They prefer to look at the real world the way it is, without adding a lens to it.

They choose to believe in the truth, which is candid or unadorned. They are interested in observing people and knowing what’s happening to them. You may notice that while they are narrating a story, they are extremely straightforward and they like to state facts irrespective of how their story might sound.

For instance, a reporter who is a realist will always deliver the news as it is, without tampering with any part of the information. Opposed to someone who would twist the facts to gain more attention. In short, a realist is someone who identifies what is real and possible in a given situation.

Some common traits of a realist

  • Strong mechanical and athletic abilities

Someone with a realistic personality will be very confident with their body when it comes to physical activities. They are generally strong and well-coordinated and like to solve concrete problems by doing some physical activity. They are not in much favour of abstract problems.

  • Independent and practical-minded 

Because they have strong mechanical and athletic abilities, they often come in handy during emergencies. They are strong, practical, and very independent. Although, sometimes they can be aggressive and conservative. Communication skills might not be their forte.

  • Non-judgemental and grounded

They perceive the world as it is, do not get distorted by things and believe in transparency. They don’t make judgements about situations or people, rather they stay grounded and look at it from a practical viewpoint. They hardly ever consider distractions, and always want to observe actions as they occur.

What is Visionary?

A visionary person is someone who is creative and can think of a vision imaginatively, with a progressive perception. They often set examples with their extraordinary visionary and change-making capabilities. You will find them focused on their future, setting goals, visualising them, and sustaining them. They have a habit of solving problems from their roots.

This type of personality is one of the 16 various types of personality types that were discovered by Myers-Briggs Type Indicators.

They come up with multiple innovative ideas to achieve a challenge and become successful. They are in tune with work environment ethics, are always trying to adopt social principles and want to satisfy people.

For Example, someone who is a great leader will have visionary traits. They are great achievers and are very successful.

Some common traits of a visionary person

  • Innovative 

Innovation and creativity is their forte. They love coming up with new ideas and thinking out of the box. They believe in change and ascension through innovation.

  • Strong leadership qualities

They make a very good leader and are always adopting ways to make effective changes around them. They are goal-oriented people with strong judgment and analytical skills. They are very good at strategizing.

  • Flexible and Understanding 

They are understanding of situations and why people would react in a certain way. They have strong people skills and are also very flexible and are open to change. They are good at rapport building.

Visionary leaders are very open-minded, optimistic, and have a magnetic charisma. Their success stories are very inspirational and heartwarming. 

Visionary characteristics according to MBTI

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has divided personality into four key proportions:

  • Extroversion and Introversion
  • Sending and Intuition
  • Thinking and Feeling
  • Perceiving and Judging


They are very easy going and get along very well with people. They have strong people skills and have a very outgoing personality. They are often open to new experiences.


They focus on the future more than the present. They believe it improves their performance. They may overburden themselves with multiple projects and may not be able to finish them all due to being solely focused on the future rather than present needs.


They are logical thinkers and support rational evidence instead of subjective information. They choose to make objective decisions.


They like to reserve their judgement to wait and watch what happens next. They will at times debate with you just to gain more information and perception about that particular topic. They avoid jumping to conclusions.

Key differences between realist vs visionary

Different people have different types of personality traits. Based on what we have discussed so far, we know that realistic and visionary traits can be distinguished to a certain level. Let us highlight five differences between realist vs visionary.

  • A realist will respond to the truth in its most natural form whereas a visionary will respond to effervescence and high spirits.
  • A realist will want to motivate the team through short-term achievements at a professional set-up whereas a visionary is very innovative and focusing on long-term goals.
  • A realist is a practical leader but is not good at goal setting and planning whereas a visionary is an impractical leader but is great at setting goals and planning.
  • Realists don’t indulge in a lot of debates and are very straightforward whereas a visionary will want to indulge in debates.
  • A realist may find it very difficult to justify their actions because they portray things as it is and hardly consider other factors whereas a visionary will always have different ideas to justify their actions.

I have briefly distinguished the two personality types. You can refer to different personality theories to gain a piece of better knowledge of traits.

Similarities between a realist and a visionary 

A realist and a visionary, both are perceived to be good leaders. They have good decision-making skills which are beneficial in the long run. Sometimes people might have a balance of both realist and visionary traits. 

You will find many people who will have a realistic as well as a visionary perspective. There might be times when you find yourself thinking innovatively whilst adapting an independent and practical approach.

You can either have a bit of both or have one personality type stronger than the other one. 

Are you a realist or a visionary 

Do you find yourself making judgements and analysing facts? Are you constantly striving towards setting goals and thinking of the future while ignoring the present? Do you enjoy being an extravert and interacting with people daily? 

If yes, then you might be a visionary.


Do you often indulge in activities that involve less interaction? Are you hardly ever swayed with unconscious biases? Do you perceive the world in the most real form without any filter?

If yes, then you might be a realist.

Although, if you wish to find out for sure and want to explore more about your personality, you may want to consider taking a personality test. These tests will bring you a greater deal of self-awareness. 


In this brief guide, we learned what is a realist personality and what is a visionary personality. I have also highlighted certain differences and similarities between a realist and a visionary. Later, we discussed how to find out if you are a realist or a visionary.

Are you a realist or a visionary?

Let me know in the comment section!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Realist vs Visionary

What does it mean to be visionary?

When a person has innovative and creative abilities with the personality of an extrovert can be called a visionary. They have high intuitive and people skills and are also very good at communicating with others. 

What is a realist person like?

A realist person believes in the truth and perceives the world in its natural state. They are non-judgemental and very down to earth. They do not like beating around the bush and are very straight forward.

Is being a realist a bad thing?

One must not confuse being a realist with being pessimistic. Realistic thinking does not have to be negative always, which is why it is not a bad thing. Being a realist has its benefits. Read the first half of this blog to find out what a realist is and what are some of its good characteristics.

Who are some famous visionaries?

Some famous visionaries are Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Henry Ford, Elon Musk, John Rockefeller, etc. There are my more famous leaders and celebrities who have a visionary style.

How to become a visionary?

You can start by defining your goals, using various motivation techniques to boost people around you, have a sense of purpose, and develop communication skills. You can also try reading biographies of some visionary leaders as it may inspire you and give you more insights on how to become visionary.


HigherStudy.org. (2020, December 25). Realist vs visionary (10 great differences & similarities). https://higherstudy.org/realist-vs-visionary-great-differences-similarities/

Staff. (2020, September 28). ENTP: The visionary. Online Personality Tests. https://www.onlinepersonalitytests.org/personality-test/entp/

What is a realist? | Realistic signs & traits | CogniFit. (2018, March 29). CogniFit. https://blog.cognifit.com/what-is-a-realist-8-signs-to-tell-if-you-have-a-realist-personality/

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