Difference Between Pragmatic and Visionary

Pragmatic vs Visionary

Pragmatic and visionary are two words between which a clear difference can be identified based on their perspective. Pragmatic is an adjective that refers to being concerned with factual data and real life occurrences. A pragmatist person focuses on the available opportunities and obstacles and based on these factual data approaches the problem and chooses the correct path. Visionary, on the other hand, is also an adjective that refers to utopian ideals. A visionary individual would have aims that are almost dreamlike. This is the key difference between pragmatic and visionary. This article attempts to clarify the difference between pragmatic and visionary, in order to highlight their meanings.

What does Pragmatic mean?

Being pragmatic is to be concerned with factual data and real life occurrences. A pragmatic person pays attention to the actual occurrences and deals with these situations in the best manner possible. He would attempt to choose the best path by analyzing and weighing the various advantages, disadvantages, obstacles, and opportunities in each path and arrive at a decision.

A pragmatic person focuses less on philosophical ideals and theories. His main focus is on finding practical solutions. Pragmatic leaders can be extremely valuable in organizational contexts as they can come up with quick solutions to daily problems.

Here are some examples of the word pragmatic in sentences.

The team worked hard to find a pragmatic solution to the problem.

He is well known as a pragmatic leader.

Key Difference - Pragmatic vs Visionary

What does Visionary mean?

Being visionary is having utopian ideas. A visionary individual is not much bothered about factual details and everyday occurrences. They focus on a far away goal or vision. On the long run, visionary ideals can be extremely important as well because although they do not notice the daily issues, they can target ultimate goals. Most people believe that these are mere dreams and illusions that give people false hope. However, some visionary thoughts can come in the form of apparitions, prophecies, and revelations.

When it comes to leadership, a visionary leader is able to foresee the future, although he may not be successful in providing practical solutions to the problems that people undergo on a daily basis. Visionary thoughts are governed by philosophical ideals and theories.

Here are some examples of the word visionary in sentences.

The visionary leader failed to see the plight of the people.

His plans are rather visionary.

Difference Between Pragmatic and Visionary

What is the Difference Between Pragmatic and Visionary?

Definitions of Pragmatic and Visionary:

Pragmatic: Being pragmatic is to be concerned with factual data and real life occurrences.

Visionary: Being visionary is to have utopian ideas.

Characteristics of Pragmatic and Visionary:


Pragmatic: Being pragmatic involves dealing with real life situations.

Visionary: Being visionary can sometimes prevent the individual from seeing the reality as he is caught up in an illusion or dream.

Practical solutions:

Pragmatic: A pragmatic person can find practical solutions to problems as they weigh the pros and cons of the situation before arriving at a decision.

Visionary: A visionary person fails to provide practical solutions, although he may be capable of making prophecies of the future.


Pragmatic: A pragmatic individual is not governed by theory or philosophy, as he is guided by facts.

Visionary: A visionary is governed by theory as well as philosophy.

Image Courtesy:
1. The pragmatic maxim and design By Helena Kjellgren (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Internal view of the Stanford torus” by Don Davis – Donald Davis’ official site, originally uploaded to the English Wikipedia by Aarchiba.. [Public Domain] via Commons