Richard Branson was born in 1950 at a Stowe in the United Kingdom and his first venture in business was a business term paper, which he wrote at the age of 16 years. He suffered from dyslectic hence performing poorly in school and therefore, dropped to start a business (Goldsworthy, 2012). His business career started in the 1970s when he opened a mail order store and a music record later. Two years down the line the business expanded and the records store were later named virgin records. Later in the 1980s and 1990s, the virgin business experienced a tremendous expansion that saw the Branson venture in the airline sector and founded the virgin Atlantic airway before in 2000, starting a virgin record music business label in America (Alcraft, 1998). Five years later, he started the Virgin Galactic, which is a space tourism company in the country and aims to use it to make orbit trips around the world before going to the moon. In short, we can state that virgin brand sells in over 200 business companies across the globe. The whole business empire harbors over 5 billion sterling pounds today. Apart from the successful business prosperity, he is also known for some explorer leadership and character styles, which has been linked to prosperity.
In this essay, some of the leadership styles exhibited by him in the business world based on the leadership model and later access their effectiveness in the United States today will be discussed. Secondly, the paper will focus on examination and recommendation on other leadership styles that will even make Branson more effective in the business. Thirdly, the various ways Branson would develop and lead the global team on some of the major projects he has started including space tourism will be stated. Lastly, it will be essential to discuss how we can incorporate Branson’s leadership skill in the workplace before making a conclusion on the matter.
1.0 Branson Leadership Styles Based on the Leadership Models
From the case study, Branson exhibits some leadership styles that reveal that he truly deserves to have successes in the business world. Amid his low educational level, he has proved and showed to the world the exceptional management styles that cannot be found among various managers across the globe. He goes further to exhibit this skill in the business world regardless of his money. Some of the leadership traits exhibited in the case study include the following:
First, Branson exhibits transformational leadership styles in the management of the resource and employees available. A transformational leader is the one who can easily adapt to the changes or risks. Branson clearly demonstrated this by being flexible and capable of adapting to all organizational cultures. For example, he bought new companies and even entered into a contract with others, for instance, the Coca Cola company in order to form virgin Cola. However, the company ended betraying him. Coca-cola sent parties to the UK to destroy the virgin cola products leading to a great loss. Moreover, the mp3 player company and the mega retail store made him over 20 billion pounds losses; however, he did decide to invest in other sectors. He mentions that his mother taught him not to reverse on the situation and thus, he should always be a risk-taker. This has really been effective in the organization as Virgin Atlantic airline could only excel where transformational leadership style is employed. An overview of the transformational and charismatic leadership theories clearly states that effective leaders excel in working as a group and making great followers in their leadership, a trait exhibited by Branson in management where he follows most of the customers, employees, and shareholders desire to achieve the goals.
Second, he exhibits the intellectual stimulation leadership style, as he has been described by David Rooke as a consummate people man. He describes him as a genuine kind of strategist who always goes deeper into thoughts and comes up with new ideas that not only demonstrate his intellectual capacity but also act as a stimulant to the employees. For example, he started the space tourism company that aims to be making space orbit trips and eventually go to the moon. This exceptional thought has been found to have triggered the employees desire to achieve more. In addition to that, he reads all the 50 emails sent to him every morning before the usual business duties and goes further to visit the employees using notebooks to collect their compliments, complains and grievance. This has been described in the leadership and motivational theory as an employee’s intellectual stimulant in any workplace and very effective in the success of the company.
Third, he demonstrates the participative leadership traits as per the leadership and trait theory by promoting employees within the company and integrating all the employees’ views from the emails read and collected through the notebooks from them and customer in decision making, thus the virgin Atlantic companies end up being effectively managed. He believes that entrepreneurs will always succeed by incorporating the ideas of the good employees around them. He admits that he is always prepared to acknowledge their pieces of advice though he is prepared to say no to any incorrect or ambiguous guide from the employees hence this full participation of all the stakeholders in the business has seen to retain the customers, employees, earn profits and above all the businesses succeed (Fertig, 2012).
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Fourth, it was found that idealized and management influence leadership styles as described in the motivational theories contributed to the success of the companies globally. He is capable of cultivating teamwork as part of the virgin’s culture and to influence the best managers and recruiting to run his diverse virgin group companies. In addition to that, the best people are promoted from within so that they do not migrate to other companies. He believes that employees are the most vital asset of the company followed by customers and then the shareholders, a case found to motivate the employees greatly for new ideas send through the emails.
Moreover, his charismatic innovative and initiative leadership styles saw the companies excel in risk management. He is able to come up with new ideas, new products, and new staff thoughts that have made the company excel in the business globally. He believes that entrepreneurs will always succeed by keeping good people around them, collecting their pieces of advice, evaluating, and later implementing them in the business. Last but not least, he is found a natural-born leadership style, which is shown in the leadership trait theory. He prefers to talk to customers, employees, and other management people. He will always be simple in chatting, understanding them and hence this charismatic behavior makes him exceptional negotiator. This leadership styles can be effectively applied in the United States (US) in current management systems by such companies like Coca Cola and PepsiCo and they will always retain their employees and customers forever (Richard Branson, n.d.).
2.0 Recommended Different Leadership Styles
There are other different recommended leadership styles that can make Branson an ever achieving effective leader in the future. Some of them include the cognitive leadership style where before engaging into a trade agreement with any company, he should always identify the threats and opportunities available to avoid losing billions of pounds just like in the case of Virgin Cola and the mp3 player project. On the airline system, he needs to apply the current management strategies such as “spoke and hub Management approach” of identifying the airports with the highest demographics before connecting them with direct flights to cut the costs in operations. Secondly, he must embrace the environmental management planning if he wants to go far in the business prosperity as the future generation forms a higher foundation in providing services and demand in virgin’s products. He should continue to develop the trial and error leadership approach where he sees any business idea from the employees and management consultant as an opportunity. He should develop the gut to believe in the ideas of the consultant since failure to do so will earn him loses. For example, the case of mega retails stores where he ignored the management board ideas resulting billion pounds losses (Branson, 2008).
3.0 Describe How Branson Would Develop and Lead a Global Team Working in Major Project (Space Tourism)
The space tourism emanates from the Virgin Galactic Company that was founded by Branson to provide space flights, space tourists and even information on orbits and the destination will be in the moon. The future of the space inventions depends on the human knowledge of science that Branson though a great strategist lacks. For this to succeed, he deserves to employ great astronauts and space scientist in order to provide advisory services on the investment opportunity as it sounds simple but highly risky. Moreover, the team in these areas needs to be highly determined, otherwise, they may be frustrated by the failure of the first fight scheduled to take place in New Mexico. The manager, Branson must be ready for any outcome in the launching and should do an adequate analysis of the costs and benefits to be made. All these things call for adequate information and knowledge over the matter both to him and the employees.
4.0 Incorporation of Branson’s Leadership Qualities in Our Roles at Work Place or School
Branson serves as an emblem to the current and aspiring managers who want to go far in managing employees, harnessing new opportunities, and driving the workforces to greater heights. As managers in the workplace, we need to embrace the thought that employees are the most vital assets followed by the customers and shareholders. We need also to understand the charismatic leadership trait where the aired employee’s views are taken, understood, and implemented beyond the doubt of benefits. Additionally, we must understand that the risky projects yield the highest returns as Branson’s success lies behind the number of managers who can invest in the moon. Frankly speaking, it is only very few like Branson who can do so. In school, the students must embrace courage and innovational capabilities demonstrated by Branson in investing at the age of 16 years and trekking for over 300 miles where he came to learn endurance and courage in leadership.
In conclusion, Richard Branson deserves respect and admiration, since he has all the transformational and charismatic kind of leadership traits and style that most of us dream of having. He has the highest degree of mind consideration and participatory capabilities not only in structure management but also in starting up a business. He seems to belong to the consultative and participative leaders who advocate for the alignment of people in the workplace harmoniously and later provide emotional encouragement and support necessary for good results. Finally, whoever reads his story gets inspired and wishes to meet with Richard Branson.