Sir Richard Branson’s leadership
Traits and Personality
Richard Branson’s source of power
Leadership is the will to do the right things and is initiated by self. It involves getting another person to complete a task because the person wants to do that task. This influence is a special quality among leaders which drives others to achieve a common goal. Leaders possess a combination of factors which make them different from the rest of the common people. These differences may be physical, demographic, behavioral or even psychological. It is different from management which requires that people should do the right things. In the past, it was believed that the leadership qualities were inborn and therefore leaders were born and not made. Today, this is different and leaders can also be made. This is influenced by the environment in which a person is born and raised or exposed to during their life (Northouse, p. 5). Sir Richard Branson is an example of a leader who has influenced other people to come up with 360 companies with more than 55,000 staff (Yaroshenko, p. 4). This article will review Sir Branson’s traits as a leader, his personality and his source of power that has enabled him to become a famous entrepreneur. Through this analysis, the influence of good leadership on business success and growth will be illustrated.
Sir Richard Branson’s leadership
Branson was born on the Eighteenth day of July in 1950 in England. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 and moved to London where he launched a student magazine. This magazine did well and achieved a lo0t of success. Three years later at the age of 19, Branson Established the Virgin mail order record company which recorded its own labels called Virgin Records. This gave him a name on May 25, 1973 when he released Mike Oldfield’s records to become the best seller in the whole of England. This was a great success that was followed by other business ventures. This leader has shown innovation and has ventured into the airline industry, Finance, leisure, environment as well as the media and telecommunications (Yaroshenko, P. 7-10).
Branson is a leader who knows the right time when he should let others take over. This is evident in the way he interacts with the employees and managers. He encourages every member of his staff to present to him their ideas and suggestions. Every one gets a chance to be heard and this is a good trait which encourages others to gain confidence to grow in business. Branson does not have any strategy in which he runs the business. To him, every day starts with a “to do list” and this is integrated with an interactive learning process. He inspires those around him to think and act like entrepreneurs. He believes that in business, mistakes are inevitable; he encourages people to learn from their mistakes and not capitalize on blames (Yaroshenko, P. 28).
Traits and Personality
Branson has a personality that naturally makes him a leader; he identifies the right person for the right job. As a leader he can match a person’s skills and abilities to fit them into the right task. This is a characteristic which is very influential when it comes to making people complete tasks while enjoying what they do. It gives him the power to influence others. Once he identifies the competence that each individual has, he inspires the person to even give better perform better than they anticipated. To him, the word “can’t” does not exist, an individual’s elasticity in performance is indefinite, and there are no limits in what a person can achieve. This trait has inspired the people under his leadership work excellently to achieve a lot of success. Another trait is his love for learning, he believes that through interaction, he can learn fro those around him. To Robert, any idea brought forth is worth considering; it poses a potential starting point in doing more business. To him, an idea must possess five qualities for it to be acceptable. It should be of the best quality, innovative, of good value in terms of money and should posses a sense of fun. This gives it the thrill which makes work enjoyable. He also has an inquisitive mind and is able to extract ideas and information fro those that he interacts with. He views life as a learning process presenting business opportunities every day (Dearlove, P. 77).
He has the ability to connect with people and loves challenges. For instance he has been involved in a series of daredevil escapades in his attempts to break record as the world’s fastest person to cross the Atlantic. He is a genius in public relations; he knows what the media wants and delivers just that. He also has a likable personality that draws other people to listen and interact with him. This is attributed to his ability to create stories that communicate a lot visually. He avoids the serious nature in which most businessmen face the world with. He has worn all the costumes that has ever existed (Dearlove, P. 83-87).
Branson exhibits several leadership styles which when integrated together produce great success among those working with him. First, he is a transformation leader who believes that others should not j8ust follow him blindly but gets them to give their best by creating a challenging environment. To him it is not a matter of leading the sheep, but herding the cats. Another form of leadership is the hands-off style in which managers are given the opportunity to run business in their own style. This is a source of motivation and saves time by avoiding the corporate of doing business. The meetings and reports are regarded as unnecessary and pointless. He takes the back seat and lets others work as he enthuses them to go to bigger heights in their performance. He is also result oriented and loves adventure which is a good aspect in entrepreneurship (Dearlove, P. 98).
Socio-emotional leadership is also exhibited in the way Branson interacts with the employees. He pays attention to the cohesion and friendliness that staff portray while working together. He believes that employees should have fun while doing their work. This is the reason why the fun and cheeky aspect should be present in every business idea presented forth. He wants the people working with him to be happy because such an environment means that results will be tremendous. With this form of leadership, the group likes their leader, the environment is friendly and task oriented. This promotes team work and people are able to share ideas that promote business (Crisp and Rhiannon, P. 142).
Richard Branson’s source of power
Branson is very talented in terms of drama and charisma. While other firms spend big sums of money in advertising, he has self serving campaigns on publicity. He is able to appeal to the media through drama and this makes the brand for his companies. When people look at him, they see the wide range of products and services offered by his companies. This has greatly contributed to the success of his companies while experiencing low costs (Dearlove, P. 83). Another source of power for Branson is from the way he was brought up. His mother read a book on positive psychology and noted every achievement and good quality that he possessed. He was showered with praises and blames never existed in their family. His father drummed into him that the word “Can’t” was inexistent. This gave him a good approach to life and he believed that he can venture into business and succeed. This is evident in the way he dropped out of school and started doing business at a young age (Wilson, P. 3).
The traditional view that leadership inborn has been proved wrong, people can learn and grow to become successful leaders. Leadership is all about influencing others to achieve what they aspire to do in life. According to Branson, there is no limit in what a person can achieve, there is always an opportunity for a person to improve. This is what leaders should capitalize on so as to achieve continuous success in their business endeavors. When people are motivated from within to work towards a common goal, then this is a form of leadership which encourages growth and innovation. Innovation is what translates into great business ideas and opportunities as shown by Branson’s leadership styles.
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