Leadership of Richard Branson

Leadership of Richard Branson

Since the creation of businesses, organizations and businesses have invested much of their time and resources in search and identification of clues to help establish and select successful leaders. Besides, in the contemporary business environment, leadership has been identified as one of the essential and vital aspects of a business since it provides a sense of direction by laying down the foundations for all business operations. Studies have identified leadership as the ability and aptitude of the management of an organization or a company to set and attain challenging objectives, make quick and delicate operation decision, outperform rival firms and organizations as well as inspiring and motivating others (Burnes & By, 2011).  Notably, people with strong leadership knowledge and skills in the modern business environment often rise to top management positions. However, it is worth noting that there are different types of leadership styles that are substantially influenced by the kind of organization as well as the operations of a company. Besides, no single appropriate leadership style can fit all organizations at all time. Therefore, the management of an organization needs to analyze the current market, the performance of the business as well as the current trends before adopting a particular leadership style (Burnes & By, 2011). This study will attempt to identify and evaluate some of the leadership styles of Richard Branson that have enabled him to succeed at Virgin.

Question 1:

Richard Branson  leadership styles

Some of the notable elements of Sir Richard Branson leadership that have significantly contributed to the success of the organization can be applied in other organizations to cultivate an environment and an atmosphere that can lead to the success of these organizations. According to studies, Branson is not only an authority on entrepreneurialism, but he is also a good leader who knows how to handle his employees to ensure they remain objective to the goals and objectives of the company (Singh, Nadim, & Ezzedeen, 2012). Most studies have indicated that this great leader uses transformational leadership style to run operations and govern all the activities of the company and the employees.  Unlike other forms of leadership approaches, transformational leadership uses inspiration and motivation of employees to get things done. Therefore, these leaders often put into considerations the opinions and feelings of the lower level employees before formulating company policies, and this creates a sense of belonging and importance among all the employees of a company.  Therefore, it is safe to state that besides, being at the pinnacle of the leadership at the virgin company, Sir Richard Branson focuses on interacting with the ordinary employees to understand what they feel and think of the company and their views on how to improve the operations and success of the organization (Singh, Nadim, & Ezzedeen, 2012). Some of the essential elements of his leadership include:

  1. The ability to think differently – according to him, there exists no secret formula to become a great leader since all the great leaders do their thing different in their manner based on their knowledge and instincts.  Therefore, the ability to think differently helps to set great leaders apart and helps to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization irrespective of the style of leadership used. For example, while Sir Richard uses collaborative and democratic leadership, Steve Jobs used autocratic leadership, and both leaders have experienced high levels of success in their respective organizations.
  2. A positive culture – according to Sir Richard, the ability of a leader to create a positive organizational culture is another element that contributes to the success of a leader. Notably, having academic qualification is not enough to make a great leader considering that great leaders should have the ability to inspire and positively motivate their employees and followers. This inspiration helps to create a positive culture that is focused on the success of an organization by producing high-quality products and services that further the goals and objectives of an organization (Walumbwa, Morrison, & Christensen, 2012). Therefore, the personality of a leader counts a lot in making a good leader.

Related: Management at Google

Question 2

Suggest how the unique aspects of Richard Branson’s leadership style mesh successfully with the particular attributes of a multifaceted organization like Virgin.

The democratic and collaborative leadership used by Sir Richard is the key to success of the company irrespective of the fact that it has many facets. Transformational leadership style coupled with democracy helps him to establish an open environment where all the supervisors and managers of the different facets can interact and share while at the same time assisting one another to make the necessary strategies for the achievement of the overall objective of the company (Mitravich, 2015). Through the positive culture created by the company, Sir Richard is in a position to trust new entrants and demonstrate this trust by giving them enormous responsibilities. According to research, Branson can achieve this objective by sharing the goals and objectives of the company with all the company employees irrespective of their responsibility and duty in the organization as well as accepting their suggestions and views.  Notably, the employees of the company tend to remain focused on the success of the company when they know that the manager values their opinions and always has their backs.  Besides, the hiring of qualified individuals has significantly contributed to the success of the company irrespective of its facets. Eligible employees have a higher likelihood of focusing on the objectives of the company as opposed to unqualified employees (Mitravich, 2015).

Question 3

Determine two (2) key ways in which Richard Branson is likely to motivate employees to achieve his goals for the Virginia Group. Indicate whether or not his approach is expected to work in a different organizational setting. Provide support for your rationale.

Motivating employees is one of the essential responsibility of any leader considering that motivated employees tend to have higher output and perform better than unmotivated employees.  Employee motivation can be described as the degree of energy, commitment, and creativity that employees of a company bring to their jobs. One of the best ways that Sir Richard can motivate his employees is by regularly communicating the objectives, mission, and vision of the company. Employees need to be continually reminded of the reasons why the organization is doing what it is doing (Mitravich, 2015,). Besides, involving them in the creation of the vision and mission statement of the company helps to motivate them since they deeply understand what is expected of them.

Another way to ensure that the employees are wholly motivated by designing and developing appropriate compensation packages.  Irrespective of the fact that monetary compensation is not the only way of motivating employees, better compensation substantially inspires employees to give their best to the company. Therefore, Sir Richard should censure that employees are compensated by the work performed to ensure that they remain objective and work harder. Performance-based compensation encourages employees to perform better so that they can take home a hefty bonus (Singh, Nadim, & Ezzedeen, 2012).

Question 4

Assess the effectiveness of Richard Branson’s ability to articulate and communicate his vision for his company to employees and other stakeholders. Provide support for your rationale.

Effective communication remains one of the essential characteristics of a successful organization for the employees, and the employer can freely share information back and forth. Therefore, it is safe to state that by regularly communicating the organization’s vision statement to both employees and the stakeholders, Sir Richard is in a position to point out any changes that need to be implemented in the operations to ensure that the company remains in the right direction. Besides,  sharing of the vision of the company helps to inform all the stakeholders their duty and responsibility of ensuring that the goals and objectives of the organization (Walumbwa, Morrison, & Christensen, 2012). Effective communication and sharing of the vision of the company provide a sense of direction which is vital for the company.

Question 5

Assume that you have received a job offer to be a manager within the Virgin Group. Determine the criteria you would use to evaluate whether Richard Branson’s leadership style is a good fit for you as a manager and what conclusion you may draw about working with this type of leader.

To evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Sir Richard’s leadership, I need to establish whether his leadership style creates a shared vision for the entire organization and its stakeholders. A good leadership style should be in a position to create an everyday leadership style and rally all the employees behind the vision to attain the objectives and goals of the organization.  Notably, a good leadership style should help to establish a leadership style that builds a working culture to promote the execution of organizational processes and procedures. Another metric to use to measure the appropriateness of the leadership in the company is evaluating the determining the working climate in the company (Walumbwa, Morrison, & Christensen, 2012). A good leadership style should create a friendly environment where employees are free to interact and give all to the company.

Question 6

Take a position on whether or not you believe Richard Branson is a global leader. Justify your situation and provide support for your justification.

Based on the elements and attributes of his leadership style, it is safe to state that Richard Branson is a global leader who is admired and respected not only by his employees and colleagues but also by other global leaders. Apart from leading his organization to success, he substantially participates in finding comprehensive solutions to global problems such as global warming. For example, as the leader of the Virgin group, he has developed environmental policies that must be followed by all the employees to ensure that they conserve the environment and their activities do not degrade the environment. Such attributes make him a global leader (Mitravich, 2015).

Question 7

Predict Richard Branson’s success as a leader over the next five (5) years. Support your prediction.

Sir Richard is likely to continue his trend of success in the next five years since his management views are objectives are in line with the emerging issues in the contemporary business environment that substantially affect the global business environment.  For instance, as the leader of his company, he pays close attention to the current climate changes and significantly contributes to the formulation of these changes to ensure the furtherance of human life (Mitravich, 2015).  Besides, his integration with other global leaders provides an opportunity for him to learn new means of conducting business each day.


Burnes, B., & By, R. T. (2011). Leadership and Change: The Case for Greater Ethical Clarity. Journal of Business Ethics, 108(2), 239-252. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-1088-2

Mitravich, C. (2015). The Virgin Way: Everything I Know about Leadership. The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 20(1), 111-112. doi:10.9774/gleaf.3709.2015.ja.000010

Singh, P., Nadim, A., & Ezzedeen, S. R. (2012). Leadership styles and gender: An extension. Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(4), 6-19. doi:10.1002/jls.20239

Walumbwa, F. O., Morrison, E. W., & Christensen, A. L. (2012). Ethical leadership and group in-role performance: The mediating roles of group conscientiousness and group voice. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), 953-964. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.06.004


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