Sir Richard Branson Chairman Virgin Group Ltd Case Study Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

owner of Virgin Company, Richard Branson. The paper puts special emphasis on the leadership style of Branson. It talks about his ease of interaction with the employees and his impulsiveness that he had. There is also comparison between transactional and transformational forms of leadership.

Sir Richard Branson has been given many titles for his extra ordinary working abilities and plans. Branson has been termed as a transformational leader and this title is appreciated and criticized by a lot of people. Where Branson is known to make impulsive decisions, his interaction with his employees is quite remarkable as well. His leadership characteristics have caused the Virgin Company many losses but may benefits as well. Till this day, the company has a total of 50,000 employees. Along with having such a big employee count, the company goes on to make a lot of sales as well. Having sales of about 20 billion dollars is not something any leader can easily attain. This leadership style of Branson has led to enhanced growth in the company and an ease of interaction in all levels of hierarchy.

Richard Branson as a leader is open about everything. In other words, he is the sort of leader who does not out rightly say no to an idea just because it seems absurd and isn't doable. The skills and strategies that he exhibits in his leadership are not hard to follow and they are all out there. Many leaders, who are successfully running companies and organizations, would be reluctant in being open about their flaws and the mistakes they made, Branson however is different. Some faulty decisions made my Branson include holding the retail outlets and attempting to launch an Mp3 player. Another major mistake that Branson made was to launch the Virgin Cola. Branson attempted to take over the Coca Cola Company with the Virgin Cola. It was then that the Coca-Cola Company sent a SWAT team to the United Kingdom to destroy Virgin Cola.

As mentioned earlier, importance to employees has always remained an integral component of his leadership style. A lot of the executives or the employers of a company tend to focus more on the share holders, customers and the employees. In this aspect and the order of specifications, Branson is the complete opposite. He prefers to think that if a company works and ensures the satisfaction of the employees, they would work to make the customers happy. If the customers are happy and the company is doing good then the stake holders would want to invest as well. Seeing how competitiveness has prevailed in all aspects of life these days, it is crucial for the companies to think strategically and plan better than the other companies.

Where competitive is at its peak, it is relevant to find a good and cooperative system between the leaders and the employees. A match between a leadership style and employee behavior is quite integral to the progress of the organization. The configuration theory is one study that has been applied to evaluate the effects of dominance and leadership on the work performance of the company. A good emphasis is laid on the tactics and strategies put in the business. A leader's major responsibility therefore is to make sure that his employees function towards a certain goal. Surely, every company or organization has their strategic goals and objectives laid down. The leader has to work with the employees there to ensure success in the long run.

Leaders like Branson ensure this done through their social interactions with the employees. For instance, transformational leaders would work to motivate and encourage the employees. In inspiring the employees, Branson's hopes to have his interests accepted and worked one as well. The main goal in this sort of leadership is to motivate the employees in such a way that in the long run the employees feel settles and comfortable in the working environment. Surely if an employee is comfortable in his environment, he will want to work better and more effectively as well. This leadership is therefore flexible. The flexibility is present in this form of leadership because the leader relies on his employees. Not only does he rely on the employees, but also trust them to work effectively and in a loyal manner.

On the other hand, the transactional leadership functions more with the performance output and the rewards the employees would get. Simple enough, this means that the more the workers work hard, their reward would be better. (Tangpinyoputtikhun & Tiparos, 2011) Coming back to the relationship that Branson and his employees have, it is stated that it is very informal in some manners. Informality here is good because it ensures a comfortable environment within the organization. Branson makes sure that all the employees he has hired, all their queries get answered somehow. He personally checks his emails and responds to them and thus resolves any problems or questions the employees may have.

The leadership style that Branson shows is quite effective in America today. He works to make sure that the entire organization is a like a family. His major objectives are that within an organization, every person should be concerned about each other. Today, most of the organizations are going onto become money making machines. The organizations pay little attention to what the employees are doing or what their needs are. The leaders are only concerned for the losses and the profits of the company.

Branson has stated that his only because a company is augmenting in size, it doesn't mean that it starts to ignore the people in the company and any necessities they might have. Branson feels as if all his employees are his responsibility. If the form of leadership that Branson exhibits is taken up by the CEOs today, there wouldn't be a need for any labor unions. Also, the employees would be content with their work and feel happier about their situation. If this situation is analyzed more deeply, then content employees would to less to reduced corruption within the office and decreased office politics as well.

In the world today, America and many other countries would do much better with transformational leaders as oppose to transactional leaders. Profit is something that every employee would be looking out for. He or she will attain rewards regardless of the work environment around an employee. Employees should be motivated and encouraged in a friendly manner such that they are not only concerned about the reward but also concerned about the quality of work they do. In the transactional leader scenario, an employee tends to focus on just the rewards alone. If leaders are more like Branson, where each employee feels important and cared after, he or she will work to increase the efficacy the organization for sure.

Listening toe employees is yet another characteristic that Branson has. The leadership style that Branson carries is neither autocorrect nor democratic. As mentioned earlier, Branson tends to listen to the problems that employees has and even takes a step forward to solve their problems. Nonetheless, there were times when the company faced a lot of problems due to him. In an organization, the decisions are made in a democratic manner when all the employees and every level take part in the decision making. The decision is mad keeping the best interests and the benefits of the organization in mind. Even though he tends to listen, Branson only sticks to listening to the problems of his employees rather than their advice in decision making.

If Branson sticks to his polices of helping employees it, he should also focus on listening to the advice that his employees have to offer. If he listens to what they have to say, the company might go on benefit in the long run. Research shows that the leadership style Branson shows is a very efficient one. Not only is it efficient, it builds up the productivity of the organization as well. The leadership style allows people to consider themselves an important part of the organization which eventually goes on to build up the morale of the company. (Martindale, 2011) Another relevant factor of this kind of leading style is that all the people have to be open and willing to share their ideas. The persons that are being led with this sort of leader are that their communication and organization skills should be top class. The communication of these persons should be strategic, smooth and should be well thought off as well. (Martindale, 2011)The decisions that are made in a hurry or are rather impulsive will only go on to harm the company in the long run.

Space program

Along with being the owner of a corporation, Richard Branson also organized and initiated the Virgin Galactic space tourism space program. This program is already creating a lot of hype and has people lining up for the program. With owing a million dollars, Branson wanted to do something more with his money. The major…

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