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Analysis Of The Richard Branson Leadership Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2572 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British industrialist best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson’s first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine Called Student. He then set up an audio record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Mega stores and rebranded after a management buyout as Zavvi in late 2007 that later went into Administration in 2008 and only exists now as an online store. Branson’s Virgin brand Grew rapidly during the 1980s-as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded The Virgin Records music label.

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Richard Branson is the 261st richest person in the world according to Forbes’ 2009 list of Billionaires, with an estimated net worth of approximately £2.6 billion (US$3.9billion).Branson was born at Stonefield Nursing Home in Blackheath, South London, and the son Of barrister Edward James Branson and Eve Branson. His Grandfather the Right HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Honourable”Honorable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of The High Court of Justice and a Privy HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privy_Councillor”Councilor. Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School (nowBishopsgate School)] until the age of thirteen. He then attended Stowe School until he was sixteen. Branson has dyslexia and had poor academic performance as A student, but later discovered his ability to connect with others Honours.In 1993, Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University.

He was knighted in 1998 for his “services to entrepreneurship”. In 2000, Branson

Received the Tony Janus Award for his accomplishments in commercial air transportation. Branson is the patron of several charities, including the International Rescue Corps and Prisoners Abroad, a registered charity which supports Britons who are detained outside of the UK.

Sir Richard appears at No. 85 on the 2002 list of “100 Greatest Britons” (sponsored by

The BBC and voted for by the public). Sir Richard also ranks No. 86 on Channel 4’s 2003

List of “100 Worst Britons”. Sir Richard was also ranked in 2007’s Time Magazine “Top

100 Most Influential People in the World”. In 2009, Branson was voted the UK’s

“Celebrity Dream Boss” in an opinion poll by Cancer Research UK.

On 7 December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented

Branson with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World

Award for his support for environmental and humanitarian causes

Main characteristics of Sir Richard Branson

Finding the right people

Drawing out the best things

Love learning

Inquisitive mind

Life is a one learning process

Ability to connect with the people

Innovative approach to the business

Some simple strategies

Take it easy, mix fun with work

Mingle like a common man, go ahead like a bullet

Richard Branson’s attributes


Listen to people, encourage communication and feedback, integrate personnel into other parts of organization

Core beliefs and values

Being a catalyst to success of others, constantly learning, helping people achieve things that they did not know what they were capable of

Values and beliefs

He says that he never listens to critics, he is a sponge for new ideas, inspire people to think

Like entrepreneurs, you and everyone around you will make mistakes

Branson’s skills

He is likeable. He knows when to disappear

Branson’s leadership styles

Participative leadership

Sir Richard Branson seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including Subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders

Autocratic decision by leader

Leader proposes decision, listens to feedback, then decides

Team proposes decision ,leader has final decision

Joint decision with team as equals

Full delegation of decision to his team

Branson’s leadership qualities

Art of delegation-“I have to be good at helping people run the individual business”

Branson says his philosophy of” look for the best and you will give the best” helped him built an empire recognized for its fun and culture.”If a flower is watered, it flourishes .if not, it shrivels up and dies .it’s much more fun looking for the best in the people”.

Employee should be given an opportunity to do well in a different virgin group job. Firing is seldom an option .Interaction between employees and managers is fundamental. Encourage stuff to write Him (the employee) with any ideas or suggestions .Either way they get the chance to be heard Branson has developed a level of trust with his top managers by setting the direction and then stepping back to let them navigate.”I come with the original idea, spend the first three months immersed in the business so I know the ins and outs and then give chief executive a stake in the Company and ask them to run it as if it’s their own” .Motivational strategies extend to innovative ideas-the key to encouraging innovation within the virgin ranks, suggest Branson, and are to listen to any all ideas and to offer feedback Inspire people to think like entrepreneurs and whatever you do treat them like adults. The Hardest taskmaster of all is a person’s own conscience, so the more responsibility you give people, the better they work for you

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He says that he never listens to critics. The first severe criticism against him Came when he launched his Virgin Atlantic airline in 1984, when one critic Wrote, “A brand can’t stand for music stores, airlines, mobile phones, colas, financial services, and on and on. No brand on earth can do that. That’s ego.” Branson didn’t listen, and he proved that critic wrong.

He is a sponge for new ideas. He keeps a notebook in his pocket and jots down

Every promising idea he hears. “Good ideas come from people everywhere,” he

Says, “Not in the boardroom.” His overall leadership principle rests on the need to treat other people with respect but the Nuts and bolts of it are much harder to pin down. Branson stresses the importance of time Management skills, saying he spends roughly one third of his time on trouble shooting one third on new projects – both business related and charitable – and one third on Promoting and marketing his businesses. In between, he also makes time for his family and vacations Part of being a good leader, according to Branson, are also the ability to know when to back away from a task. “As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation,” he says. “I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses and I have to be willing to step back. The Company must be set up so it can continue without me.” 

But, for Branson, the most important factor of good leadership is relating to other people “If you’re good with people…and you really care, genuinely care about people then I’m sure we could find a job for you at Virgin,” he says. “The companies that look after their People are the companies that do really well. I’m sure we’d like a few other attributes that would be the most important one.” 

Leadership: Branson once joked, “I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the Dictator.” Despite this, Branson’s success has come about in large part due to his leadership skills and the respect, care and autonomy he gives to his employees. He understood that without a solid team behind him, he would not be able to make his Dreams come true.

Resilience: After a failed around-the-world balloon trip, Branson said of his experience,

“It has been like hitting up against a solid brick wall. All day and all night long, we battled to get through it.” This battle is a familiar one to Branson, who has seen his share of failed business ventures. But, in typical Branson fashion, he rebounds from his failures with the same youthful energy he had the very first day he created Virgin Records. His Passion to create cannot be quelled by any obstacle no matter how large Ambition: “We’d love to be involved with the creation of something very special, something quite large and something quite exciting,” says Branson. Never one to dream Small, Branson always tried to be the best of the best. Whether it was breaking world Speed records or providing impeccable airline service, Branson wanted his name to be at the top of whatever list he was dealing with. By dreaming big, Branson would leave his mark not only in the business world but also on the world as a whole.

Authentic leadership

Richard Branson’s leadership is often compared to authentic leadership. He is responsive to people’s needs and values. He is transparent, morally grounded and eager to receive Comments from others. He involves others in his work and often consults others. He Builds relationships

Team leadership

Richard Branson focuses on his team. He involves everyone .He maintained effective Teams. He gives importance to his team and its members.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership is a process that changes and transforms people. It involves a greater influence that helps followers to bring about more than what is actually expected of them. It is a process that often incorporates charismatic and visionary leadership. Burns says that transformational leadership is the process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower. Sir Richard Branson sets a clear example of transformational leadership. He is often considered as a transformational leader. He inspires his followers to accomplish great things. He understands and adapts to the needs and motives of followers. He is recognized as a change agent and a perfect role model for his followers. He created and articulated a clear vision for his organization. He empowered followers to meet high standards

Leader member exchange theory related with Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson gave importance to his members. He never ignored his team Members. He was open to receive comments and involved everyone in his team

Contingency theory

This approach is concerned with styles and situations. It provides the framework for effectively matching the leader and the situation. In this theory leadership styles are

Described as task motivated and relationship motivated. The people who are task Motivated are more concerned about reaching their goals and the people who are Relationship motivated are more towards building interpersonal relationships with their Employees. Sir Richard Branson was relationship oriented and he was focused on building Relationships.

Behavior Approach

Leadership skills are based on leadership behavior. Skills alone do not make leaders style and behavior. If you are interested in leadership training and development start with Leadership behavior. Now let us see some behaviors which I think, Branson had possessed in his lifetime which made him the most influential business leader

Integrity: This is one of the most important requirements which every leader should possess. Richard Branson running his 300+plus virgin brands in his kitty always possessed integrity with his fellow staffs and workers. He Is always truthful to his followers and did not hide anything from them.

Leading by example: sir Richard Branson is a type of person, who leads people by his own examples, he in his life time remains restless and made his employees restless by making them work all the time and teaching them to adapt changes continuously. He is a tremendous motivator, he’s excited and he gets you excited and you are always moving forward.

Fairness: One of Sir Richard Branson’s hallmarks is to treat everyone equal. He is also keen in rewarding people who is meritorious and performs well in their jobs.

Planning & Prioritizing: Branson is more anxious about planning the work to be done in future and prioritizing the work based on the nature. He spends a vast amount of his time in planning.

Positive Attitude: Branson always had a positive attitude towards his job and showed a Positive attitude while dealing with his subordinates. He always used to set short term Goals for his subordinates and ask them to achieve the goals within the time, but the Subordinates complained to Branson about insufficiency of time to complete the goals. Branson with his positive attitude motivated his subordinates and helped them in achieving their short term goals successfully

Trait Approach

Traits are some things which clearly differentiate leaders from followers. It was believed that leaders are born with some special traits which others don’t have. Some of those traits are height, intelligence, extraversion, fluency, sociability, and other traits.


Richard Branson was intelligent. Having started his business and his entrepreneurial venture he succeeded in all his endeavors. He is now leading 300+brands under the name virgin.

Self confidence

He was confident in his mindset. He never let his mind down. In his career he had failures. He had lot of criticisms. But he fought back .He was resilient


He had a strong determination. From a tender 19 year old guy, to start up his entrepreneurial venture, he made everyone surprised by his courage and determination.


He had the quality of honesty and trustworthiness. He inspired confidence in others. He is loyal, dependable and not deceptive


Sir Richard Branson seeks out pleasant social relationships. He is friendly, outgoing, tactful and diplomatic he is sensitive to others needs and shown concern for others well being. He has good interpersonal skills. He created cooperative relationships with his followers.


Sir Richard Branson learned, from an early age, not to let adversity stand in the way of accomplishing a goal.   As a pioneering thinker, he has transformed many entrenched industry practices by turning the traditional business model on its end.   A unique approach to business is his hallmark and he is a person that is not afraid to challenge convention and encourages creativity.   Lack of success in a venture is not a deterrent, rather a motivator as this produces opportunity.   His personality and style of management combined with an effective leadership approach are the takeaway lesson for any common man


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