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Sir Richard Branson's Leadership Style


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Sir Richard Branson an Innovative, creative and inspiring leader

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Sir Richard Branson's Leadership Style

  2. 2.  Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson  Born 18 July 1950, in England  Virgin Group 400 companies  Companies Revenue $ 25 billion  55 000 employees
  4. 4. Sir Richard Branson had Dyslexia made school struggle Richard didn't breeze through school. He left school at age of 15.
  7. 7. SIR RICHARD BRANSON His insatiable desire to take on Coca Cola and British Airways-the industry giants Careful plan for aggressive competition:: make a lot of noise to irritate those gorillas, so that they tried to swat back. Then he waited for their mistakes
  8. 8. SIR RICHARD BRANSON Tried out every mean to promote his company  Drive a tank down 5th Avenue in N.Y city to introduce Virgin Cola to the States  Fly a hot air balloon across Atlantic to promote his Virgin Airlines  Wear a wedding gown to promote his new bride chains  AND MANY MORE!
  9. 9. SIR RICHARD BRANSON People - Oriented ‘PEOPLE’: includes Employees and Customers likes to refer to the Virgin staffs as a large extended family  gives every new employee his telephone number & encourages them to call him if they come up with any bright ideas or complaints For customers, he tries to keep them paying the lowest price for their products as long as he can cover the cost and earn ‘some’ profit Believes in keeping faith with the staffs no matter in good times or bad  He shared the settlement from British Airways equally with his staffs
  10. 10. SIR RICHARD BRANSON • Failed to wrestle the UK’s lottery franchise from Camelot • But was dignified in defeat • Looked into the positive side • Immediate action: • call the CEO of Camelot • asked her not to feel sorry for him.. because he still had a beautiful life! • Within days, he announced his own non-profit game.
  11. 11. Personal Characteristics of Leaders Personal Characteristics • Energy • Physical stamina Intelligence and Ability • Intelligence, cognitive ability • Knowledge • Judgment, decisiveness Personality • Optimism • Self-confidence • Honesty and integrity • Enthusiasm • Charisma • Desire to lead • Independence Social Characteristics • Sociability, interpersonal skills • Cooperativeness • Ability to enlist cooperation • Tact, diplomacy Work-Related Characteristics • Drive, desire to excel • Responsibility in pursuit of goals • Persistence against obstacles, tenacity Social background • Education • Mobility
  12. 12. Transformational Leadership • “Master Motivator” • Pushing employees into their limits • Turning the self-interests of employees to the sake of “Virgin” • He believes: Enthusiasm is infectious! • He is good at: • Attempting the impossible • To excite, arouse and inspire followers • Giving trust and encouraging followers Example: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE • He asked John, the marketing manager of Virgin, to place an ad in the London Evening Standard. Tomorrow will be the deadline! • ** He gave confident to John and said, “Do your best all the same as normal.” • Result: John paid superhuman effort and spent entire day, did make the last edition of the standard.
  13. 13. Empowerment Leadership Style Definition: Intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy of people are influenced by leadership behavior, job characteristics, etc .  Transferring authority to subordinates  “Virgin” Trademark, Situation: More than 400 companies  Not feasible, hard to be boss of all of them  Solution: Empowerment  Branson  Backseat Leader  “ I know when to get out the way and let people get on with it.”  = Want, X= don’t want X  people follow him blindly X  hired hands   individual entrepreneurs
  14. 14. Charismatic Leadership Charismatic leader  A form of INFLUENCE  Based on followers’ PERCEPTION  Leader has exceptional QUALITIES  Example: VIRGIN ATLANTIC  Founded in 1984  Branson’s vision  Dangers behind?  Extremely capital-intensive  Likely Airline’s failure  Aviation industry: political  Branson: To be? Or not to be? That is the QUESTION!  Branson: Go on!  Think about:  Risk: huge loss (Virgin)  Personal failure: money, status!
  15. 15. Charismatic Leadership What did Branson demonstrate?  His……  Courage - Vision  Self-Confidence - Commitment  Embrace to Changes  Self confidence  Think Rationally  Embrace changes Dreaming Impossible Dreams ; Challenge Act in unconventional ways  Branson’s decision making process:  Rational  Logical  Realistic Assessment  Minimize risk  Balance between DREAM and REALITY
  16. 16. Inspirational Leadership • Manage employees with “Tough Empathy” • Empathize people • Care about employees’ work • An ADVANTAGE of Virgin: EMPLOYEES • SUCCESS of Virgin: EMPLOYEES + MOTIVATION  Branson’s concern: Employees’cohesion + satisfaction • Promote from within • Assign Virgin’s bright people to new companies • Stretching, Developing employees • Provide opportunities!
  17. 17. Inspirational Leadership • Party Hard! • Throw a party… • When morale is low…………..↓↓ • Letter (sealed with a kiss…?) • Every month, Branson wrote personally • Content: • Heart-warming messages~~~ • Virgin’s plan~ • Branson Cares : • Employees’ work • Their Feeling, Satisfaction Branson: an inspirational leader Branson: an effective leader
  18. 18. He is a true LEADER 1) Employee Empowerment 2) Patiently listens to Employees’ ideas 3) Not a conventional business person 4) Energizes people towards higher performance 5) Collaborating, Competing, Compromising, Avoiding, Accommodating