Leadership styles are pegged to the ability of the leaders in providing implementation plans, direction and motivating people to achieve the desired goals (Maxwell, 2007). Leadership styles are present different situations may it be in business, politics and other fields (Collins, 2001). Some of the common leadership styles identify with Authoritarian, Transactional, Paternalistic leadership, Democratic, Transformational, Leissez-faire and Inspirational leadership. This paper focuses on Richard Branson as the admired leader.
Richard Charles Branson is a business magnate born in the United Kingdom. The investor is the chairman and founder of the Virgin Group, an organization that houses more than four hundred companies (Branson, 2011). Branson has featured among the richest billionaires in the world.
Admiration of Branson dates back to his early life to the current situation, surveys indicated that Branson suffered from dyslexia, which is a condition linked to impaired ability to read and learn. Despite the condition, Branson managed to connect with people and build an empire of fortunes (Branson, 2011). It can be argued that the leadership style within Branson propelled him to the success. Branson is not educated as many people would think, but the running of his investments is done in ways that considerable number of scholars could not attain.
It can be argued that Branson portrays Democratic type of leadership, although some situations call for a mixture of leadership styles (Collins, 2001). Democratic leadership style is also referred to as the participative leadership, that encourages teamwork and team spirit (Maxwell, 2007). Branson believes that participation of the employees in the running of his organizations results to high productivity, high efficiency and diversified models of dealing with issues (Branson, 2011).
A number of theories align to the leadership of Branson; some of the theories are Contingency theory, Situational theory, Participative theory, Management theory and Relationship theories. Branson believes in leadership qualities identifying with honesty, delegation, open communication, sense of humor, confidence, commitment, positive attitude, creativity, intuition and inspiration as the driving forces behind the success of the Virgin Group (Branson, 2011).
Branson argued that leaders make quick and tough decisions, in a way that employees are not subjected to a culture of fear. He continued to assert that irrespective of the leadership, issues boil down and focus on the human capital; an indication that believing in oneself is one of the most important aspects of leadership (Branson, 2011). Believing in oneself is not enough, but also believing in the staff and on the ideas as they gear towards the main goal of the organization, mainly shaped by the mission and the vision (Maxwell, 2007).
A great leader is characterized with great people who are being led, people cannot be successful on their own, and people need one another. There are times that call for decisive and strong leadership in making sure that things are done in the right perspective (Branson, 2011). A culture of attention to details is emphasized by Branson, which is part of addressing little issues in the organization and dealing with challenges as they come. Solving tiny issues saves dealing with mountains of challenges in the future (Maxwell, 2007).
I’m more of attached to Trait Theory that shows that leaders have a certain distinguishing feature that make them what they are, in their personal nature. I’m more of an authoritarian or autocratic leader who keeps close and strict control on the followers by placing procedures and policies. I have learnt from Branson, my mentor on embracing other people’s input in the running of organizations, to enhance effectiveness. It is the high time to learn democratic leadership (Collins, 2001), as it’s practiced by Richard Branson.
Branson, R. (2011). Screw Business As Usual. City of Westminster, London, England: Portfolio Hardcover.
Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. New York: HarperBusiness.
Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow , 2-23.