Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group, Ltd. Branson exhibits traits of what could be a transformative leader. This is because he uses an approach that focuses on enhancing the morale and motivation of his workers. A transformative leader usually assumes that his workers are his greatest assets in that they are part of the primary factors of production. Satisfied workers usually deliver high quality services to the customer leading to a chain of events of subsequent customer satisfaction in terms of purchases of goods and services, which are sufficient for the satisfaction of the needs and wants.
Richard Branson could be termed as a brand because his image is usually identified by consumers as part of the organisation. He plays a significant role in terms of management and ensuring the high performance of the organisation in the market. His individual image and personality and the organizational image are inseparable in that he aims at promoting his company to the world through his interpersonal skills and management approaches to enhance the competitiveness of his chain of organizations (Kippenberger, 2002).
Branson has managed to influence and cultivate interest in his workers in terms of increased performance through issue of motivation and morale. As the owner and manager of his organisation, he takes great interest in the organizational operations and thus is at times involved in direct interactions with workers even in the lowest level of organizational hierarchy. This is vital in that as leader he is able to show the workers concern and understand their challenges.
Identification challenges in the workplace on part of the workers by a leader or senior management is vital in that he is able to ensure that such challenges are addressed. This has the potency to result in increased productivity by the employees and thus subsequent increase in revenues and customer satisfaction (Dearlove, 2007).
Interactions with the employees across all the levels of the hierarchy is vital in that it has enabled Branson to identify talented individuals who are qualified to assume high roles in hierarchy in the organisation. This also avails him with ideas, which aim at increasing efficiency and productivity in the organisation and thus resulting in costs reductions and increased productivity and competitiveness of his organisation. These traits illustrate that a leader has the skills, which ensure that he is able to identify opportunities, and qualified individuals for enabling the organisation attain its strategic goals and objectives (Dearlove, 2007).
Leaders like Branson ensure that their interactions with the employees are aimed at encouraging openness and increasing familiarity. This is a vital approach in that it aims at encouraging sharing of information and ideas, which could be used by the organisation in assuming a position in the market, increasing competitiveness and organizational image in the mainstream media (Raja, & Dr. Palanichamy. 2011).
Individualized consideration is a main trait exhibited by transformative leaders such a sir Richard Branson. They usually give empathy and support to their followers and allow for open communication with the followers and employees. This allows for communication from lowest levels of hierarchy to the top management such as in Branson’s case to ensure that he is up to date with the operations in the organisation. Such allows for transparency in the organisation, as the highest level of authority is conversant with issues in lower levels of the organisation as well as in the operations of the organisation. This allows the manager to ensure that he is conversant with issues, which might be extremely vital to the operations of the organisation (Dearlove, 2007).
The success of Richard Branson and his chain of organizations is attributable to a high level of risk taking. Intellectual stimulation is one of the main traits exhibited by Branson in that leaders with such traits are able to challenge existent assumptions, take high risks as well as soliciting for ideas from the followers or employees. Branson assumes a unique style of leadership in that he makes decisions with the bets interest of the organisation and its employees. Creativity and innovation in Virgin Group has been one of the main drivers of the growth of the organizational chains given the increased competition in a technological advanced business world. Branson encourages individual growth and nurtures talent in his organisation (Raja, & Dr. Palanichamy. 2011).
This is vital in that he is able to use such talents to gain ideas for growing his organisation to greater heights in the business world. Independence granted by leaders such as Branson is essential in that the followers or employees are able to make decisions in terms of the execution of tasks delegated to them by management. This allows for innovation and creativity to increase productivity in the organisation and thus ensuring increased customer satisfaction from services of products delivered by an organisation (Kippenberger, 2002)..
A single style of leadership is insufficient to ensure that the organisation is operated in a professional manner while ensuring aspects such as active participation of the employees, respect for higher authority and encouragement of employees is actualized. Hence, it is vital to use a combination of the various styles of leadership to ensure a multifaceted approach in leading the organisation. The major leadership styles assumed by leaders in modern organizations include authoritarian approaches, transactional leadership, laissez-faire leadership style, which is considered as a “hands off approach”, could be assumed by Branson in running his groups of organizations (Kippenberger, 2002).
An authoritarian approach is essential in that ensures the minimization and eradication of issues of disrespect and lack off observance of a command in the organizational hierarchy. In addition, it also instills a high level of discipline and responsibility as the employees aim at ensuring minimal conflicts or encounters with the higher level of authority because of reduced productivity and poor output in terms of quality of work in the organisation. It could be assumed by Branson in his quest for ensuring that all the employees are able to follow instructions issued and codes of conduct in the organisation. This ensures minimal deviations in operations hence minimal costs of operation as well as reduction in operational costs.
A delegative style or approach could also be incorporated in the leadership style assumed by Branson. This approach is essential in that the leader dwells of his authoritative position to issue direction and make decisions in the organisation towards the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives. It provides for issue of tasks based on the view of the leader and ensures that the leader is liable for the outcomes of the various decisions undertaken. Further more laissez-faire leadership style of leadership could also be used selectively by Branson to ensure maximization of benefits from the use of a combined approach of leadership (Maag, & Kasermann, 2010). This usually is similar to the delegative approach and entails the issue of tasks, duties and responsibilities to the employees by the leader with little or no direction in terms of execution of such tasks. This approach is used primarily in tasks, which the existent employees are conversant with and are able to execute such tasks and duties with ease (Raja, & Dr. Palanichamy. 2011).
The employees are usually allowed excessive autonomy in laissez-faire leadership style of leadership. However, the employees are able to request assistance to ensure that the tasks are executed with respect to the instructions provided by the leader or the management. This would ensure reduction of time spent on evaluation of processes, as the employees understand of the expectation in terms of output from the tasks and duties delegated to them by the leader. A combined approach is essential in that it ensures the maximization of benefits such as increased authority, increased productivity and increased innovation and creativity by the employees.
If Branson were working on a global project, he would assume a participative approach in terms of leadership. This entails on the encouragement of participation of the various stakeholders in the project to ensure the generation of numerous ideas. In addition, the determination of the decisions would assume a collective approach in that all the stakeholders would possibly be encouraged to give views in the decision-making processes. In addition, he would also delegate tasks to the various individuals to encourage specialization of labor to accrue maximum benefits for eventual success of the project Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999).
Additionally, the project would also necessitate an authoritative style of leadership to ensure adherence to the strict measures such as the period for completion or success provided and goals for eventual completion and success of the project. Furthermore, the interactions with the stakeholders and the employees would provide Branson with an important perspective. An employee perspective is essential in that it usually provides the leader with the much-needed views, which would ensure issues such as reduction of costs accruable from a project (Kippenberger, 2002).
Branson exhibits good traits of a leader in that he values his employees and their views. This is because employees are a primary factor of production. Hence, motivation and morale boosting to the employees is essential in that it encourages the participation of the employees in tasks which would ensure that the growth of the organisation. In addition, his ability to ensure equality through the provision of open lines of communication is vital in that it ensures that the employees feel valued. Valued employees aim at ensuring that they conduct tasks similar to individual tasks hence ensuring dedication in execution of tasks, duties and responsibilities delegated to them.
Such traits and virtues could be encouraged in institutions and workplace settings. Equality in the workplace ensures that employees are able to increase productivity to achieve their desired levels of merit. This is vital in the workplace in institutional settings to motivate employees and students to work harder as merit is based on hard work and provision of high quality output. In the workplace, individuals accrue higher positions and the respective incomes of such positions based on the merit accrued from their professional qualifications and skills. Hence, employees tend to work harder with the aim of acquiring promotions (Maxwell, 2002).
Independence is a vital virtue in the workplace if used with precision and regulation. Independence in the work place ensures increased responsibility and dedication to tasks, duties delegated by the management or in classroom settings, by the instructors. Responsibility is accruable from increased independence in that the employees are able to ensure their decisions and choices are accompanied by specific repercussions. It encourages innovation and creativity, which is one of the greatest assets to any contemporary organisation. Innovation and creativity can assist an organisation in its attainment of strategic goals and objectives such as competitiveness, brand distinction and differentiation, cost reduction and new product development.
In conclusion, the approach assumed by Branson could be enforced by authoritative, delegative approaches to ensure that the employees are able to accrue a sense of respect for the management and respective executives. They are also able to accrue a sense of responsibility and relative autonomy. Autonomy is essential in the workplace as it ensures encouragement of innovation and creativity due to the presence of comfort between the employees and the top management. The employees are also encouraged by the presence of a clear line of communication to provide their views as they relate to innovations and creativity.