Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group, Ltd. Case Study

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Assignment 4: Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group, Ltd. Case Study Leadership and Organizational Behavior Bus 520
December 1, 2012

Introduction
Sir Richard Branson is the chairman and founder of the Virgin Group. The Virgin Group is a multibillion-dollar global conglomerate that consists of approximately 200 companies in various countries. The company has approximately 50,000 employees and over $20 billion in sales annually (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). Sir Branson is a true visionary and inspiring leader willing to take risk, but has experienced his share of setbacks. He gladly admits his mistakes, but views them all as a learning experience. Sir Branson feels his success is in the people he employees and their mutual desire to please the customers and the stockholders of the organization. Branson’s leadership style

Sir Richard Branson’s leadership style reminds me of transformational leadership. This type of leader anticipates future trends, develops future leaders, inspires others of their future possibilities and builds an organization or group into a community of challenged and rewarded learners (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). Transformational leaders are mindful of future trends and how they will relate to the environment, the organization and stockholders. This form of leadership style consists of four components which are individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealized influence. Individualized consideration is when the leader acts as a mentor or coach, listens to the employees concerns and attending to their needs. Employees are encouraged to have open communication with the leader. For example, Branson goes to various locations within the organization with his pen and notebook to make sure he is keeping track of any issues that need immediate action concerning staff and customers. He also maintains an open door policy for employees to send emails concerning any issues they are experiencing. He reads his messages first thing every morning and takes action to resolve the issues. Intellectual Stimulation is the ideas and risk the leader is willing to take by thinking outside the box. The leader encourages new ideas and more creative ways of doing things. This type of leader feels that risk taking is necessary for an organization’s success. For example, Branson tried to compete against Coca-Cola by selling Virgin Cola in the United Kingdom. But Coca-Cola sent a SWAT team to systematically sabotage Virgin Cola. Virgin Cola was not the success Branson had hoped for in the United Kingdom, but did become the number one cola in Bangladesh. Sir Branson feels one should never be afraid to try something new and if you experience setbacks you get up dust yourself off and try again. Inspirational motivation is when employees are aspired with new visionary ideas. The leader challenges and motivates staff to strive for excellence in every aspect of the organization. Branson is a firm believer that his company would not have grown to the conglomerate it is without the employees. He prides himself in recruiting employees with strong communications skills and is good motivators and team players. His executives strive to inspire their employees to devote the attention to serving the customer and stockholders. With idealized influence, the leader exhibit charismatic ways to influence employees to identify with him or her. Usually there is a great deal of respect and admiration for the leader. The leader makes it a point to connect with employees to build trust and influence employees to perform well by giving incentives and rewards. For example, Branson believes in hard work and dedication in employees he is a firm believer in promoting within the organization. Sir Branson also exhibits authentic leadership as a person who know themselves, what they believe and value and believes in open and honest communication in their staff...
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