“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them”. [Branson …]
Born in England in 1950, the near sighted, dyslexic young boy struggled through school; Started a youth-culture magazine called ‘STUDENT’. The publication worth $8,000 was launched in 1966 and as a success one hundred thousand issues was circulated.
In 1970, Branson and his friend Nick Powell created a mail order venture focusing on the record industry in London. In 1972, a recording studio was established, known as Virgin Records, a decision that led to the creation of Virgin Group.
As a success, he further diversified into many sectors; the airline industry in 1984, the hotel industry in 1988, the publishing industry in 1991 to mention a few. Even though the music group struggled financially and was sold to THORN EMI in 1992.
Branson was crushed by the loss and therefore determined to bounce back. His determination expanded the Virgin group into travel and tourism, mobile, leisure, finance, transport, beverage, a luxury game reserve etc and created a great empire which holds over 300 companies in over 30 countries.
2.1 Leadership and Management Style
As a top branded venture capital organization, its constant success is due to the power of the brand name and the reputation of its leader: Richard Branson.
Leadership as a process of producing direction, alignment and commitment in collectives (Ellen Van Velsor et al, 2010) can be seen as a characteristic of this personality in Richard Branson. Leadership can again be seen as a process of exercising power on other people in an organization but Branson believes in the need to treat other people with respect.
There is no leader without having followers; hence it is important that the people who make up an organization are considered as priority in order to achieve a common goal.
Conventional business analysts put the interests of a company’s shareholders