Richard Branson, the chairman of Virgin Group Limited is arguably one of the exemplary leaders who stand out in the 21st century. There are many leaders who deserve recognition for making significant improvement in various facets of society and Branson is one of them. As an outstanding leader, Branson has managed to establish a vast business empire that is well known in the United Kingdom and other international market place where he has created modest investment (Hanna & Klein, 2011). Over years, Branson has managed to establish investments worth billions of dollars making him one of the richest individuals in the world. The success of Branson is pegged on his effectiveness as a transformation leader. More specifically, Branson excels most in his business because he believes in change, inspires a shared vision, leads in making change and instills into his employees a culture of change. Branson blends exhibits these attributes, which characterize his, transformational skills.
As a transformational leader, Branson believes that change can take place, regardless of the price. This is one of the significant traits that have made Branson become of the few successful and most prominent entrepreneurs in the world of business (Manfred, 1998). While having a startup business, Branson saw that change was crucial in building a powerful business empire—one that could take on industry giant like Coca-Cola. After making a compelling case, Branson managed to create a gap that could only be filled by change in his business approach. Certainly, Branson questioning of the dominance of some industry players made him heighten his employee’s awareness on the importance of being the best in everything they did. No doubt, Branson ability to rally people for change transformed his business empire.
In addition, Branson rules in business because he inspires a shared vision among his employees. This trait is an important element of Branson’s leadership style because he provides motivation to his employees about having a future that is better than the present. With Branson’s focus being on business, he has developed an ideology that has shaped how his employees make contributions to the running of businesses. Notably, Branson has made it possible for his employees to contribute towards planning. With his mantra that workers are more important that customers, Branson has exemplified that he understands the need of his employees (Boje & Smith, 2010). Because of a shared vision, Branson visits his employees at the workplace to bond with them and learn about their experiences. As a role model, Branson has created a shared vision that his employees reflect on their work.
Undoubtedly, Branson is a leader who takes the first step in creating change. In his business pursuit, Branson has emerged out as someone who leads in carrying out change. For example, Branson often takes notes when meeting people, and he also reads his e-mails first thing in the morning (Hanna & Klein, 2011). These are some of the behaviors that Branson expects to see in his employees, which explains why he is so keen in following them daily. Creating change by leading is an essential trait that identity transformation leaders like Branson.
Branson also strives to embed the culture of change in his business by encouraging his employees to be different. Rather than creating changes that pass away, Branson is keen on reinforcing the culture of change in all aspects of his business. To ensure that change is maintained, Branson monitors and appraises the culture of change among his employees (Hanna & Klein, 2010). Besides, Branson rewards his employees. For examples, he can give them discount vouchers whenever he meets with them or travel in company’s jet.
Effectiveness of Branson Leadership Skills in the United States Today
Today, much has changed in the American society and the rest of the world alike. America has made significant advances in many societal dimensions, which creates a challenge for traditional leaders. However, transformational leaders like Branson could do well in the United States. The leadership style of Branson is a perfect fit for the American people, who have emerged to have a vision and with a strong belief in change (Hanna & Klein, 2010). Moreover, the American community believes in democracy, which blends well with transformation leadership style. In any leadership position, leaders who exhibit transformational leadership skills are more likely to win the heart of people and influence their actions, than other leaders with different leadership styles. As an illustration, the popularity of leaders like President Obama stems from his traits of being a firm believer of change and paradigm transformation.
The experience of the American society has created a perfect environment where transformation leaders can easily be accepted. The economic recession that scourged the United States left many people asking for answers and meaningful solutions to their problems. To a greater extent, many people would welcome transformation leaders because American need leaders who can inspire them and work with them towards making change (Hanna & Klein, 2010). With more people feeling that much remains undone, transformation leaders are more likely to win the hearts of people mad lead them towards a shared vision.
Recommended Leadership Style
Branson remains as one of the best leaders in business, but incorporating other leadership traits can bolster his effectiveness as a leader. To complement Branson’s leadership strategy, I believe that adopting the delegate style on the VROOM-JAGO leadership model will enhance his leadership skills (Manfred, 1998). This leadership model provides an option for leaders to choose from five leadership styles that have different levels of participation and empowerment. If, for example, I am giving a chance to advise Branson, I would recommend that he adopt a delegate style to make his leadership regime better than what it is.
Delegate style is one of the five categories of leadership style on the VROOM-JAGO leadership model. This style of leadership allows a leader, say Branson, to delegate work to a team and leave it to make sound decisions within some confines (Boje & Smith, 2010). This leadership approach will significantly improve his business empire, which has employees who are motivated and have a vision to attain. Because delegate style allows a leader to delegate duties to teams, it will be possible for Branson to carry on with other duties as a leader without necessarily being present in every meeting. This approach will improve the morale of the employees and above all increase teamwork and accountability among team members.
Granted that delegating style reduces the role of leaders to that of facilitation; Branson is likely to create a business that will produce more value, even with his absence. Notably, Branson’s role will be changed to that of a facilitator. This will mean that Branson will be responsible for providing resources and motivation necessary to meet a challenge or attain a goal. With the Virgin Group investment spanning many business lines, it is likely that Branson will realize extraordinary performances in these businesses. The accolade of these efforts will make Branson appreciate himself for creating an environment that is made up of a team with delegated duties. This leadership approach would make Branson effective in leading his business.
Branson Developing a Global Team
Branson is an ambitious entrepreneur who has expressed intent to undertake major projects like the space tourism. To achieve this goal, Branson would choose a suitable team focusing on some critical features that will make the team unique and fit to meet this challenging task. When choosing a team, Branson is most likely to choose employees who share goals with him, offer intellectual stimulation, demonstrate professional practices, exhibit high performance and develop positive relations with others. As a transformation leader, Branson is more concerned in employees who share common business goals with him. This trait will enable Branson to have a team that understands what it needs to achieve and how to achieve. While constituting the team, Branson is most likely to focus on bringing together individuals who can articulate his dream better than others in the entire Virgin Group workforces.
Branson is also likely to look for individual employees who have intellectual stimulation. This is one of the traits that align with his belief that any change is possible, and that success can be achieved even when failure is a price to pay (Manfred, 1998). In this team, intellectual stimulation will enable the team members to conceive change in a way that has never been done before and most importantly work towards meeting a project that would be considered as over ambitious. Besides, Branson is more likely motivate and charged others will of taking on any business challenge before them by generating sound and meaningful solutions.
Branson would also be keen in choosing team members who adhere to professional practices. While Branson loves interacting with his employees whenever possible, he does not depart from professional expectation. Branson subscribes to various business values such as giving quality in services and product (Hanna & Klein, 2011). Because of this trait, he is more likely to choose team members who have a taste for professional values and can develop business solutions to meet the needs of customers. Employees who have mastered high standards of professionalism are likely to be coached by Branson’s on how to handle the project.
Branson, any goal can be achieved through performance that exceeds what people expect. As one of Branson’s pillars, he will instill into the team commitment to achieve performance beyond the expectations. The ability to form positive relations is a distinguishing feature that has made Branson scale great heights in business. Having known the value of this trait, Branson will use this skill to ensure that his team collaborate and achieve its goal through positive relations. His role will, therefore, center on creating a team that is works seamlessly and well-motivated to work achieve results in the space project (Manfred, 1998).
Using Branson’s Leadership Skills at my Work Place
There is no doubt that Branson is an inspiration to me whether at school or workplace. Having realized what makes Branson stand out as a transformation leader, I am fascinated by the idea that I can use these traits to improve myself at work. First, I will endeavor to lead by example because this is the best approach of becoming an effective change agent. This practice will ameliorate my strength at work as a leader.
Aiming beyond expectation is another trait that I am willing to incorporate in my work. Branson’s willingness to take on any goal made him successful despite him failing a couple of times. In my case, I will strive to achieve extra ordinary goals by setting standard that are measurable and achievable. This way, I can do my best to meet these goals dedicating my time and resources towards them.
While working in a team, I am positive that I will create a positive environment by motivating my colleagues towards meeting our goal by overcoming challenges that come our way. Indeed, motivation will allow me actualize this trait and use it to create a vision and momentum that will help my team work towards success. While at work, this attribute will galvanize my ability to work and contribute towards the success of my team.