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Richard Branson - Research Paper Example

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Richard Branson The leadership styles adopted by leaders worldwide are related to a series of factors; usually the personal perceptions on business – as a commercial and a social activity – and the social environment are likely to influence the leader’s decisions either in the short or the long term…
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Richard Branson
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Download file to see previous pages to reduce risk in their business choices. There are also leaders who do not follow existing leadership practices; rather, they develop their own leadership style avoiding to be influenced by the traditional perceptions on leader’s role. Such case is Richard Branson, the founder and Chairman of Virgin Group. Since the establishment of his first enterprise, the Virgin Records in 1972, Richard Branson has been made popular for his style of leadership, which is considered to be unique. The aspects of the leadership style of Richard Branson are analyzed below. It is made clear that the success of Virgin Group is not related only to the carefully planned strategies on which its activities are based but mainly to the leadership style of Richard Branson. The management practices of Richard Branson have become a valuable example for leaders worldwide; in fact, it is primarily the entrance of Richard Branson in the business sector that has proved his capabilities and skills as a charismatic leader. In his first involvement in business activities, Richard Branson did not show signs of a strong willingness for success; maybe it was exactly this fact that led to his differentiation from other entrepreneurs worldwide who focus only on the profit. Even now, Richard Branson supports that there are many values and interests in life and the achievement of profits should not be a priority (Dearlove 2010). The entrance of Richard Branson in the business sector can be identified in 1971 – when the first Virgin Record store was established in order to respond to the relevant needs of students (Murray, Poole and Jones 167) – before this initiative Richard Branson has been involved in the publication of ‘a magazine for students’ (Murray, Poole and Jones 167). Because at that period the trends of the market regarding the buying of records were rather negative, Richard Branson introduced certain strategies aiming to attract the attention of young people; free coffee and extremely friendly environment were the two main parts of Branson’s strategy in order to attract customers (Murray, Poole and Jones 167). The above strategies had positive results; indeed, the company managed to achieve an important growth proving Branson’s capabilities to establish a successful enterprise in a market sector, which was underdeveloped. One of the most important characteristics of Richard Branson as a leader is his ability to handle crises. This fact was revealed in the crash of one of the firm’s highspeed trains in Northern England, in 2007 (Reuters, February 24, 2007). The investigation developed by the local authorities revealed that Virgin could not be held responsible for the crash since the accident was caused because of a faulty track (Reuters, 2007). During the period that the case was under examination, Richard Branson had to face a strong criticism regarding the measures taken for the safety of Virgin trains. This issue is analyzed in the study of Regester & Larkin (2008); reference is made to the exceptional ability of Richard Branson to cover all issues highlighted by the journalists; in fact, the day of the crash Richard Branson was in holidays and he returned immediately in order to check the situation closely. The media welcomed the specific initiative noting that ‘even the chief executives avoid being involved personally in cases of crises’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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