Chrispas Alexis Wells
Dr. Latrice Cooper
February 27, 2013
Overview The Virgin Group, Ltd. is a British based venture capital organization founded by Richard Branson, incorporated in 1989. The focus of their business group is travel, entertainment, and lifestyle, and while actually incorporating as a venture capital group in the late 1980s, they had a number of activities in the 1970s. To date, Virgin has created more than 300 companies globally, employing over 50,000 people in 30 countries. In 2009, global revenues exceeded $18 billion US with a portfolio that continues to grow. The company believes in making a difference, and is quite particular about the manner in which they invest, or assist in marketing new ventures. Several things appear to ensure that anything that has a Virgin brand is successful: 1) the brand, 2) Richard Branson’s reputation; 3) empowering of talent; and 4) the management style engendered by Branson which flows down to almost every aspect of the organization.(Studymode 2012)
Sir Branson’s Leadership Style
Sir Branson’s leadership style is quite unique. He stated in his bibliography, my childhood is something of a blur to me now, but there are several episodes that stand out. I do remember that my parents continually set us challenges. My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost. My youngest sister Vanessa's earliest memory is being woken up in the dark one January morning because Mum had decided I should cycle to Bournemouth that day. Mum packed some sandwiches and an apple and told me to find some water along the way. Bournemouth was fifty miles away from our home in Shamley Green, Surrey. I was under twelve, but Mum thought that it would teach me the importance of stamina and a sense of direction. I remember setting off in the dark, and I have a vague recollection of staying the night with a relative. I have no idea how I found their house, or how I got back to Shamley Green the next day, but I do remember finally walking into the kitchen like a conquering hero, feeling tremendously proud of my marathon bike ride and expecting a huge welcome. 'Well done, Ricky,' Mum greeted me in the kitchen, where she was chopping onions. 'Was that fun? Now, could you run along to the vicar's? He's got some logs he wants chopping and I told him that you'd be back any minute.' The creative situations he experienced in his childhood definitely impacted his creative thought process as an adult and business owner. He uses these experiences as he learned about life and himself to help him as he worked to empower and motivate people that worked under his Virgin umbrella. I would describe Sir Richard Branson’s leadership style as transformational. The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from management to meet goals. Leaders motivate employees and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. This style of leadership requires the involvement of management to meet goals. Leaders focus on the big picture within an organization and delegate smaller tasks to the team to accomplish goals. In order to be transformational a leader must develop five skills: perception, communication, display conviction, empathy, and resilience. Sir Richard Branson possesses all of these characteristics. This style would be very effective in the United States. I believe this because of the melting pot that makes up our cultural background. Americans enjoy being empowered. Our culture allows for creativity as well as a mixture of opinions and views.
Sir Richard Branson the Autocratic Leader
On occasion Sir Richard Branson has been known to make poor decisions even after being heavily advised not to. One example is when virgin mobile launched