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Effective Leadership and Innovation Research Paper

Leading Entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur is described as an owner of a business enterprise, who is willing to take a risk in order to attain profits. Normally, he acts as an intermediary between labor and capital in production; he also creates jobs (Gurusamy, 2009, p.25). Moreover, entrepreneurs take full responsibility of the business.

Economists define an entrepreneur as one who brings about resources, materials, labor, and assets, hence making their value higher that before. An entrepreneur also has the capability of bringing about change and innovations into the business. Psychologists on the other hand view an entrepreneur as an individual who is driven by particular forces of the need to obtain or achieve a particular goal.

On the other hand, a businessperson views an entrepreneur as a source of supply, a customer, or a wealth creator for others, hence he finds the means of utilizing resources reduce waste, and create jobs. Therefore, entrepreneurship becomes the process of creating a new item of value by devoting time and effort, and in return, receiving the rewards of profit and satisfaction.

Some of the leading entrepreneurs include James Dyson, who invented dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner and one of the richest men in the world; he also owns Dyson limited. Another entrepreneur is Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, a firm that was founded in 1984. this company has enjoyed a huge popularity and profits since it began its operations.

Entrepreneurial approaches

Profit oriented

Virgin Atlantic aims at customer satisfaction and emphasizes on value for money, quality, and innovation. It has over 9000 employees and over 53 million customers. Its strategy for low costs services and quality has granted it favor from customers, hence being able to attract many customers. Indeed, its main object is to provide the highest quality of services at an excellent value for money for all its customers.

The airline offers three classes of travel – the upper class, premium economy, and the economy class – all of which have won an award. Sir Richard Branson has ensured that the airline recruits qualified and experienced employees as a way of attracting customers; this is in addition to offering competitive prices.

The airline has also received major quality awards in the past, an indication that customers are satisfied with its services (Strauss, 2009, p.108). Virgin Atlantic has focused on great quality, a strategy that has enabled it to remain profitable.

There are many ways of attracting customers in a competitive industry; for instance, virgin Atlantic attracts its customers through fun and innovation, such that, their flights have state-of-the-art and quality customer services.

Upper class services are offered at business class prices. In addition, virgin Atlantic has been operating under the differentiation strategy, whereby, it has differentiated its products from other airlines by taking its customer’s expectations a step further, by enhancing communication with its customers; moreover, customers also enjoy flight ice-cream, which is rare in other airlines.

The ability to exploit weaknesses in competitors has granted Virgin Atlantic substantial returns. Primarily, Sir Branson entrepreneurial attitude has played a role in the development and expansion of virgin Atlantic.

Leadership under sir Branson is motivating, as he is a flamboyant leader who inspires his juniors to work to their best abilities for the good of the company. He gives directions and then lets the employees take control thereafter.

James Dyson on the other hand believes that success alone does not teach one a thing. Therefore, he claims that, the many failures he experienced improved his performance. Accordingly, he launch dyson bagless vacuum cleaner, a product that became the best selling vacuum cleaner in the United Kingdom; however, today, his products are available in over 50 countries.

Over the years, James dyson has continued to shine and he is regarded as one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs. Dyson has focused on quality as a strategy to attract his customers globally. In addition, his products gain a wide market due to their quality. James dyson gives innovation the right look by ensuring that each product relates to the value for money.

A customer’s perception on a product can guarantee its sales or loses; therefore, Dyson has ensured that his products maintain a competitive advantage through developing innovations. Apart from vacuum cleaners, dyson has also launched the first ever two-drummed washing machine. It is therefore evident that dyson values quality more. In this case, the high quality leads to high prices, which most customers prefer.

According to Dzunic & Masic, 2011, p179, effective leaders are expected to develop innovative potential, create opportunities, and motivate employees. Moreover, according to Halim & Mat (2010, p.60), entrepreneurial creativity is related to value and quality, which can market the business, while competitive advantage is determined by a business’s performance.

Corporate Social responsibility

According to Eisingerich & Bhardwaj (2011), many companies engage in social responsibility practices with an aim of saving the organization’s image; however, they argue that CSR does not guarantee a good company’s image. Factors like quality service and quality products go a step further to develop customers’ loyalty, and creating a positive reputation.

However, social responsibility has been considered to have an impact on the company via its actions to the society. Both arguments support giving back to the community. Sir Richard Branson and Sir James Dyson have ensured that their companies are engaged in corporate social responsibility.

Virgin Atlantic concern for global warming due to harmful emissions produced by airplanes and vehicles has led it to opt for bio-fuels, which are believed to reduce global warming.

These bio fuels have positive implication on the society, since bio fuels are an attractive source of energy, and stimulate rural development, create jobs and save foreign exchange (Zhang, 2008, p.10). Virgin Atlantic is also a participant of United Nations global compact, such as curbing hunger. This is evidence by the recently activity where it offered free transport for food between 15-50 tonnes a week.

“Change is in the air” programme aims at setting clear goals that link the environment and social aspect; such programmes are evident in all Virgin Atlantic destinations (Virgin Atlantic, 2011). James Dyson’s products, mostly machines, are designed in such a way that they are environmental friendly, energy efficient, high performing and are manufactured in favorable conditions.

In July 2010, James Dyson foundation donated $540,000 to bath’s royal united hospital‘s neonatal intensive care unit, while Dyson added $800,000. The foundation also supports cancer organizations, meningitis center (James Dyson foundation, 2011).

Leadership approach

People-oriented internal leadership involves leaders who motivates, delegate authority, empower employees, and provide them with incentives. This leader focuses on selecting, developing, and guiding staff in the organization and involves them towards achieving the organizational goals. The leader encourages division of labor and considers job enrichment and job enlargement for his employees.

In addition, self-development is encouraged and tools and mechanisms for problem solving are developed (Bolton, 2007, p 2). This type of leadership can be related to transformational leadership; it is evident in both organizations whereby, employees are given a chance to be in control.

Leadership style has an effect on the organization and its employees; it is very important for leaders to choose wisely on the leadership style to apply.

Determine what three resources or tools available through the small Business administration and SCORE

SCORE offers business tools for established business; this volunteer group assists in counseling entrepreneurs. These tools include competitive analysis, which enables a business to achieve its competitive advantage via considering the price, product, quality, location, advertising, appearance, and stability among other factors.

These factors are compared to the competitors’, thereafter coming up with an analysis that will assist in the company’s decision. Secondly, SCORE offers business plan for an already existing company. The main aim of such a business plan is to assist entrepreneurs in planning for the future of the company. The business plan is time-consuming, but avoids disasters that are likely to occur in the future.

Thirdly, finance tools are provided by SCORE to assist the entrepreneurs in projecting for their expenses & incomes through balance sheets, cash flows statement, and breakeven analysis (SCORE, 2011). With such tools, Virgin Atlantic and Dyson Limited are guaranteed of a continuous future of profit making.

The two companies are profit-oriented; therefore, competitive analysis is necessary to determine their areas of improvement, and thus maintaining a competitive advantage.


Profit-oriented companies strive at achieving a competitive advantage, which is necessary in the modern competitive industry. Therefore, acknowledging their marketing strategies as tools for competition is necessary. Virgin Atlantic has adopted the low cost strategy, while Dyson Limited is stuck on the product differentiation strategy, hence offering high quality products.

Both companies are fairing well in the market, an indication of stability and competitive advantage. The type of leadership used is also important, as it determines the organization’s performance, depending on how it affects employees.


Bolton, E. (2007). Leadership Styles and Leadership Change in Human and Community Service Organizations. Spring publishers. Web.

Carroll, A. & Buchholtz, A. (2011). Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. Edition 8. OH: Cengage Learning Publisher.

Eisingerich, A. & Bhardwaj, G. (2011). Web.

Dzunic, M. & Masic, B. (2011). Effective leadership and innovation – key factors of sustainable competitive advantage. Singidunum Scientific Review, 8(1); 179-189.

Gurusamy, S. (2009). Fin Services & Systems. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education Publisher.

Halim, M. & Mat, A. (2010). Crafter makers: A Significant Study on Entrepreneurial Creativity and Competitive Advantage. Canadian Social Science, 6(3); 59-66.

James Dyson foundation. (2011). James Dyson foundation website. Web.

SCORE. (2011). For the life of your business. Web.

Strauss, R. (2009). Marketing Planning by Design: Systematic Planning for Successful Marketing Strategy. NJ: John Wiley & Sons Publisher.

Virgin Atlantic. (2011). Virgin Atlantic Website. Web.

Zhang, F. (2008). The foreign policy centre. Corporate Social Responsibility in Emerging Markets: The Role of Multinational Corporations. Web.

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