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Different leadership styles are suitable for different situations, as each has advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, although a leader might have an excellent vision, at least in his opinion, he will be required to use the appropriate styles and skills to obtain a high commitment from the people he is leading to implement the vision successfully (Koenig, 2008). One such person is Richard Branson, a renowned British entrepreneur who, through his company group, has been able to build the Virgin brand and successfully use it across a range of varied products. (Virgin Atlantic, n.d).
Richard Branson’s Leadership Styles
He has an informal leadership style, whereby the people he leads are to concentrate on the objective rather than how they look hence providing a lot of room for his employees to be innovative. He wears honesty, which has helped him win trust from his employees and customers, and as a result, he has been able to compete against the very powerful in business successfully. He keeps in touch with the people he leads; he personally calls 50 customers every month to find out how they found Virgin services and ask them for improvement suggestions. Branson is also a risk-taker as he has used his virgin brand to take on already established firms and venture into new markets using a low-pricing strategy that had not been used before (Dearlove, 2010).
My Leadership Styles
Personally, I have some leadership styles, of which some are similar to Branson’s styles while some are not. I have a mix of autocratic and democratic styles, whereby I can prefer being hands-on when carrying out a project by supervising and monitoring every event. However, I also incorporate the ideas of those am leading, and that makes me partly democratic. This means that I also do get in touch with those that I lead. As a leader, I have an analytical eye, whereby I can keenly study a situation and develop effective ways of handling a given task at hand rather than using trial and error (Cleland & Ireland, 2006).
What Branson and I can learn from each other
There are various traits of a successful leader that I can borrow from Richard Branson. The first one is a risk-taker, which means I should learn to do new things and do them diligently. Secondly is learning how to bring out the talent in others and attract and sustain their motivation in achieving a particular objective. Thirdly, I need to free myself from the culture of following procedures and endeavor to come up with innovative ways of doing things (Lussier & Achua, 2009). However, Branson can also learn analytical skills from me. As it is evident that most of his business start-ups were successful by luck, although he sustained them with persistence (Dearlove, 2007).
Various leadership styles are suitable for particular situations. Therefore a successful leader is the one who will be able to identify a suitable style for the situation at hand and apply it. Also, a leader might have a great vision; however, he must have the required traits to attract and retain the people he leads to implement the vision successfully. Richard Branson has most of those qualities, and as a result, he has been able to build one of the world’s strongest brands today. However, it also comes out that he lacks some traits, which has cost him when carrying out previous projects.
Cleland, D. I. and Ireland, L. R. (2006) Project management: strategic design and implementation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Dearlove, D. (2007). Business the Richard Branson way: 10 secrets of the world’s greatest brand builder. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.
Dearlove, D. (2010). The unauthorized guide to doing business the Richard Branson way: 10 secrets of the world’s greatest brand builder. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.
Koenig, B. M. (2008). Premises for successful leadership: how culture influences leaders. Norderstedt, Germany: GRIN Verlag.
Lussier, R. N. and Achua, C. F. (2009). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Virgin Atlantic (n.d). In the beginning. Web.