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Virgin is a leading branded venture capital organisation and is one of the worlds most recognised and respected brands. This company was started by Sir Richard Branson in 1968. The Virgin Group has grown very successfully in the sectors ranging from mobile telephony to transportation, travel, financial services, media, music and fitness. It has created more than 300 branded companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people, in 30 countries.
Many scholars and business analyst has attributed the Virgin Group success to the innovative leadership style of Richard Branson
Managers within the company use the concept of innovation to inspire the employees to contribute to the company at all levels, rather than just doing what they are told. Employees can contribute to the cutting edge products that the company creates as well as look for new ways to increase the overall efficiency of the company. The Virgin Group has been able to create a management style that encourages employees to be competitive. This also gives people the desire to see the company succeed in order to be a contributor to a fresh and creative business model.Â
There is a solid distinction between leadership and management within the Virgin Group. Transformational leadership comes from the top managers and executives within the company. Richard Branson along with other company executives have set many common goals for the company to achieve as a whole. The idea behind this is to promote the philosophy that the overall benefit of the company will lead to individual benefits for each person involved. Group contribution will eventually lead to rewards for executives, managers, employees, shareholders, and customers alike.
Leadership within the Virgin Group is encouraged among managers, but it often takes strict management to get the job done. Each management function varies within the different divisions in the company. Managers at the Virgin Group have a wide range of goals to pursue.
Another aspect of Branson's leadership style is that he tends to give people a high level of freedom in their work. It is his goal to first give them direction in their work, and then let them take control of the situation there after. Freedom in their work allows them to excel without the need for micromanagement.
Richard Branson's leadership style and vision for the company has made him the center of attention within many business and management discussions throughout the world.Â He has created a unique management formula that has contributed to the long term success of the company. Although there is a clear distinction between management and leadership, the company has been able to integrate a blend of each in many aspects of the business. The transformational leadership has proved to be a valuable tool for executives, managers, and workers alike. Employees within the company have a willingness to work together to expand and improve the company in order to reach their own personal success in life.
The leadership style of Richard Branson employs the combination of a variety of leadership styles. Some of the styles he may apply are the Authoritative or Charismatic Leadership Style, the Affiliative Leadership Style, and the Democratic Leadership Style.
The Authoritative style is the most effective in driving up every aspect of climate; for the leader is a visionary that motivates people by making clear to them how their work fits into a larger vision.
The Affiliative style involves building team harmony, increasing morale, improving communication, or repairing broken trust, where praise is used freely.
The Democratic style is the ideal leadership style, where the leader spends time getting his employees ideas and builds trust, respect and commitment (Goleman 2000).
The combination of these leadership styles enables Richard Branson to motivate his employees and provide them the driving force in working in his company. Moreover, his leadership style influences his decisions in building trust and respect within the company, and facilitates effective and efficient communication and interaction with one another.
There are various style of leadership, and these different styles are needed for different situation depending on the nature of the business. The different types of leadership styles are as follow.
AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
This type of leadership is considered as a classical approach. In this managers retains as much and decision-making authority as possible. In this type of leadership style managers does not consult employees, nor are they allowed to give any suggestion, in other words employees are expected to obey and follow the orders outlined by their managers.
Some studies say that organizations with many autocratic leaders have higher turnover and absenteeism than other organizations. These studies say that autocratic leaders:
--Rely on threats and punishment to influence employees
--Do not trust employees
--Do not allow forÂ employeeÂ input
This type of leadership style tends to be more effective in the following situations where
New or untrained employee don't know which task to perform or which procedure to follow.
Effective supervision can be provided only through detailed orders and instructions
Employees do not respond to any other leadership style
There are high-volume production needs on a daily basis
There is limited time in which to make a decision
A manager's power is challenged by an employee
The area was poorly managed
Work needs to be coordinated with another department or organization
BUREAUCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
Bureaucratic leadership is where the manager manages "by the bookÂ¨ Everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn't covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. This manager is really more of aÂ policeÂ officerÂ than a leader. He or she enforces the rules.
This type of leadership style is more effective in the following situation where
Employees are performing routine tasks over and over.
Employees need to understand certain standards or procedures.
Employees are working with dangerous or delicate equipment that requires a definite set of procedures to operate.
Safety or security training is being conducted.
Employees are performing tasks that require handling cash.
DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP STYLE
The democratic leadership style is also called the participative style as it encourages employees to be a part of the decision making. The democratic manager keeps his or her employees informed about everything that affects their work and shares decision making and problem solving responsibilities. This style requires the leader to be a coach who has the final say, but gathers information from staff members before making a decision.
Democratic leadership can produce high quality and high quantity work for long periods of time. Many employees like the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale.
The democratic leaders
--Develops plans to help employees evaluate their own performance
--Allows employees to establish goals
--Encourages employees to grow on theÂ jobÂ and be promoted
--Recognizes and encourages achievement.