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Organizational Leadership

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Describe Branson's leadership style in terms of the leadership models addressed in Chapters 10 and 11 and evaluate the likely effectiveness of that style in the U.S. today.

Leadership is the process of developing ideas and a vision, living by values that support those ideas and vision, influencing others to embrace them in their own behaviors, and making hard decisions about human and other resources (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011).

Sir Richard Branson (explain who he is) has turned a lifelong disdain for conventional business wisdom into a multibillion-dollar global conglomerate and one of the world's most recognizable brand (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). A leader is a figurehead for his or her organization, entertaining clients and serving as a spokesperson for the organization. Branson by all means is a figurehead for Virgin, and perhaps more important than the brand itself (DuBrin, 2010). Branson represents the transformational leadership model style. Transformational leadership involves participating future trends, inspiring followers to understand and embrace a new vision of possibilities, developing others to be leaders or better leaders, and building the organization or group into a community of challenged and rewarded leaders (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011, p. 329). According to Branson there are leadership secrets to a successful business:

1. People are the key to success: Finding the right people and listening to them is the most important. Branson hires bright people and gives them a stake at his ventures so that they are motivated to be even more successful and then delegates. He believes that leaders who seek the feedback of both employees and customers facilitate innovative product development and brilliant customer service. Branson is convinced that the root of many organizational problems is the inability of top management to hear and seek the employees' voice, which results in staff members who feel being ignored and will not be motivated to share improvement ideas. According to Branson, if leadership is to care about their employees, it should recognize that employees are not just resources but are core to the business. Promoting employee recognition and development must start at the top of the company but must involve the middle and low-level managers as well. Recognition helps to diminish the fear of failure. Employees should be encouraged to learn from their mistakes for the sake of the company's future.

2. Having fun: This belief not only helps Branson to constantly create new and successful ventures, but also motivates people working with him. The secret to having fun at work is to depict as a social activity. As a result people are more motivated to since they grow attached to other colleagues and the company. They do not recent working longer hours or receiving lower pay because they are achieving something for themselves and the people they care about.

3. Being honest and daring: He is not afraid to share his true thoughts to the public. In his regular blog postings and articles for Canadian Business journal (give an example of the blog. He writes freely about the mistakes he has made and in his opinion it is one of the hardest things to do for any human being.

4. Be an inspiration to others: By inspiring employees, he gets them motivated and pushes them to the limit. He is capable of enabling others to achieve something beyond personal limits, capabilities and goals (Miscenko, D).

Often criticized for his management style, he holds no regular meetings, has no business headquarters, and has no idea how to operate a computer. With his brand name licensed over 250 companies, he has had to develop the necessary leadership skills to ensure his survival.

"Having a personality of caring about people is important," says Branson. (make sure you check the correct citing)"You can't be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them." Passion is often more present in entrepreneurial leaders and Branson should be regarded as a passionate leader. (DuBrin, 2010).

Branson's philosophy is centered on finding the best people to run the diverse businesses in Virgin Group. He is not concerned about industry-specific expertise as he is with recruiting employees with strong communication and teamwork competencies that mesh with the Virgin culture. He believes that leaders who seek the feedback of employees and customers facilitate innovative product development and brilliant customer service. Branson states, "What makes somebody good is how good they are dealing with people. If you can find people who are good at motivation others and getting that best out of people, they are the ones you want..."

Branson believes that there are industries that can "Virgnized" and the challenge is to extend the Virgin name while maintaining its high standards this example demonstrates that he has a vision of capitavating new and challenging future prospects and wants the Virgin name to continue. Branson's leadership style and characteristics are based on some very simple and down-to-earth rules like smiling which gets easier if you show a friendly face, having fun at work, this not only creates new and successful ventures but motivates people working for him and with him and to believe in your ideas, employees and colleagues.

The effectiveness of transformational leadership model would be effective on the United States today. There a handful of such leaders like India Nooyi at PepsiCo, Anne Mulcahy at Xerox and Jim Sinegal at Costco. They provide their subordinates a sense of meaning and challenge by having them in involved I and committed to a vision of a future.

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