Sir Richard Branson was born in18th July in the year 1950 in England. He is married and has two children. At 16 years, Branson moved to launch a student magazine in London after dropping his studies. He founded the virgin company at his late teen. His success in the sale of mail order records gave him an opportunity to launch Virgin Records. At 23years, he released the first record of Mike Oldfield, which was a great success in England. He introduced bands such as the culture club and the sex pistols and his business venture became a big success. In 1984, he formed and launched his virgin Atlantic airways and later in 1999 launched virgin mobile. After failing in the bid of the national lottery in 2000, he started the virgin express an airline of European short- haul (Branson, 1999). Richard Branson’s empire today offers different ranges of services and products, which include tours and travel, shopping, leisure and pleasure, media and telecommunication, financial, and money, health services and social and environmental services among others.
Sir Richard Branson is now a wealthy and a highly respected CEO of Virgin Group that encompasses various businesses with over 55000 employees globally. He is responsible for over 200companies worldwide. Branson was knighted in 1999 for his “Entrepreneurship Services” and ranked numbers 85 in the 2002 list of 100 greatest Britons’. Branson appeared in the Time Magazine in the years 2007, among the top 100-ranked world’s most influential people. The same year in December the secretary of the United Nations presented him, an award of world citizenship for environmental support and humanitarian.
Branson is famous for his success in the business field with his unique characteristics, which are an attribute to his success. Branson management style and leadership skills were learnt in his day-to-day duties and interaction with people. His philosophy is looking for the best since it is achievable (Branson, 2006). He does things in his own way and in his own style with the aim of doing the right things. Additionally, he believes that getting the right and willing people to do things that you need done is leadership. Richard Branson does not hold any degree in management or certificate in that direction but stands among influential manager. He does not follow any strategy in his day-to-day operation but rather uses a “to do” list. He has various self-developed management styles and skills that have led to his success. These management styles include:
Loving and caring about people, which make people feel important. Richard Branson utilized his knowledge in knowing the importance of proper management. Branson believed that a good manager must be a person that cares about people for him to succeed. He loves his employees and gives them total respect. His argument is that a person given respect, loved, and taken care of will always portray his best. Branson knows that people have a need to feel wanted. Therefore, he puts his priority on his employees and customers come second followed by the shareholders. He fulfills the needs of his employees, and they eventually reciprocate by being efficient and effective, leading to his success in business (Branson, 2007). He loves people so much especially his employees with whom he even shared his success with at some point. This is clear as seen after he got a compensation award of $500,000, which he won in the lawsuit; he divided it among his employees.
Sir Richard Branson knows what to prioritize for his success. He puts family as his first priority and the most important unit of his career and life. He argues that the family is the molding unit and everyone needs to have that time. He spends time with his family and gives them love and the attention that they need. To him that is the best way to instill responsibility in his children. His company is one big family on the other side. He extends his love to his global employees. In doing this, he is able to instill the responsiveness and commitment to his employees working all over the globe. His global business is one big happy family that is successful (Branson, 2008).
Branson adopts failure as a style in his management, because he knows it is part of life and people should not fear to fail since it is a way of learning. Those people afraid of failure never succeed in creating anything in life. Branson is very successful because he was able to utilize his failure for success (Branson, 2009). He had tried to be the first man to fly in a balloon for eight times without success but kept on pushing ahead. Finally, Branson was able to make it as the first man to cross the Atlantic and pacific. He also made an unsuccessful attempt in crossing the Atlantic Ocean with his children in 2008. According to Sir Branson, failure is a thing that managers should adopt and utilize as a style of management embraced for his success (Branson, 2005). Failure is a teacher in life, therefore when one fails he should stand, dust himself up and start over again. Failing to stand up after a failure in something is what makes someone a looser in that field.
Sir Branson is a manager who believes in innovation and risk taking as a style of management. According to him, he could never be a manager if he feared venturing into new grounds. He focuses on the results in the long term and if he has to take high risk to get the result for him then that is worthwhile. The interest of Branson is to set himself huge in life. He ventures in what others perceive as unachievable challenges by trying to be high above them aiming at living life in its fullness. Branson’s argument is that for one to be big enough he has to compete with what exceeds him.
Branson believes that for a manager to be successful he must embrace the style of living an adventurous life with all the fun. In living life as an adventure, he is able to enjoy what he does which makes it more fun (Branson, 1999). He argues that a manager should not seat and watch his employees undertake their duties he should join them or involve himself in other issues that require his attention more. This to Branson makes one enjoy what he is doing and having fun at the same time. He is a manager who likes to join others in exploring what he is capable of doing. He loves to have fun in everything that he does that he believes in going even beyond the limits. As part Branson personal adventure, when he 36 years he kept a world record as the fastest in crossing the Atlantic Ocean. At 37 and 41 years, he made another record of crossing the Atlantic Ocean with a hot air balloon that was the largest.
Branson is a democratic manager and his democratic style of management is portrayed in the way he listens to people in what they have to say to get the feedback. According to Branson, feedback from those people he interacts with is a core value in his management. He carries a notebook whenever he goes to note the opinions of people around him. According to Branson, every individual has an idea to pass forth and the ideas may be good and of importance. Branson believes in taking what is best from those people that associate with him. Branson understands that every person his unique and can give something good if given the chance. As the CEO, Branson knows that negative statement about people is demoralizing and kills their spirit and morale, which drops their production. This is a style that he learnt from his mother who is still like a mentor to him. He loves spending time with people and loves every person whether an executive or the floor cleaners. He does not discriminate anybody in his corporation.
Sir Branson understands the importance of humbleness in the business world, which he adopts as his style in management. He is able to interact with his employees on the ground and trusts them well to the extent of delegating duties to them without any problems. He trust his employees that he gives them his ideas for them to implement as if it were their own ideas and steps back to avoid interference. Branson on the other side believes that sacking employees is not a strategy in eliminating a problem or challenge in the organization. His focus is in training and solving the problems that the employees have that help in solving the challenges in the organization. Branson associate with common people, but make sure that he is always ahead of them in what he does.
Making a difference in what you do and in the world is another style that Sir Richard Branson adopts for his success. His desire to make a difference in life makes him different from many managers. On the other side, Branson faces most of the challengers that most of the managers face but focuses on doing things differently from others. His Virgin business has a different philosophy whereby it focuses on different segments and does it business differently and against normal way. Branson also has focus on the way he trains his employees to tackle challenges from business or social life which makes him different from most of the managers. His main aim is to blend social sector and the business world since they depend largely on each other for progress.
Branson does not believe in saying no to any opportunity no matter its difficulties. He is never afraid of thinking outside the box and says exactly what he feels is right and what he wants is what he does. To him yes is the most definite way forward. Saying yes and stepping in to do it rightfully is what gives Branson fun. (Branson, 2006). It is like his philosophy for him to say yes to all opportunity and setting forth to do it in the best way. Setting out to do the best is what matters to him since the best never fails. Saying no is opening doors for failure and it is not fun.
Branson is criticized for his irregular board meetings, lack of business headquarters, and his illiterate in computer knowledge. Criticism does not put him down since he is a man with a big dream. He knows what he really wants in life. His big dream keeps him focused to the results. Branson plans his time properly all in focus of his dream. He is able to program his time to cater for his family life and business without suppressing one with the aim of getting the big dream accomplished. Additionally, Branson believes that a great manager is a man that can follow his own heart. Since when he was 16 years, he has followed his passion, which has made him so far very successful. He is a man who has no interest for business but is very interested in inventing ideas and working on things that will make him proud. He is a manager who believes in creating things that are different and loveable by other people. Making money according to Branson should not be the major issue in a business. This is because once you make people proud of your services and products them you make all the money you need.
In conclusion, Sir Richard Branson is a real manager that the entrepreneur and business world need to have. He is a man stands on what he want and set to do it. Criticism and lack of computer knowledge do not weigh him down or make him lose his big dream. He believes in loving, listening, and helping people achieve what they never thought they could achieve. He is a manager is loveable and knows when to make technical disappearance to avoid getting on the way of people. Branson is a manager that has a lot to teach to managers globally. Failure to him is of great importance since it opens doors for more innovations. He believes that every problem in life has a solution no matter the magnitude. Branson also believes that humor is an important style and a skill that makes life and work enjoyable. An example was when; he had to bare his assets for the Virgin Mobile launch wearing a cell phone for covering his privacy. When he was question about that event, he humorously said that the phone was big enough (Branson, 2008). Therefore, managers should learn and adopt Branson’s unique management styles.