The strong, influential, and ambitious personality of adventurer and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson radiates throughout each of our lives. (Richard Branson, 1999) Richard Branson was born July 18th, 1950, in Surrey, England. He struggled in school and eventually dropped out at the age of 16. (Sir Richard Branson, 2012) It could be said that Richard Branson is arguably the most successful high-school dropout in business history. He overcame his battle with dyslexia and eventually became known as a modern entrepreneurial icon. Sir Richard Branson, 2012) Richard Branson exemplifies the idea of the American Dream. In addition to becoming an entrepreneurial success story that crafted an empire from scratch, he has formed an identity for himself that is comprised of great wealth, international prestige, rugged adventure, and fearless innovation. (Sir Richard Branson, 2012) Richard Branson has proved that he is not afraid to fail, a trait that has been confirmed through some of his business and personal endeavors. (Moir, 2009) LEADERSHIP STYLES:

Richard Branson has proven that he is a natural born leader. Although he battles dyslexia and struggled through school, he still became a success story by creating a vast business empire by using his weaknesses to his advantage. (Moir, 2009) When examining Branson’s history it is clear to see that he has utilized different leadership styles throughout the success of his career. Leadership consists of influence, it occurs among people, those individuals purposely desire change, and the change reflects the shared purposes of both followers and leaders. Entrepreneurship: The Virgin Company, 2006) Branson’s leadership styles are suggestive of those of the transformation and charismatic leadership theories. Branson is known for his outlandish and flamboyant leadership style. Rather than a hands-on manager, Richard Branson has become known as a charismatic and strategic leader. (Richard Branson - Leader Extraordinaire, 2002) A marked distinction exists between management and leadership at the Virgin Group. Transformational leadership stems from the top-level executives and managers within the company.

Branson along with other company executives have defined many common goals for the business to accomplish as a whole. (Carmichael, 2005) These goals consist of the utilization of new technology, expansion into international markets, customer loyalty, and joint business ventures. These types of goals are made known to all people associated with the company. This has become a great benefit to the company by giving every person involved a mission to accomplish. (Carmichael, 2005). The top tier of management promotes employees to leverage their skills in ways that will benefit the company the most.

The purpose for this is to promote the philosophy that the overall benefit of the company will result in greater benefits for each individual involved. Rewards for shareholders, executives, employees, managers, and customers alike are obtained by through group contribution. (Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd, 2008) Leading is believed to be the most important and interesting function of management within the Virgin Group. Leadership dynamics begin with Richard Branson. Being a vocal and outgoing leader, his mission is to encourage his employees to work to their full potential for the benefit of the company.

He advertises his belief that contributions to the good of the business will reap more rewards for everybody involved. (Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd, 2008) Branson has said that he attempts to bring out the best of his employees at all levels within the company. Management is expected to embrace this philosophy and pass it on to their subordinates. Richard Branson’s leadership style also consists of giving people a great level of freedom in their work. (Carmichael, 2005) Branson’s goal is to provide them direction in their duties, enabling them to take control of the situation thereafter.

The freedom they are allowed in their work gives them an opportunity to excel without micromanagement. Branson’s company vision and leadership style has helped him become the center of attention within business and management discussions on a global scale. (Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd, 2008) RECOMMENDED LEADERSHIP STYLE: Richard Branson is an exceptional leader. Richard Branson’s management and leadership style can help teach us all. He has created a unique management style that has enabled the Virgin Company to achieve long term success.

Although there is a marked distinction between leadership and management, the Virgin Company has achieved the integration of each in many aspects of the business. (Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd, 2008) Transformational leadership has become an essential tool for managers, executives, and workers as well. His leadership styles have given employees the desire to work together in an effort to better the company so they may reach their own personal goals. (Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd, 2008) Richard Branson is the definition of what a leader is.

There has been no research found that suggests that Branson’s leadership is anything other than exemplary. Why fix something that is not broken? DEVELOPING A GLOBAL TEAM: Branson is constantly challenging his teams with new innovations, ideas, and ventures. (Branson, 2011) Richard Branson believes that forming a solid business foundation for the future is important – attracting investors, getting the contract correct, hiring core team members, selecting the best suppliers. (Branson, Richard Branson on Thinking Big, 2012) He would make sure that his teams have the correct tools for success. RICHARD BRANSON: The tools to succeed, the time to thrive, 2011) Branson would prioritize his staff first, gather information from them, and follow up on their suggestions and ideas. Branson would make sure the details of the business venture would be sorted out with his employees and he would consider the challenges his employees may face including any improvements they would like to employ to secure the project’s success, keeping in mind that the ultimate beneficiaries will be the bottom line and the customers. (Branson, Richard Branson on Thinking Big, 2012) LEADERSHIP QUALITIES IN CURRENT ROLE:

Richard Branson’s leadership practices can aid in the development of my own management and interpersonal skills. In my current position as the Executive Assistant to the County Administrator, I work closely with department directors and managers, as well as their support staff. When working on projects with County employees it is important for me to remember to assemble a great team, one with vision and passion. I need to remember that the employees are not just the resources of the County, but they are the County.

It is their hard work and dedication that makes this County what it is. It is important to foster employees’ development by recognizing their accomplishments and giving praise. CONCLUSION: Richard Branson has a refreshingly unique opinion of leadership making it easy to understand why people enjoy working for him. (Richard Branson, 1999) Branson believes the best leaders listen and continue to learn even after they have become leaders and learned to successfully delegate. Great leaders get in front and aren’t scared to fight for their beliefs.

Branson is a man who balances work and personal affairs, enjoys what he does, is fair and does not tolerate dirty tricks, and who leads from the front of a team of people who are dedicated to him - because they understand he honestly cares about them and the companies he owns. (Enderle, 2011) References Richard Branson. (1999, December). Retrieved February 2012, 14, from Askmen. com: http://www. askmen. com/celebs/men/december99/6_richard_branson. html Richard Branson - Leader Extraordinaire. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2012, from IBS Center for Management Research: http://www. cmrindia. org/casestudies/catalogue/Leadership%20and%20Entrepreneurship/Richard%20Branson-Herb%20Kelleher-Leader%20Extraordinaire-Leadership%20and%20Entrepreneurship-Case%20Study. htm Entrepreneurship: The Virgin Company. (2006, March 31). Retrieved February 14, 2012, from WriteWork. com: http://www. writework. com/essay/entrepreneurship-virgin-group Management and Leadership of Richard Branson at Virgin Group Ltd. (2008). Retrieved February 2012, 2014, from UPX Success: http://www. upxsuccess. com/leadership_richard_branson. tml RICHARD BRANSON: The tools to succeed, the time to thrive. (2011, November 7). Retrieved February 14, 2012, from Business Day: http://www. businessday. co. za/articles/Content. aspx? id=158028 Sir Richard Branson. (2012). Retrieved February 14, 2012, from Bigraphy. com: http://www. biography. com/people/richard-branson-9224520 Branson, R. (2011, May 4). Richard Branson on Self-Motivation. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from Entrepreneur. com: http://www. entrepreneur. com/article/219563 Branson, R. (2012, January 17). Richard Branson on Thinking Big. Retrieved February