The paper "Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson as an Effective Leader" is a wonderful example of an assignment on management. “ A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. Lack of experience does not have to be a liability -- it can be an asset. It is something you should play up when you discuss your ideas with prospective investors, partners, and employees, rather than directing the conversation toward your other strengths” . That is Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, 61, the British Entrepreneur and Founder of the famous Virgin Group, which comprises of as many as 360 plus companies operating within 30 countries, employing nearly 55,000 people with revenues over approximately US$25 billion (Virgin Group, 2011). Branson’ s leadership skills started showing up rather too early in his life – he was just 16 years of age when he published a student magazine, and a few years later he founded a recording label, which marked the beginning of his success as an effective leader and an entrepreneur.
Known for his marketing tactics and grabbing media attention (Fox, 2004), he did then what he is known for now – turning his own inexperience in the field into a tangible asset by his mart work and leadership qualities by roping in a popular instrumental artist Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" in 1973.
The release stayed there for 247 weeks on UK music charts, and one thing led to another while Virgin Records signed up music artists like "The Sex Pistols", "Genesis", "Simple Minds" and "The Rolling Stones"(Knowledge@Wharton, 2005). Daft (2002) is of the opinion that leadership is synonymous with influence, that comes naturally to people who desire change as such that goal of which are shared by others.
Branson has been known as an influencer among people since he has shown them the common purpose of doing what he does. Branson is said to have quoted once that he wanted to be a journalist or an editor and he wasn't really interested in being an entrepreneur, but he realized that he can be one when he made attempts in order to keep his magazine going. Branson has had a knack for starting new ventures; thanks to his insatiable quest for recognizing new opportunities.
Sometime after Virgin Records made it big he had remarked that the music industry was an eclectic mix of real and intangible assets in the sense that pop bands are established brands in themselves and when their popularity is at the peak, their name alone is a guarantee that each record they churn out would be a practical hit. From starting a student magazine at 16, Branson opened a mail-order business selling records at 20, and a short while later a recording studio.
Branson says the mail-order business was nearly crippled by a postal strike, but before it would have been too late to mend, he immediately hunted for a shop, found one, and set up music store on Oxford Street. The unconventional store, not cluttered with racks and racks of records, but mad ambient with proper seating arrangements and listening booths, was an instant hit among Londoners. The money that came in led to subsequent stores, but Branson retained the basic idea of setting these up – busy streets, and good spaces needing smartening up.
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