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Contents Chapter 1: Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Definition of Leadership ........................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Characteristics of a Leader ..................................................................................................... 1 1.3 About the Report .................................................................................................................... 2 Chapter 2: Leadership Theories ....................................................................................................... 3 2.1 Managerial Grid ..................................................................................................................... 3 2.2 Contingency Theory ............................................................................................................... 3 2.3 Path-Goal Theory ................................................................................................................... 4 2.4 Leader-Style Theory ............................................................................................................... 4 2.5 Hersey and Blanchard Theory ................................................................................................ 5 2.6 Transformational Leadership ................................................................................................. 5 Chapter 3: About Richard Branson .................................................................................................. 7 3.1 Synopsis ................................................................................................................................. 7 3.2 Early Life ............................................................................................................................... 7 3.3 Virgin Records ........................................................................................................................ 8 3.4 Business Expansion ................................................................................................................ 8 3.5 Virgin Galactic ....................................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 4: Virgin Group ................................................................................................................ 10 Chapter 5: Leadership Style of Richard Branson .......................................................................... 12 5.1 The Emergence of Branson’s Leadership Style ................................................................... 12 5.2 Richard Branson in the Public Eye ...................................................................................... 13 5.3 Branson and his Followers ................................................................................................... 13
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5.4 Richard Branson: Transformational Leader ......................................................................... 14 5.5 Branson’s Success as a Leader ............................................................................................. 15 Chapter 6: Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 17 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 18
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Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Definition of Leadership Before a leader can be analyzed, one must define what leadership is. Jackson and Parry (2008) say that ‘leadership is like beauty – it is difficult to describe, but we certainly know it when we see it.' However, the general consensus is that leadership is influencing people in order to attain goals (Daft, 2008). Leadership is a process by which one person influences the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of others. Leaders set a direction for the rest of us; they help us see what lies ahead; they help us visualize what we might achieve; they encourage us and inspire us. Without leadership a group of human beings quickly degenerates into argument and conflict, because we see things in different ways and lean toward different solutions. Leadership helps to point us in the same direction and harness our efforts jointly. Leadership is the ability to get other people to do something significant that they might not otherwise do. It’s energizing people toward a goal. 1.2 Characteristics of a Leader In any group situation, the leader has a few bases of power by virtue of which he is in a position to influence the behavior of group members. They are: Knowledge, information and experience Resources for dispensing favors, rewards and penalties 1
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Formal authority Charisma Distinct personality characteristics like for example, will to dominate, ability to establish rapport, skill to communicate, identity with and understanding of people, decisiveness and soon. Skillful use of these power bases by a leader is likely to bring success to him; and success in some cases adds to the power of the leader. A successful leader gains more credibility in the eyes of people; they often tend to ignore other deficiencies in him; they resolve to adhere to him and allow themselves to be further exposed to his influence attempts. In this way some leaders entrench themselves in their positions. Some even misuse their power and often get away with it. Power carries with it an equal amount of responsibility. Leaders who relate their power with responsibility in a consistent manner are more successful in their influence than otherwise.
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