Concise Analysis on Richard Branson & Donald Trump

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					                                    Task 2: Leadership Analysis on Richard Branson & Donald Trump

                                   1. Introduction

We chose Richard Branson as we felt that he is highly charismatic with an interesting
leadership style. His ability to overcome difficulties, discover new business
opportunities across diverse industries and preference to be unconventional and a
flair for controversy generated our interest in him. The other leader that we have
chosen is Donald Trump. He has shown ability to anticipate profitable ventures and
influence his partners in a positive way through charismatic influences. Trump‟s
approach to business was an autocratic way of which was the polar opposite with
Branson‟s approach.

                                1.1 Richard Branson

„Never let facts get in the way of a good idea‟ – Richard Branson

Born 18th July 1950, Blackheath, South London,
Richard Branson is a well known entrepreneur.
Some words commonly associated with him
include creative, fun, anti-establishment, fast
moving, opportunist, adventurer, risk taker, warm,
friendly,   competitive,   workaholic   and   tough

Diagnosed with Dyslexia ( 2009), he had a problem and reading
writing when he was studying, resulting in bad academic grades. At 16, he decided
to drop out of school to start his first business, and became a millionaire by the age
of 24. His unique interests in attempting dangerous stunts, flying around the world in
a balloon, breaking world records etc, attributed to his career success. Being an
entrepreneur whose timing is renowned, he is the ultimate brand builder.
Creating a unique business phenomenon, he is the driving force at the centre of 150
to 200 companies, employing more than 8,000 people in 26 countries.

He began his business with a unique, multi university student magazine and a small
mail order record company in 1970. This humble beginning was the catalyst for the
creation of Virgin Records. Twenty two years later, he sold Virgin Music Group to
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                                      Task 2: Leadership Analysis on Richard Branson & Donald Trump

Thorn EMI. Branson has started over 200 businesses, which have expanded into 23
countries, ranging from planes, to drinks, to investment funds; growing his label to be
a $3.5 billion company. In his own words, though their growth has been rapid, it is
„based on developing good ideas through excellent management principles‟. Richard
Branson was knighted in 1999 for his services to entrepreneurship ( 1999).

                     1.2 Donald Trump

Donald John Trump, born 14th June 1946 in Queens, New
York, was the son of a builder and real estate developer
( 2009). He did well as a child socially and
academically,    later   graduating      from     University      of
Pennsylvania with a degree in economics ( 2009).

Trump was strongly influenced by his father, starting his business career in Trump
Organization with him. He believed in New York City‟s strong economic potential
then, and ventured into Manhattan real estate ( 2009).

He became involved in large building projects in Manhattan offering opportunities for
earning high profits by utilizing attractive architectural design, consequently winning
public recognition ( 2009). Several of these include the world‟s
renowned Trump Tower and his most recent Trump International Hotel & Tower.

He has also ventured into casino gaming, developing of golf courses, author of many
bestseller books and the highly popular reality show, The Apprentice, gaining world

                           2. Contrasting Both Leaders

Both leaders adopt different leadership styles and have been successful in their own
ventures. This paper attempts to evaluate both personas‟ leadership effectiveness
via analysis of their leadership style in terms of six specific areas of leadership
namely contingency and situational leadership, charismatic and transformational
leadership and entrepreneurial and strategic leadership.

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                                    Task 2: Leadership Analysis on Richard Branson & Donald Trump

                     2.1 Richard Branson‘s Leadership Style

                  2.1.1 Contingency and Situational Leadership

Richard Branson possesses good leader-member relations and treats his employees
with due respect, like his “family”, even to the extent of inviting junior crew to his
home for parties (Dearlove 2007). He invites employees to give feedback and
contribute ideas. Virgin‟s task structure is generally low as Branson gives his
employees the freedom and initiative to be creative. There is no fixed procedure in
which how things should be done (Dearlove 2007).

His organisation operates on a flat, non-hierarchical structure (NCE 2009), made of
clusters of companies that operate independently and given flexibility to run without
much interference (Dearlove 2007). Position power – he proves to be a dominant
thinker, and usually makes first hand decisions himself (NCE 2009). Looking at
Fielder‟s contingency theory, he belongs to being the intermediate style leader, who
is equally task-motivated and socio-independent (Durbin Dalglish Miller 2006).

Branson is considered a prospector, and possesses strong contingency and
situational leadership skills. He is always looking out for and takes every opportunity
to venture into new viable businesses. He is also prompt in managing situations and
is a high risk-taker (Dearlove 2007).

His willingness to take up joint ventures and partnerships with established
companies has allowed Virgin to enter into complex markets without the need to start
an organisation from scratch, hence eliminating unnecessary costs associated with
new start-ups (Dearlove 20
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Description: 1. Richard Branson 2. Donald Trump 3. Contrastic Both Leaders 4. Branson's Leadership Style 4.1 Contingency & Situational Leadership 4.2 Charismatic & Transformational Leadership 4.3 Entrepreneurial & Strategic Leadership 5. Donald Trump's Leadership Style 5.1 Contingency & Situational Leadership 5.2 Charismatic & Transformational Leadership 5.3 Entrepreneurial & Strategic Leadership 6. Comparisons between both leaders. 7. Overview of key learning issues on both leaders