Richard Branson Essay Example
Richard Branson Essay Example

Richard Branson Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2457 words)
  • Published: September 21, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Richard Brannon, despite initially lacking interest in entrepreneurship, became one of the most successful and wealthy businessmen of the 20th century. Born in England, Brannon was raised by encouraging yet unorthodox parents and faced challenges with dyslexia during his teenage years. However, he overcame these obstacles to thrive as a young adult.

At 16 years old, Brannon started a student magazine at Stows School and later transformed a record retail shop into one of the top six record companies worldwide. His courage to take necessary risks and learn from trial and error contributed to his incredible success with his many Virgin Group companies.

Brannon not only aimed for personal success but also sought to be a positive influence on the world. He prioritized passing on his knowledge and skills to his employees, focusing not only on their knowledg


e and managerial skills but also their motivation and high morale.

His empowering leadership style strongly focused on his staff while maintaining dedication to his family. Throughout his journey, Richard Brannon remained kind-hearted but stayed committed to generating wealth.

With an open mind and a focus on future growth, he always aspired for continued global expansion. The Virgin Company faced challenges and weaknesses in academic achievements, but Brannon, being optimistic, worked to turn these into strengths. He quoted, "Mimi don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over." Richard Brannon's journey to becoming one of the most influential business leaders taught valuable lessons. Born in Surrey, England in 1950 to Ted and Eve Brannon, he benefited greatly from their strong parental guidance and encouraging behavior. His childhood played a significant role i

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shaping who he became. Ambition and financial independence were emphasized by his parents; his mother even posed as a man to become a pilot instructor. The Brannon household operated like a small business, creating and selling crafts and inventions locally. This upbringing likely contributed to his excellent teamwork skills required for a global corporation. As Richard and his siblings grew up, they became independent and competitive individuals who constantly sought personal challenges.

His competitive nature fueled a passion for athletics in which he excelled, making him well-rounded in sports.Despite struggling with dyslexia and facing poor treatment from teachers in the 1960s, Richard Abrasion's academic performance suffered. He even endured beatings for his below-average achievements since detention was non-existent at that time. In order to avoid expulsion at a new school, he resorted to faking a suicide note as an ambitious escape plan.

However, everything changed when Richard had his first taste of entrepreneurship at the age of 16. He established a school magazine that focused on addressing global issues, particularly the Vietnam War. This endeavor faced opposition from his headmaster who insisted he leave the school to solely focus on the magazine business. Despite this setback, Richard chose to pursue journalism wholeheartedly.

His work in journalism not only brought him joy but also helped him conquer dyslexia and gain self-confidence. He firmly believes that once dyslexic individuals find something they excel at, they can overlook their weaknesses and find purpose in life. As an editor and journalist for his magazine called Student, Richard worked diligently to manage and advertise it for its survival.

This required him to learn and adopt skills as a manager and entrepreneur. Richard's ability

to persuade others became evident as he successfully interviewed notable figures such as Mica Jaeger and Jon el Care while working on his magazine.Presenting his magazine as the sole source for young people to learn from influential figures, Richard faced numerous rejections but refused to accept "no" as an answer. Alongside the magazine's success, Richard established the Student Advisory Centre, offering advice and consulting services specifically tailored to students. Unbeknownst to him, this establishment unknowingly expanded his brand. In addition, Richard and his friends devised a way to buy and sell records at lower prices than other shops, giving rise to Virgin Records. This marked the first challenging step in Richard's entrepreneurial journey. The text emphasizes the significance of courage and confidence when pursuing business opportunities despite financial obstacles and uncertainties. Brannon and Nick Powell embarked on their entrepreneurial journey by operating Virgin Records and Tapes, a discount record shop in London that eventually transformed into a beginner-friendly record label bearing the name "Virgin," suggested by their friend Tests Watts due to their collective lack of experience in the business world.In the beginning, Richard's client base consisted of popular bands like Genesis, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, and The Sex Pistols. He worked tirelessly to make buying records easier and more affordable while prioritizing customer satisfaction and positive impact rather than monetary gain. However, being young, he inevitably made some mistakes. Unfortunately, certain actions such as discounting and trading records were deemed illegal, resulting in his arrest by the Trade Commission and Export organization. Thankfully, with his mother's support and financial assistance, Richard avoided a lengthy prison sentence but acquired a significant debt. Nevertheless, this

incident motivated him to expand rather than give up on his dream. With the help of friends and family, he successfully opened an additional 30 record shops across the UK. Through familial support, hard work ethic instilled in him from childhood, and determination, Richard overcame setbacks and learned valuable lessons to avoid repeating past errors.

Early in his career when Virgin Records was gaining recognition as one of the top independent record companies globally; Richard had plans to fly to the Virgin Islands which unfortunately got canceled.Richard Brannon, the founder of Virgin, made a bold move when he chartered a plane and sold tickets to stranded passengers whose flight to the Virgin Islands had been cancelled. This marked Virgin's entry into the airline industry. As Virgin grew, more employees were hired to handle day-to-day operations. Known for his empowering leadership and human skills, it was no surprise that Brannon built a savvy and enthusiastic staff. He believed in delegating work and promoting employee ideas, stating in an interview that their guiding principle is to give individuals tools and parameters and let them do their thing. This management style relies on trust as its foundation. Brannon also had a unique hiring process that focused on qualities like outgoingness, positivity, and creativity rather than formal education. In his interview with HRS Magazine, he expressed admiration for those with hidden potential worldwide and was known for recognizing and developing his staff's abilities. His leadership served as an inspiration to others.The workplace at Virgin was characterized by consistent work and self-managing teams. Employees had opportunities to personally meet with Brannon to discuss ideas. Richard, instead of punishing mistakes or failures,

encouraged them as long as his team pushed boundaries and took risks. According to Richard, all good workers deserved second chances as long as they learned from their mistakes.

Due to their entrepreneurial spirit, risk-taking abilities, acceptance of failure, effective communication, and strong teamwork, the Virgin Groups became one of the most innovative organizations in the world. Maintaining high morale and a positive atmosphere was important to Virgin. Brannon implemented a weekly tradition of peer-to-peer nominations to recognize top performers. One outstanding performance award included paid vacations to Abrasion's personal island.

Richard and other top managers valued opinions in the workplace and offered potential for career growth and freedom to contribute ideas or suggestions. This open communication system made staff members feel competent, important, and motivated.

Richard emphasized the importance of key leadership skills to his employees because he wanted his legacy and life's work to continue even after he was gone. It was crucial for him that he wasn't the only one setting the culture when recruiting new people for the individual businesses within Virgin. "The Company must be set up so it can run without me," Richard stated.Richard regularly shared his philosophies and genius strategies with company managers by hosting dinner parties and spending quality time with his staff. Reading employee feedback and mail about managers' opinions was a top priority for Abrasion's, as there was no bureaucracy in place. People could send their complaints, concerns, and grievances directly to Richard, who made sure each situation was handled promptly while remaining loyal to his employees.

Running a business requires significant commitment, leaving little time for family. However, Richard struggled to find a balance between work and family

life. Through trust in his team and efficient delegation of work, he managed to spend more quality time at home. He also brainstormed and planned from home, allowing him to accomplish goals while being near his wife and child.

Brannon devoted considerable time to brainstorming ideas for the company. His family accompanied him on many business trips, which provided more opportunities for quality time together. Recognizing the importance of family, Richard ensured that his staff had sufficient vacation days and time off work to spend with their families as well.

While some may view mixing business and pleasure negatively, Richard disagreed. He believed that when business associates and coworkers saw him in a family setting, they would gain more respect for him as they witnessed his human side.The Virgin Group is engaged in various industries, such as the stock market, airlines, mobile, and record business. Some notable businesses under the Virgin brand include Virgin Galactic (2004), Virgin Animation (2006), Virgin Money (2007), Vagrant Media (2007), Vagrant Healthcare (2008), and Vagrant Racing (2009). The Virgin Empire now comprises over 400 global businesses and companies. Richard's latest venture, Virgin Galactic, aims to commercialize spaceflight for those who can afford it. Diversifying across different industries helps offset losses and spread returns. A diverse stock portfolio reduces the risk of losses if one branch performs poorly. Richard wanted to protect Virgin from major disasters like BP or Enron. Adapting to workplace changes is crucial in today's globalized market for staying competitive. The ability of the Virgin Group to incorporate new areas has positioned it well against other global brands while retaining revenues. Access to consumers worldwide has been vital for expanding

and diversifying the brand successfully. Involvement in diverse businesses also leads to higher worker productivity, company growth, and attracting skilled workers.

Throughout the years, Brannon has gained vast knowledge in managing a company, yet his vision remains mostly unaltered. He defines business as the act of creating desirable items and surpassing competitors, which coincides with his method of developing things that bring him pride. Richard's aspiration for pride also extends to engaging in humanitarian endeavors. The Virgin Group supports numerous well-established and benevolent organizations such as the Virgin Earth Challenge, Carbon War Room, Green Fund, Healthiest, Life Care, and Unite.

These organizations provide solutions for global issues such as poverty, hunger, environmental conservation, and the development of alternative fuel sources. By embracing positive attitudes and aligning himself with them, Richard has made his products and services appealing to many people, making his company a desirable place to work. Despite their wealth and success, both Richard and Virgin had weaknesses and faced challenges. Sitting on a precarious line between triumph and failure, Brannon reached a point that almost brought down the entire empire. He decided to sell Virgin Records and heavily invest in Virgin Atlantic instead. Trading the world's fourth largest record company for the 25th largest airline seemed risky; however, Brannon believed it was necessary to protect jobs within both companies. To safeguard the airline business along with the employees working there, he even had to part with family heirlooms. Many of Virgin's struggles stemmed from Richard's own vulnerabilities. His prioritization of employees over customers was both a strength and weakness. At times, this approach led to unsatisfied customers who may have been better served if

more attention had been given to them. However, Richard learned from these experiences throughout his life which resulted in Virgin becoming more focused on customer satisfaction. As an example of this commitment, he occasionally randomly selects customers to call personally in order to inquire about their experiences with Virgin Airlines. Additionally being charismatic is another attribute that brings strengths but can also lead to vulnerability for nice guys like him who risk being taken advantage of by others due to their kind natureRichard, who is unashamed of exploiting his weaknesses, can be targeted by competitors or even people who dislike him. Additionally, Brannon lacks a complete formal education and has attention deficit disorder (ADD), resulting in unfinished tasks when he becomes bored. His ADD causes his mind to wander, making it challenging and confusing for him to handle too much at once or constant changes.

However, these factors may have influenced Brannon's diverse industries. There is much to learn from Brannon and his Virgin Group. The power of persistence, adaptability to environmental changes, business diversification, commitment to family, fair treatment of workers, innovation, and staying grounded are evident. Yet, he possessed exceptional qualities that made him stand out. He acknowledged his weaknesses and used them positively. He based hiring decisions on individuals rather than just their resumes.

Furthermore, he listened to employee concerns regardless of their position and took action to resolve issues. Contrary to people's expectations, he showed vulnerability instead of always presenting himself as an untouchable businessman. Lastly, Richard Brannon prioritized employees first followed by customers before focusing on profit. Not many companies prioritize money last; those that claim to do so often engage in

corrupt practices. Richard achieved an extraordinary career because he was an extraordinary individual

Brannon, despite encountering difficulties from a young age, has achieved remarkable success that most people can only dream of. He demonstrated potential early on and, through persistence and dedication to his goals, successfully established a multimillion-dollar corporation with interests in various industries. He is seen as an influential figure and visionary, serving as an inspiration for others.

An example of Brannon's pioneering ideas is the Virgin Group's plans to launch safe commercial interstellar round trips, even at a time when others are not considering outer space travel due to NASA cutbacks. His innovative thinking often surpasses the current times.

Richard attributes much of his triumphs to his upbringing in a loving environment that provided him with stability. Despite facing challenges such as choosing career pursuits over continuing education, he always found ways to progress.

Sir Richard Brannon started from humble beginnings but has achieved significant accomplishments. He is highly regarded as an extraordinary business leader who deserves praise and admiration. At one point, he had to pretend interest in purchasing an island; nevertheless, his quick thinking and willingness to take bold risks allowed him to achieve his goals. Prioritizing family values, he encourages his employees to do the same while promoting open communication and idea-sharing within the management style he embodies.

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