Owing to the stiff competition that is prevalent in modern organizations, the success or failure of an institution is based on the strengths of its leadership structures. However, the styles of leadership vary from one person to another based on the individual traits. An ideal leader has the attributes of inspiring others towards producing results. Therefore, the best way of gauging the success of a leader is through looking at the impact that he or she has on the followers or employees under him or her. There is a significant similarity between the effectiveness of a leader and the results. Further, it is argued that great leaders have various competencies, which complement each other and place them ahead of the others (Jokinen, 2005). These competencies include traits like interpersonal skills, individual character and capabilities as well as emphasis on results. The possession of only one of the main competencies may not likely contribute to an effective leader. However, because leadership is exercised in varying environments and effective leader has to use these competencies in order to meet the needs of every situation. Owing to the lack of objective measure, it is very challenging to determine a good leader by just looking at a single factor.
In the business organizations that we have today, leaders who have several competencies have been able to elevate their companies to greater heights. Some of such leaders include Richard Branson, an English investor who is the founder of Virgin Group, which is made up of 400 companies. The organization founded in 1984 has businesses in travel, entertainment, lifestyle and financial services. Sir Branson possesses leadership competencies that have enabled him to become one of the most successful business heavyweights today. Flexibility enhances organizational change and new opportunities.
As the environments undergo changes, the entities need inspiration from effective leaders. Branson is a leader who is always open to change and also surrounds himself with wonderful people. An ideal attribute of an effective leader is his ability to operate individually or act as a team in conjunction with other like-minded people. Considering the nature of the operations of the Virgin Group, Branson has in his circle, other great business mentors and coaches who offer him guidance in decision making, goals and interests. These are the teams responsible for complementing the growing cultural presence of the organization.
In 2006, Virgin Group introduced Brussels airlines in order to widen its network of coverage. As a result of this, the organization was able to add a new customer base other countries. The character, personal traits and integrity of Sir Branson determines his effectiveness. A leader who possesses integrity is transparent, and has the support of his juniors. Virgin Group has been able to succeed as a result of the individual skills of Richard Branson. His interest in entrepreneurship has enabled his organization to venture into new destinations in various countries with a diverse customer base. He believes that business is fun and also a way of life that entails lots of creativity.
The interpersonal skills of Sir Branson lead to impacts and style of communication that provides an avenue through which people are able to understand the personal traits of their leaders. A leader that has a sense of humor is likely to inspire his team to deliver the best towards fulfilling the objectives of the organization. Branson enjoys combining work with fun. As a result of this, he has been able to create an enhanced working environment and trust within the organization (Jokinen, 2005). The leadership competencies that Sir Branson possesses are related since they both operate together. It can be very challenging to create proper interpersonal relationships with employees without strong personality characteristics. Besides, a leader must also have good interpersonal relationship with employees in order to effectively implement changes in an organization. These are the factors that have impacted the growth of Virgin Group.
In conclusion, leadership is multidimensional, and needs a combination of a variety of attributes to be effectively achieved. Such attributes include individual traits, interpersonal skills, focus on results, and creativity for change. Therefore, it is important that today’s managers possess a combination of these attributes in order to effectively undertake their roles since situational requirements have to be evaluated so as to suit individual leaders.
Jokinen, T. (2005). Global leadership competencies: a review and discussion. Journal of European Industrial Training, 29(3), 199-216.