Strong leader or weak leader by Richard Branson

Interesting reflection on strong and weak leadership by one of my most admired and inspiring leaders: Richard Branson.Richard Branson and the Virgin Sport team in New York

Here are some of his ideas:

  • Strong leaders must have vision, creativity and, most importantly, the ability to influence others to support them in the challenges of moving an organisation into unchartered territory. Good leadership is about taking ventures forward and finding new avenues where the business can evolve and prosper.
  • Poor leadership typically tends to be static, much more about protecting the status quo and resting on laurels. This ‘don’t rock the boat’ approach may have been a viable business model 20 years ago, but at the frenetic pace of business today it is no longer an option. To stand still today is to go backwards – quickly.
  • Some leaders are frequently guilty of shying away from anything that might result in a disagreement. They might think that this will make them more likeable to their employees; or perhaps they don’t have sufficient level of confidence in their own technical understanding of the problem to be able to stand their ground; or they’d simple prefer to turn a blind eye in the hope that by ignoring the issue it will over time somehow manage to sort itself out.
  • Unfortunately, failing to confront a problem while it’s at the smouldering stage more often than not leads to it becoming a fully fledged fire that is much harder to extinguish and can do a lot of long-term damage.
  • Another relatively common confrontation avoidance technique with weak leaders is to always have someone else on hand to take care of the dirty work on their behalf.
  • There seems to be a lot of confusion around the subtle but critical difference between delegation and relegation. Simply stated, delegation is handing on the responsibility for a situation together with the authority to resolve it. Relegation is simply pushing a problem away, but without including the power to really do anything much about it – except perhaps to shoulder the blame.

You can find his original article here.

And if you want to watch a great interview with him you can find it in this post: