Servant Leadership Philosophy

The act of Servant mixed with Leadership philosophy can be well described as a quality where it’s the responsibility of the leader to actively be involved in everyday activity of the establishment and typically implements a horizontal hierarchy system. The value system implemented through this philosophy, makes the organisation people centric. The people here are not just the hired employees but also the stakeholders and customers.

Conducting research on different set on companies, we shall find that ‘Virgin Group’ under the leadership of Richard Branson follows a Servant Leadership philosophy.

The attributes attained by this organisation can be easily identified through comparison in relation to philosophy of other industry leaders. The comparison is as stated:

  • Horizontal Organization- Virgin Group had been making consistent efforts to dissolve the cubicle/cabin wall. The founder, Richard Branson believes that even the seniormost employee of the organisation should spend some time being involved in the activities of shopfloor/warehouse (Virgin Mobile)
  • Customer Eccentricity- Virgin had been focussed upon bringing the value adding services to the customers.

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    Taking the example of Virgin Airlines, we can clearly see that by implementing loyalty programs, they intended in bringing value added benefits to the customers.

  • Emphasis on Ideas & Innovation- Richard Bransaon personally carries a notepad to jot down any new suggestion or idea provided by his employees. The group has also implemented Innovation portals to encourage its employees to make bigger strides towards innovative ideas.
  • People First Mentality- The group has also been actively involved in activities which shall bring value to the world.

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    Gaining huge profits had always been their second priority. They have been actively involved in many research projects and investments whose outcome would benefit the world both financially and environmentally.

Analyzing it performance metrics we can conclude upon following points:

  • Inspite of being involved in a segment that caters to low cost consumer consumption (Low profit margin, High debt level & Low job security), Virgin Group had been successful economically. They have a well developed pricing and strategic concept which helps them level out the cost incurred in being customer centric.
  • Virgin Group companies has always been rated as one of the most desirable company to work with. There is a sense of loyalty both in the customers and the employees for the group companies. This leads to better employee turnover and better customer retention.
  • Socioculturally, there is parity between the societal values and attitudes and Virgin group’s organisational values and attitude. This enables them to be at par with customer expectations and thus not only helps them earn customer’s loyalty but also helps them increase market share.
  • With rigorous and rightful investments, the group has always been able to implement the blue ocean strategy. They have always been able to milk out the industry first and thus be among the firsts to achieve huge profits out of it. Example- SpaceX- is primarily the only private player in space exploration .
  • Well established Valuable chain, help them transfer values to customers efficiently . This helps in the creation of better branding with better consumer perception.

It’s premature to conclude that the productivity of one establishment through one philosophy standardizes the philosophy. It actually depends upon the company’s make up, the establishments as a whole , the demographics being catered to, etc to conclude upon the choice of philosophy. The Virgin group had been successful because they are a innovation driven company, where a great emphasis is required to design the next disruptive innovation. However, if an establishment strives towards sustainability, attempts to enforce Servant Leadership Philosophy, they are bound to fail. This can be easily justified by the fact of sustainability centric establishments depends largely on Long term Vision and hence cannot afford to be complex in their proceeding towards their organisational constructive building.

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Servant Leadership Philosophy. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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