The purpose of this paper is to describe the personality of Sir Richard Branson as well as applying the roles of social perception and attribution. Sir Branson is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin brand started in the 1970’s. Virgin is one of Great Britain’s most respected brands and consists of ventures in travel and tourism, leisure and pleasure, social and environmental, media and telecommunications, finance and money, health, and shopping. As a youth, Sir Branson was introduced to many factors which shaped his adult personality.
According to Nelson & Quick (2008), “family, culture, education, and other environmental forces shape personality. ” Sir Branson’s personality was strongly influenced by his family environment. His mother encouraged him and his sisters to work hard and overcome adversity by continually setting physical challenges between the siblings. These competitions surely enhanced Branson’s drive to compete and triumph in sporting activities. His entrepreneur success can be contributed to the early introduction of entrepreneurship by his mother and Aunt Clare.
Sir Branson’s was influenced by a loving family which modeled traits such as teamwork, cohesion, and support. During my childhood, children were taught to stay in a child’s place and speak only when spoken to. Branson was encouraged to speak as a child and his opinions were valued. This helped to build self-esteem and confidence to communicate outside his social group. In my opinion, Branson’s psychological type derived from the Type Theory Preferences and Descriptions is Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Perceiving (ENFP). Nelson & Quick (2008) described a person who is categorized as ENFP to be: Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative.
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See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on the ability to improvise and their verbal fluency. (p. 95) While reading Sir Branson’s case, I created the perception that Branson is intelligent, creative, loyal, family oriented, friendly, and confident yet arrogant. My perception is strongly affected by my characteristics as the perceiver. I truly believe that anyone can be successful if he or she works hard.
If an individual is working hard and not obtaining the projected level of success, he or she needs to change the situation. Not necessary the plan or approach, but the situation in which he or she is operating in (city, state, company, community). The manner in which Branson organized his schedule to allow for family time influences my opinion and I created the image of him as a family man. Although this is important it doesn’t necessarily confirm that Branson is a true family man. The situation that Branson is introduced to me has an overwhelming affect on my perception.
I am reading an article full of positive factors about Branson. How could my perception be anything other than positive? This perception may be the same or totally different had this been a face to face encounter. Three elements of the barriers to social perception are involved in my assessment. First, I used selective perception by relating my view of family orientation to Branson. I narrowed my perception to the qualities which supported my viewpoint. Next, I created the perception that Branson is intelligent, because he is successful. I have created a stereotype that all successful entrepreneurs must be intelligent.
The article offered information that Branson’s academic record was terrible and he did not finish high school. I failed to consider this information because of his success. Lastly, the first impression error allowed me to read the article and create the perception that this is the true Branson without any future research or consideration. Sir Branson performance and success is due to internal attributions. He accepted his weaknesses and built on his strengths. The values instilled by his mother formed a sound foundation to build on. He is not focused on external attributions of things he has no control over.
He continues to expand his empire by giving others opportunities to develop their ideas into business ventures that he supports (Nelson & Quick, 2008, p. 115). He uses his internal attributions to counter the startup problems and unforeseen battles which don’t seem to bother him. Sir Branson is perceived to be a well-rounded person. His personality, which drives his success and current business philosophy, mirrors his childhood development. During his childhood, his opinion was valued and now he is open to the opinions and ideas of his advisory team.
His mother and Aunt Clara were very entrepreneurial developing several different ways to make money and now Branson invites creativity and backs the new business ventures of others. He developed his sense of competition and now challenges industries which he feels are not serving the public. An individual’s personality is strongly influenced by his or her environment as proven by Sir Richard Branson. References Nelson, D. L. , & Quick, J. C. (2008). Organizational behavior: Science, the real world, and you (6th Ed. ). Mason, OH: South-Western.
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