Richard Branson seemed to have a good time visiting the good folks down under at Virgin Australia judging by the pictures they uploaded yesterday.
Branson who founded the Virgin brand made a name for himself over the years for being one the most visible, unconventional and eccentric contemporary management figures.
During this trip to Australia he not only visited the crew break room as can be seen on the official Virgin Australia Facebook page (access here) but he also helped out at the lounge.
The application of Richard Branson as a visible figure to the Virgin products all around the world left a trademark sign and established a corporate culture that benefits employees and customers at the same time.
Even though it all might look like a giant party at Virgin, Branson watches over the integrity of his label and the products marketed under it. He is also known to take on situations by himself on a case by case basis which would otherwise be simple customer relations matters.
At the same time he interacts with the employees in a fashion that gives them the feeling they are being valued, treated with respect and start to identify themselves more with the company.
Of course it’s easier for Sir Richard who is pretty much a pop icon of his time to live such a leadership style versus a traditional CEO of let’s say Delta, British Airways or Lufthansa who is usually the dry corporate type.
Nevertheless one has to admire the pace in which he is going at this for decades which really shows you it’s a genuine engagement. The last time I flew on a Virgin product was Virgin Atlantic from Sydney to London and I really liked it. Unfortunately the route has been discontinued in the meanwhile.