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Leadership Strategies & Management of Ryanair

University: Leadership College London

  • Unit No: 7
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 11 / Words 2742
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: BUSM4737
  • Downloads: 813
Question :

Operations of an organisation affects most to its growth and development due to which management is responsible to utilize limited resources in an optimum manner. This unit aims leaner to have proper knowledge about the existence of management and operation and how it supports towards growth and development of an organization. For this, Learning Outcomes should be addressed:

  • Difference between roles of leader and manager in the context of Hennes and Mauritz.
  • Determine the role of leader and manager of Hennes and Mauritz in different situational context.
  • Demonstrate the role of leaders and managers in operating functions of Hennes and Mauritz.
  • Examine the relationship between leadership and management in contemporary business environment.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Ryanair


Leadership style followed by an organisation influences the efficiency and willingness in performing operational tasks. It is the responsibility of leader to define the mission, objective and strategic direction for successfully achieving goals. The fluidity is necessary for leaders and this can be achieved by identifying the need for changes. Successful leadership qualities always identify the change in needs and then these changes are implemented and managed(Bolden, 2016). Ryanair is the largest European airline, whose CEO Michael O' Leary is popularly known for his management and leadership strategies which makes Ryanair remarkable and noticeable. The report will analyse the skills of Michael O' Leary which have acts as successful driving force for Ryanair. It will also analyse the O'Leary's role as leader or as a manager. The report will explain the future consequences of his style in sustaining growth of Ryanair.

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Role of Michael O'Leary: A manager or a leader

Michael O' Leary, CEO of Ryanair is both manager and leader. He has characteristics of both management and leadership for achieving the success and making Ryanair, one of the largest European airlines.

  • O' Leary like a manager create goals, instead of creating visions for Ryanair. O' Leary aims at achieving more profits by operational cost cuts and introducing new strategies which can increase the revenue. In achieving these goals he does not hesitate in bringing innovative approaches and change measurements.
  • The adaptive nature of bringing changes makes O' Leary a leader. As a leader his most dominating strategy for achieving success is to remain in news by introducing unique and innovative policies which most of the time surprises the target audience as well as his competitors(Paul, 2016).
  • O' Leary never feels awkward in making controversial statements which influences Ryanair in both positive and negative manner. The leadership approach of O' Leary makes the policies of Ryanair to focus mainly on effectiveness rather than efficiency.
  • As a leading part of the organisation, O' Leary effectively plays his role of manager. He takes the responsibility of planning strategies, guiding his team members and sub ordinates to implement these strategies in desired manner to control the operational activities. O' Leary never hesitate in taking risks rather he is very fond of taking risks and controversy. The risk taking approach of O' Leary describes the managerial aspects of him(Fearghal ,2017).
  • When there are internal conflicts such as strikes within organisation or let it be criticism from media and social networking users, it is the leadership quality of the O' Leary which keeps him stand still without getting affected. He considers these issues as a regular part of development and symbol of successful establishment of Ryanair. The negative trolls on social media, evaluation and criticism of Ryanair and his policy makes O' Leary to stay firm on his decision. He has a great confidence in his policies.
  • The decision making for Ryanair is accomplished by managerial features of O' Leary whose ultimate goal is to achieve the results which enhances the market share of the organisation. O' Leary never focus on audience or the comments published by the stakeholders instead as an efficient manager his focus is to give priority to only procedures and policies for Ryanair.

The adaption of both leadership and managerial styles brings tremendous changes to the performance of Ryanair. As CEO O' Leary is effectively implementing the characteristics of both manager and leader. Such approach tends to give more reliable outputs. Risk involvement is crucial part of the organisation and O' Leary is greatly developing his strategies for taking risks in improving overall performance of Ryanair. But adaption of both approaches of leadership and management sometimes mislead the directions in which organisation need to move. If you want sample paper of Continental Consulting Limited then click on Digital Technology of Project Objectives - Continental Ltd.

For instance Ryanair try to make benefits from controversies and conflicts in leadership of O' Leary, but for long term such conflicts are not considered healthier for business growth. The conflicts cannot serve as basis for customer retention. Thus, at this aspect O' Leary needs to develop managerial aspect and must try to avoid conflicts. O'Leary's role as manager as well as team leader has marked the growth of Ryanair. Under the leadership of O'Leary organisation has effectively managed to deal with competitive pressure while his managerial qualities are making it possible to use available resources and opportunities to give optimized output by introducing innovations and new concepts(Henry,2017).


Characteristics and skills of O' Leary enhancing the growth of Ryanair

The contribution of Michael O' Leary is commendable in success of Ryanair. It is the strategies and policies of the O' Leary that have caused Ryanair to achieve significant growth and consideration. His focus is just to deliver the results in terms of success. And for gaining his desired outputs O' Leary used to implement maverick management style. This management style tends to implement only innovations, creativity and productive ideas. O' Leary knows it very well that how to use social connectivity tools for increasing the performance of Ryanair. For embracing the media he used to interact on social networking sites. He is very active on these sites.

Though he tries to promote the polices and new plans of Ryanair via these interactive sessions but he never feels shy or guilty in expressing his views which often creates controversy and are criticised. This characteristic of O' Leary has helps him in staying firm in his decision making which has resulted in the emergence of Ryanair as the largest airline in Europe. O' Leary is very confident about the brand performance of the organisation(Nicola., 2013). Whenever he makes strategies he used to consider this fact that Ryanair is already at success level so policies and ideas must meet its standards and should bring more profit than earlier. This approach of O' Leary always helps him in framing standard sets of policies which have higher possibilities of success. Michael O' Leary has great ability of sensing market and needs of customers. He very well knows that the foremost factor which drives customers is money. Due to this reason he laid his focus on providing the airline services at lowest possible fares. This is the cost-conscious concept of O' Leary which has made the organisation much popular among the customers and its competitors. He has intellectual personality and thus he very well knows how to remain in news. The media attention also plays an important role in marketing of the organisation. The CEO Michael O' Leary has managed to influence the users with his vision, creative implementation of his new ideas and statements. This influence creation on public definitely make the name of Ryanair more familiar among target audience(Paul, 2016).

Another important characteristic of O' Leary is that he can effectively put his idea and planning in front of world. Despite of lot of criticism he has skills to successfully convince his team for implementation. One of the impressive skills O' Leary has is that he used to accept any idea only after self evaluation. For instance after spending months in analysis he concluded that social networking sites are beneficial for the organisation. Thus, analytical approach of O' Leary before decision-making proves effective in deciding performance of Ryanair. For raising the profit of organisation he uses innovative concepts which can increase revenue. For instance he implemented idea that Ryanair must use extra services such as reservation in seats, boarding time as per priority of the customer and other policies related to check in and check out at the airports. O' Leary does not follow the same trend set by the other competitors rather he believes that instead of following same path as followed by your competitors would not give better results instead identify the needs and requirements of customers(Kim, 2015). You can also get University Assignment Help at a very cheap price from our expert writers.


Consequences of Michael O'Leary's style for long run

The Michael O' Leary has only focused on development of low cost airline model for Ryanair. For increasing revenues he used to introduce various new plans for oversized bags, digital advancements and travelling policies. O' Leary has main concern with only increasing the customers by price reduction. Mr. O' Leary doest not makes any strategies for customer retention. As a result, despite being the cheapest airline Ryanair is not the priority choice of majority of customer segment. The maverick approach of Mr. O' Leary do not consider the impact of feedbacks and suggestions. Such approach is not beneficial for the organisation for long term.

For instance the strikes within organisation, employees dissatisfaction and customer complains are not considered valuable under this management style of Mr. O' Leary(Donate and de Pablo, 2015). Because as per him the attraction of low fares is the only and only parameter which can make the Ryanair successful. It is necessary to analyse the fact that low prices can be driving force for customers but without providing quality services and without coordination of employees it is not possible for Ryanair to maximise profits. With the continuation of this management style it will not be possible for Ryanair to sustain growth and profit. Michael O' Leary often makes remarks which are controversial.

These controversial statements may sometimes prove headache for the organisation. These controversies give negative impact on brand image of the organisation. Many times customers want to stay disconnected from such organisations which are always in news for irrelevant cause. Ryanair is well established organisation but O'Leary's attitude for considering customer related issues can lead to performance degradation of the organisation. For instance when Ryanair encountered with strikes from pilot then no appropriate strategies were analysed by Michael O' Leary. As per him their demands are not valid and thus it does not need consideration. This statement flooded on social platforms. Thus, it was necessary for Michael O' Leary to resolve the issue with discussion instead of making it a matter of public discussion. Such management styles influences the decision making in which leaders stay firm on their perspective without taking into consideration the perspective of other team member. The negligence to the interests of team members and customers is not considered as healthy for the organisation. It will lead to low customer retention rate and inefficient team work. Michael O' Leary is focusing on only innovations and his ideologies without making any analysis regarding performance. The organisation has the capabilities to mark new success levels under leadership of Michael O' Leary but instead of making attempts to connect new customers and retaining old ones Mr. O' Leary is just adjusting his entire focus and efforts on single dictatorship strategy. The more involvement of other team members of Ryanair and timely focus on the feedbacks and suggestions of customers are mandatory to concentrate on higher growth level. If the entire decision- making process depends on only one of the leader, then it decreases productivity of the organisation. Such leadership and decision making style is not considered beneficial for the benefits of Ryanair because in such style decisions are not executed on the basis of analysis or requirements rather they are implemented with just perspective of leader. The ideology of leader alone without making the other team members of the organisation a part of decision making cannot provide the optimized output in terms of sales and profits.

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Will O’Leary be the right person for Ryanair during the times ahead, or does the company now require more of a ‘manager’ than a ‘leader’?

During the times ahead Michael O' Leary may not be the right person for Ryanair and organisation need to search for a managerial approach more than the leader. The Ryanair has the most attractive feature of lower prices. But the monopoly attitude of Mr. O' Leary has created a dissatisfaction among employees of the organisation as well as customers. For achieving the cost reduction targets Mr. O' Leary has also introduced several cost saving strategies which are considered inappropriate by the employees. He is also not taking any initiative to clear out the differences within organisation. These conflicts are greatly affecting the service quality and hence leading to customer dissatisfaction.

For maintaining the growth level of the organisation, it will become important for Ryanair to search for alternate option which will give guidance with managerial approach. The manager will make efforts to build strong team and eventually only a strong team work can lead to successful operation of organisation. The strong policies and innovations cannot give the desired output goals rather it requires highly skilled team work and coordination which can transform innovations into implementation(Jacobsen and Bøgh Andersen,2017). In future if Ryanair shifts from O'Leary's management style and give preference to manager related strategies then surely it will work on making public relations more strong. The public relations are necessary for building wider approach for the organisation.

Since the conflicts related to employees and customers are increasing it will become essential for the Ryanair to search for the more of manager approach instead of leader. Upcoming years will also mark the strong competitive policies from the rivalries airlines. Thus, Ryanair must make polices which are not only oriented around the ideology of any leader instead they are based on the factors like competitors, customer support, profit goals and team work. A manager knows it very well that a team work can achieve any task if the entire team is designed well. O'Leary's approach of decision- making and actions are exclusive of team discussion and team support. Thus, with future perspective it cannot be considered as suitable and profitable for Ryanair. At this time organisation is performing well so it can shift to a better manager who can unite all factors of business and can make the most effective decisions.

Even if Ryanair continue with O' Leary then also it will be mandatory for Mr. O' Leary to consider the manager approach in more preference as compare to that of leader. If the issues like employee dissatisfaction, customer retention will not be resolved on time then it will definitely cause a great loss to the Ryanair. This will act as great competitive advantage for its competitors. Once the Ryanair will lose its grip among customers then it will become almost impossible for the organisation to rebuild the customer support. Hence, in time ahead Mr. O' Leary have to change strategies or Ryanair will need more of manager.


From the report it can be concluded that the nature of leadership style greatly influences the growth sustainability of the organisation. The innovations and great confidence in planning and implementation have made it possible for O'Leary to reach new levels of growth for Ryanair. It can be also concluded from the report that this approach will not guarantee a long term success for organisation. Ryanair may need an effective manager in future who can make balance between innovations and public and media relations. Because to be in news is beneficial for Ryanair but its not guarantee for long term success and existence of organisation.


  • Bolden, R., 2016. Leadership, management and organisational development. InGower handbook of leadership and management development(pp. 143-158). Routledge.
  • Donate, M.J. and de Pablo, J.D.S., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation.Journal of Business Research.68(2). pp.360-370.
  • Jacobsen, C.B. and Bøgh Andersen, L., 2017. Leading public service organizations: how to obtain high employee self-efficacy and organizational performance.Public Management Review.19(2). pp.253-273.
  • Kim, T., 2015. Diffusion of changes in organizations.Journal of Organizational Change Management,28(1), pp.134-152.
  • Wu, M. and Ma, A., 2017. The Role of Leadership in Leading Organizations Towards Sustainability. InCSR, Sustainability, and Leadership(Vol. 54, No. 74, pp. 54-74). ROUTLEDGE in association with GSE Research.
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