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Life and Leadership Skills of Michael O' Leary

University: ESCP Business School

  • Unit No: 6
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 11 / Words 2706
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: MGMT8250
  • Downloads: 914
Organization Selected : Ryanair


Leadership refers to the ability of management to set and achieve objectives. These qualities help an individual to set himself apart from crowd and become the visionary he is destined to be. Leader is a person who takes charge of his position and brings out reforms in order to increase efficiency in management. Michael O' Leary has been a prominent figure in aviation industry in Europe. The Irish born business tycoon has revolutionized the way airlines are structured in Europe. In this report, a few points will be discussed based on his life and leadership skills.

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Being a manager as well as leader helps within an organisation, the person is able to evaluate things to be done. A successful business owner is person who has the ability to lead his team along with guiding them the way they need to move forward. Ability of leader is not only his mental stature to cope up with pressure but to delegate responsibilities in the most promising way (Bolman and Deal, 2017). This would allow the people working with him to flourish and attaining organisational goals.

Michael O' Leary has been proclaimed to follow a ruthlessly cost-conscious model. This has made his airline, Ryanair, the biggest revenue generating firm. Students can also search for the Leadership Strategies & Management of Ryanair sample paper.

There are a few notable points, that makes a person a “Manager” and “Leader” both, they are :-

  • Distribute responsibility: A leaderat every phase of life requires the power to take decisions. So, the top management should ensure that they are providing autonomy to their leaders. This would allow leaders to take decisions and the responsibilities could be distributed effectively.
  • Be honest and open about information: Individuals working in Ryanair feel belongingness towards it if the information is shared with them. Leadership within an organisation becomes effective when leader shares the information with his peers and help them to use this information and work accordingly.
  • Create multiple path for raising and testing ideas:there are various methods to execute a task, for which various ideas are required. These ideas are extracted from the people working within the organisation.O' Leary always makes sure that they get various ideas from their people, then he designs several plans from those ideas and from those plans chooses the best one.
  • Develop opportunities for experience based learning: It is when an individual works, he knows the importance of experience. Opportunities in life never come easily and so, a person should be able to learn from his/ her previous experiences and then take right decisions. O'Leary should make sure that people working with him develop learnings based on experiences. These experience would help the individual to cash on opportunities available within the organisation.
  • Recognise leadership development as an ongoing practice: Refers to the process appreciating the leader and his decisions. Providing him constantly creative feedback in order to develop him as well. There are times when people forget the person leading them is also human and can make mistakes so they need to make sure that leader doesn't feel deserted and people provide him with suggestion whenever he needs one. This would make sure that the leader is also developing along with his peers, employees and subordinates (Laloux, 2014).

Michael O' Leary can surely be defined as the person who is a leader as well as a manager. He might have a contradictory style as opposed to other business leader, but has made sure that his organisation stays at the top within industry. Ryanair has enjoyed a status of being the most grossing airlines in Europe as their management has taken right decision at right time. They have been able to captivate minds of travellers and have made sure that they retain their customer base with mesmerising innovation and the best customer service practices. Nursing assignments could be so much hectic for students, that's why most students opt for Nursing Assignment Help online from professional writers.


Michael O' Leary has been a dynamic leader and ensured that he takes company forward with certain skills and abilities. Characteristics and skills that define O' Leary are:

  • Influence:In order to get things done from others, the first thing is to make a mark on their personality. When a person is able to do so he is ensuring that he has influenced his peers and people are working according to the instructions provided to them.
  • Help others see big picture:Leaders are the persons with broad perspective and knowledge about things. They know the gradual progression of events and so, they pre-plan for everything and help others to do so by guiding them. This helps the people working with them to grow and move forward within an organisation.
  • Giving others benefit of doubt: There are always chances when subordinates will make mistakes rather than punishing them for the deed. Giving them benefit of doubt is what results in non-performance of that mistake again in the future.
  • Credibility:refers to the trust amongst people working with Ryanair. The people employed with this top European airlines feel trust with their employer as well as the organisation feels same for all its employees.
  • Master Delegator:- O' Leary has always been a person who has effectively delegated his responsibilities and made sure that people employed with him are working according to his ideology. The aviation industry has transformed immensely and it was not only because of O' Leary but his team that Ryanair has been a pioneer and highest grosser in Europe.
  • Integrity:O' Leary has been a person with high level integrity, abiding by the morals, honesty and ethical practices which has helped him to maintain efficiency from a long time and run an organisation creatively. He has made several changes which might have been disturbing at some point but have helped his airlines to go ahead in comparison to its competitors (Toor, 2011).
  • Trust and Respect :is derived when a leader is able to work consistently towards upliftment of the organisation. O' Leary enjoys and trust and respect of people employed with Ryanair as they have noticed his work style and dedication towards organisation which has kept their graph always above the others.
  • Team Players:Ryanair has been able to maintain a system where people are working cohesively and are able to communicate effectively within the organisational framework. This has ensured that people are working towards maintaining the efficiency within the organisation and revive the culture of team work. Being a team player helps an individual to grow much faster than an individual worker, as they get continuous input on how they could manage and do their work.
  • Have right Priorities:O'Leary has always had made sure that his main priority was towards Ryanair. He got several opportunities, such as to appear on BBC's game show “The Apprentice” which he declined in order to focus on his organisation. He is also an ardent follower of Manchester City football club and was offered to buy a stake but gladly declined this prospect as well. Because he knew he would have to travel and make sure he is present in his club's matches which was not a possibility given the tight schedule of Ryanair. So a person has to keep his priorities sorted in order to keep his action directed towards achieving his goals.
  • Celebrate Success:effective leaders make sure that they are able to celebrate success with their employees. Leader should know the importance of hard work put in by their team and in order to build cohesiveness amongst them they should celebrate success on completion of task effectively.


Although, Michael O' Leary has been successful but needs to make sure that he keeps his aggression at bay and work with controlled aggressiveness. There are few aspects which Michael O' Leary might face if he doesn't keep track of his aggression.

  • Showing little respect for others and receiving little respect in return:when a person is too aggressive he tends to be disrespectful to others and in the process crosses the most humanitarian limits. Being an over aggressive person would result in no respect from his employees (Pless, Maak and Waldman, 2012). Eventually in order to receive some respect O'Leary would have to show some respect as well.
  • Lack Of Interpersonal Relationship:if the top management is over-aggressive with their policies then the people working in the organisation will not be able to establish any interpersonal relationship which would lead to confusion and hampering of morale of employees. Interpersonal Relationships are a thread that bind the people within an organisation together but if management is over aggressive the bond amongst employees wont last because of the pressure they must be facing.
  • Failing to Develop Other Skills:the environment created out of aggressive management results in non-development of skills. An individual is not able to develop additional skills which would help him with his work rather is forced to complete his task because of extra pressure of aggressive leadership.
  • Aggressiveness hurts Progress In Long Run:it is observed globally that aggressiveness is helpful in short run but proves to threatening for any enterprise in long run. O' Leary should ensure that his policies are not overtly aggressive and he maintains a level of camaraderie with employees as well as outside world. Being able to receive help is what people should strive for not aggression of any kind, it destroys help of any kind coming your way.
  • People will attempt to derail your Efforts:there are always going to be people who will capitalise on one's aggression and let them down professionally. O' Leary should be aware of this situation and make sure that people working in his organisation are supporting each other not derailing anybody's efforts. An organisation progresses the day its employees starts appreciating each other rather than finding faults in each other.
  • Leads to lack of Self-Esteem:chances of loosing confidence amongst employees increases as now they are forced to work with a competitive mindset. Any form of self-esteem or pride in one's work get reduced drastically. People become a walking, talking robot following the instruction and not giving back any feedback on what they feel about their job (Stacey, 2012). O' Leary should ensure that people take pride in their work and build a strong self-esteem and passion towards their role in organisation.
  • You'll Be All Alone:if a person continues on the path of aggressive leadership it would result in the people working around them leave soon and they would be forced to continue on it alone. There are not many people who spend time with aggressive mentality people by choice, so O' Leary would have to bring tremendous changes in his work style in order to maintain a balanced emotional structure.
  • Fear amongst employees would lead to Confusion:there are chances that fear amongst employees would lead to confusion and ineffective communication. There are instances observed when fear has left people to become angry and many revolts have happened in several organisations to avoid that O' Leary would have to ensure that people working with him are never fearful of asking help from one another and are working towards unified goals.


  • Michael O' Leary has self admitted his inability to handle social media platforms effectively and his ways of living and treating life has gone down the hill. He is aged 57 currently and one feels that Ryanair deserves a better “manager”. O'Leary's leadership should always be with Ryanair but it should appoint a dynamic manager who would take upon responsibilities and does the necessary job.
  • One feels that the golden era of O' Leary is soon to end. He has been revolutionary with the kinds of trends he was able to spot in aviation industry and make advancements. His decision to fly to Israel and other gulf countries proved to others that Ryanair is a force to reckon with.
  • Through his diplomacies and efficient trade practices he is able to lead Ryanair to the top spot in Airlines Industry and has made sure that the airline runs to the international parameters and services provided are of global stature.
  • The management of Ryanair has been splendid under O'Leary's leadership and he should continue with company as the consultant who could provide the direction in which company should move forward. Establishing a new manager in this framework would be bringing a fresh stream of ideas and functioning allowing people to strive and work in new manner reducing the monotonous practices (Horng and Loeb, 2010).
  • O'Leary was more focused towards emptying pockets of his customers but in these modern times where every industry is facing cut throat competition, emphasis should be on making sure that customers get the services they want in much less/ reasonable prices. Safety of people is not compromised and basic needs of them are fulfilled and they should not be charged for it.
  • O'Leary has proved that he was able to guide company in rough times and has been their rock since its inception, so they need to make sure that his opinion is always been respected. It doesn't matter if his policies were aggressive at least he had the will and courage along with determination to take company forward it resulted in him becoming the idol for other airlines. So his inputs regarding taking the company forward is pretty much necessary and required.

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There are two tiers in the vehicle called organisation. They are “Manager” and “Leader”. One person can have the qualities of being manager as well as leader, but in recent times when every stream and area is professionalised one feels that leadership of the organisation should be kept aside of management. A manager should be responsible and accountable for the work performed under him and leadership should guide him where they wish organisation to go. This would enable in proper functioning amongst giant corporate organisations. We can conclude from the report that Michael O' Leary has been a magnificent leader of his times and needs to continue to do so allowing new leaders to emerge within the organisation. These new faces would be liable to take company forward the way O'Leary visions and make sure that they are up-to the task when it comes towards making decision for the benefit of Ryanair.

Also Check: Evaluation and Assessment of Various Managerial Skills


  • Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E., 2017. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Horng, E. and Loeb, S., 2010. New thinking about instructional leadership. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(3), pp.66-69.
  • Laloux, F., 2014. Reinventing organizations: A guide to creating organizations inspired by the next stage in human consciousness. Nelson Parker.
  • Pless, N.M., Maak, T. and Waldman, D.A., 2012. Different approaches toward doing the right thing: Mapping the responsibility orientations of leaders. Academy of Management Perspectives, 26(4), pp.51-65.
  • Stacey, R., 2012. Tools and techniques of leadership and management: Meeting the challenge of complexity. Routledge.
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