Richard Branson tops list of most wished-for boss

Richard Branson is the person most people would like to have as their manager, while Cherie Blair is the least favourite, according to a poll of UK workers.

Virgin boss Branson is the top choice, with 44% of employees saying they would most like him to be their manager. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver lies in second place polling 12%, followed by ex-Body Shop founder Anita Roddick with 7%. 

Almost a fifth (19%) of British employees would least like to have Cherie Blair as their manager, followed by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (17%) and Amstrad founder Alan Sugar (13%).

The British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) poll of 2,000 workers shows that there are clear gender and age differences in the choice of manager.

Women tend to be less likely to want to work for the men, including Branson and Sugar. One exception is Jamie Oliver (the first choice manager for 16% of women but only 7% of men).

Younger employees are much more likely to choose a younger manager such as Jamie Oliver.

Lynne McClymont, director of BMRB’s National Employee Benchmark Survey, said: “The role of strong leadership in engaging employees is undoubted, and Richard Branson’s unique personal style embodies this, explaining his almost universal popularity here.

“However, the research also indicates that many employees want to be managed by people who share similar characteristics to them. One of the biggest challenges for managers therefore is to be able to respond to the diversity of their workforce by adopting a flexible and inclusive management style.”

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