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wisdom from richard branson

Wisdom From Richard Branson

Richard Branson has been in town this week… and I was interested to learn his insights into the importance he places on the people working for the Virgin brands. This was the first question asked at the Business Chicks breakfast on Monday:

Q: Virgin has such a strong brand – what role do your people play in this?

“Our people need to be 100% proud of where they work, to believe what they do every day. He or she must be given the tools to do the job.

“As a leader, I have to be a good listener, good salary’s are pointless if people are not being listened to. I always take a few notes as I travel around and meet people because I promise to address what ever issues the person mentioned and I must follow through – even if I’m at a party I have a notebook with me… people often tell you most at this type of occasions.

“I hang out with my people when I travel – party with them, apart from the fact that I like it (grins)…you have to be available to your people.

“When I look at a business- I look at the managers and ask ‘do they genuinely like people?’. You are not going to destroy a business with a manager who likes people. But you can quickly ruin one if you put the wrong manager in place… if they just don’t like being with people.”

Nice to have it reinforced by a business leader who has created such an iconic network of businesses, all united under the Virgin brand. He is very quick to say that he is great at delegating – so clearly the people he puts around him are the key to the success. He has the vision – they do the execution.

Reader Interactions


  1. Fantastic article! So great to see passionate business leaders appreciating their team. You can tell the difference.

  2. This is a great article, thank you. I strongly believe that employees makes great leaders. I recently went to a seminar called The Great game of Business and the emphasis was all about employees.
    “When you appeal to the highest level of thinking you get the highest level of performance”
    Jack Stack, The Great Game of Business
    The goal:
    Improve business results and the lives of the people who drive those results..
    The Strategy
    …By creating a “Business of Business people” who ‘Think, Act, and feel like a owner’

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