The Winning Formula for Business Growth with Richard Branson

During our time on Necker Island this year, I was given the incredible opportunity to sit down with Virgin Group Founder, entrepreneur and all-round amazing person, Richard Branson.

I couldn’t be more grateful to feature Richard in our Go for Growth series and am really excited to share this interview with you guys from my time as part of the Igniting Change Leadership Gathering.

Mike:

It’s Mike Bird here for Go for Growth series we’re having a super special edition from Necker Island here with Richard Branson.

So Richard, obviously, the Virgin Group, incredible. How did you prioritise your tasks? I’m sure there’s been so many opportunities with growth. How did you choose which project to focus on?

Richard:

Generally it just came about out of frustration. If I was frustrated that something wasn’t being done well, I would say “screw this, let’s do it and jump in there and try to do it better than other people have done before.”

Sometimes we fell flat on our faces, and sometimes it worked. I think the best businesses come out of people thinking “why is this not being done this way or that way?” and then getting a great team of people that would love to give it a go.

Mike:

Amazing. What you think business leaders should be focused on right now? There are so many channels and opportunities for people to grow businesses — what do you think is important at the moment in the business world?

Richard:

I think what’s important is what the individual you know, is interested in, what they care about. If you care about global warming, you know, the world is made up of energy that’s what keeps the world going round. So, get out there and try to develop a clean energy business.

If you care about the airline business, get out there and compete with Virgin Australia. Just jump into whatever you care about. That’s what’s so wonderful about entrepreneurs, is that they see the gaps in the market and they get in there make sure those gaps are getting filled.

Mike:

Yeah, it’s been such a great experience being here listening to some of the speakers. It’s really been helping us to refine what’s important for us and making sure that our values reflect that for our staff and I think that’s kind of the thing that’s drive more growth.

Richard:

Yeah, I mean you know we have these brainstorming sessions on Necker where we get people have been successful in their own areas in life and then we think “how can we make the world a better place?”

That’s important as well and I think if every entrepreneur in the world adopts a problem in the world, we’ll get in top of those problems in the world. The world will be a wonderful place to live for all children and grandchildren.

Mike:

Beautiful — was there any one element with Virgin that really drove the growth or do you think it’s a combination of things?

Richard:

It sounds corny but it’s true and that is just people, people, people. If you get around a great group of people, you can get through the bad times together. You can enjoy the good times together.

I think you have to try to attract great people who believe in what they’re doing. If you jump on a Virgin Australia plane, by in large, you’re going to find fantastic people who are smiling, happy, enjoy what they’re doing, and therefore, people come back for more.

Mike:

Yeah, thank you so much for your time, and thanks for the great stay.

Richard:

Thanks for being here!


Originally published at socialgarden.com.au on October 16, 2017.