BOOK REVIEW: The Virgin Way by Richard Branson
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s greatest feat may not be becoming one of the world’s richest men, but remaining likeable whilst doing so, and that’s a skill he does his best to impart here.
Subtitled ‘How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead’, Branson’s philosophy is that of the open-door style of management: assemble a strong team, and learn from them as much as you delegate to them. Listening is one of the key tenets Branson talks about in The Virgin Way – something many political and business leaders could do well to try more of.
Branson keeps proceedings from getting too heavy: there’s plenty of anecdotes about his business experiences, and a generous smattering of good humour throughout.
He says he doesn’t have an office any more – preferring to do business in less formal surroundings like his living room. He advocates “turn off that laptop and iPhone and get your derrière out there”, “delegate and spend more time with your family”, and “have fun and look after your team.”
It’s the sort of obvious common sense advice that litters a thousand self-help books, but he presents it in such an amiable fashion that you can’t help but like him for it.
The Virgin Way is well worth a read for anyone managing a multi national, down to a a shopkeeper with a couple of staff: only the truly closed-minded could read the whole book and not find a few pieces of wisdom worth taking away and applying to their own situations for the better.
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