The Virgin Way: Everything I Know about Leadership

By Richard Branson
Read by Gildart Jackson

11.48 Hours 09/09/2014 unabridged
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While building the Virgin Group over forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on several occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost. Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world has always dubbed (with a wink) the “Virgin Way.” This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that “you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.” This is a unique book on leadership from someone who readily admits he has never read a book on leadership in his life. So expect the unexpected.

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Summary

Summary

While building the Virgin Group over forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on several occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.

Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world has always dubbed (with a wink) the “Virgin Way.”

This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that “you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.”

This is a unique book on leadership from someone who readily admits he has never read a book on leadership in his life. So expect the unexpected.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Branson deserves credit for eschewing business jargon as he advises readers to challenge entrenched businesses (‘Goliaths’) by creating a new niche markets right under their imperious noses, with ‘hybrid product[s] that [nobody can] pigeonhole.’ That’s the essence of Virgin’s successes, from an airline with a rock n’ roll attitude to the iconic chain of record stores…Branson comes across as a branding genius, making an impression on the customer and his own workforce, which he credits lavishly and frequently, from key executives discarded by competitors to entry-level employees who have thrived and been promoted internally (a practice he endorses).” Publishers Weekly
“Easily readable and entertaining, Branson’s book discusses both his successes and failures as they relate to his advice.” Library Journal
“Branson’s freewheeling spirit comes across in his leadership style as that of a man who values listening more than talking, keeping things simple, and giving employees a second or even a third chance. His approach may seem casual, but his results speak for themselves.” Booklist
“Virgin Group founder Branson reveals the methods that have helped him build his unconventional multibillion-dollar business empire. A prolific and outrageously successful promoter of himself and his myriad businesses, the author provides a rollicking romp through Virgin’s fun-loving, iconoclastic approach to building a business and reputation.” Kirkus Reviews
“[Branson’s] business instincts are matched by an ability to motivate people who work for him. And who wouldn’t want to—Branson seems hell-bent on making sure that everybody, but everybody, is having as much fun as he is.” Time, praise for the author
“Few people in contemporary business are as colorful, shrewd, and irreverent, and probably no one’s nearly as much fun to be around…Branson embodies America’s cherished mythology of the iconoclastic, swashbuckling entrepreneur.” GQ, praise for the author

Reviews

Reviews

by Dave Kingman 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Insightful? Maybe. Entertaining? For sure.

Despite appearances, this is hardly a step-by-step how-to for running a successful organization. Instead, one gets insight into the personality and attitude of one of the business world's most successful mavericks through a series of anecdotes. Branson is entertaining and amusing, as one would expect. But you aren't likely to find any blueprints for success here, unless you are a true gambler at heart, or you already have enough resources to go rogue, damn the consequences. That said, Branson's customer-first, employee-friendly ideas certainly contain the seeds of an approach to business that provides a welcome alternative to the profit-driven, spreadsheet-based, people-as-commodities approach that is all too common. My guess is that you are already either inclined to look at things the way Branson does, or you're not, and this book is unlikely to change anything.

The book is pretty solid, however, as entertaining reading for the business leader on the go. A fine choice for airplane headphone noise to block out the sound of crying babies on your next business trip. The narration of Gildart Jackson is spot on, as he will quickly make you forget that you're not listening to Branson, himself.

Author

Author Bio: Richard Branson

Richard Branson is an international entrepreneur, adventurer, icon, and the founder of the Virgin Group. His autobiography, Losing My Virginity, and his books on business Screw It, Let’s Do It and Business Stripped Bare were international bestsellers. He is also the author of Reach for the Skies and Screw Business as Usual.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Business & Economics
Runtime: 11.48
Audience: Adult
Language: English