While building the Virgin Group over 40 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 16, 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 audiobook on leadership from someone who readily admits he has never read a book on leadership in his life. So expect the unexpected.
©2014 Richard Branson (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
There are certain criticisms of this book that can be anticipated; I have heard said of many books in this category that the ideas are not new, lack earth-shaking originality. I think such criticisms miss the point in general, and overlook the real significance and value of this book in particular. The question to be asked is, has this book shaped your outlook on starting and running a business in a meaningful way. For me, the anecdotes are entertaining and inspiring, and the embedded encouragement is genuinely motivating. Mr. Branson certainly does have various unique takes on common wisdoms of business leadership. Beyond the interesting presentation of his "radical" confrontation of business convention, though, the impact of this book derives from the diversity and longevity of Mr. Branson's working experience. In a relatively short book, he covers a lot of ground, and relates an array of personal experiences, each punctuated by his take on the moral to be had from the story. Some may resonate with you, some may not, but by the end of it, you are likely to find that you have come away with a rewarding trove of new ideas, novel approaches to confronting your own business challenges, and a satisfying "can-do" attitude. I know I did.
Mr Branson has a very cool way about the way he talks about himself and his companies. HE oozes success and "Boss-nes" but never comes across as being condescending. In fact he seems like he would be a really cool guy to have as a mentor/boss/friend.
There is humor but it's never silly. It's a fairly light and yet informative book on general business and leadership, with Mr Branson's special twist.
The narrator actually sounded a bit like Richard Branson, which made this even better.
It was nice to hear a major player to share what principles worked for him and which didn't. Some of what he says goes a bit against conventional managerial and business wisdom, and I liked how he is steadfast in sharing his opposing views.
Overall not a bad work, but it's not ground breaking. The story of Virgin is interesting. Branson believes in "fun" and he keeps the book light and comical.
This book was really hard for me to get through. I found the great majority of the stories to be more promotional than insightful. Way too many stories about how Branson 'out-witted' his opponents/competitors, or very surface level suggestions like 'make sure you take notes in meetings.' I didn't find it helpful or interesting.
I got a few very good ideas from this book and overall found it to be entertaining , instructive & inspirational. later chapters got kind of slow & too macroeconomic for me though. over all good book.
I'm retired....I love to walk, bike and "read" interesting stories.... I love discussing literature...
I enjoyed listening to this book for the most part. There is nothing earth shattering here to Learned. It was enjoyable learning from his experience.
Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.
This proved to be a very interesting book on leadership for the entrepreneur, corporate leader, intrepreneur, and a mix of all. - Since I am not a 'fan' of Richard Branson's antics nor his sexist innuendos, I put off reading anything he published for many years. However, considering the fact that there are over 400 companies in his "Virgin" company portfolio and that he acquired a worth of over 5 billion, I figured there is something to learn and learn I did. A great quote from the book: "Listen- it makes you sound smarter!" - I wonder how much better he would have done in life if he graduated high school rather than starting his first business? :P
I was amazed that he didn't include FedEx as one of the companies that embraces the People first philosophy. Fred Smith introduced the concept in 1973 when he started Federal Express.
The narration is amazing. Normally, I have a tough time with the British accent and dialect but the narrator of this book does an amazing job and if I every met Richard Branson and he didn't sound like the narrator, I would be disappointed.
If you're looking for real learning, this book is probably not the best. While it's interesting to hear about Branson's life experiences, this book is mostly a long rambling recounting of his business life, not a practical guide to better leadership.
The stories are interesting, good anecdotes, good general advice, mostly for larger organizations. I had to force myself to get through it though. I listened passively for the most part, like listening to a story. For example, how valuable will it be for most folks the story of how they chose a new CEO?
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