Limitless: Thinking Beyond Boundaries and Borders | Q&A with Sir Richard Branson

 Limitless: Thinking Beyond Boundaries and Borders | Q&A with Sir Richard Branson

Limitless: Thinking Beyond Boundaries and Borders | Q&A with Sir Richard Branson

One of the highlights of the first-ever PANGEO Global Employment Conference was when our CEO and Founder, Nicole Sahin sat down with Sir Richard Branson, the legendary British entrepreneur and Founder of the Virgin Group, to talk about his lifelong mission of thinking beyond boundaries and borders to achieve what has never been done. The impact this approach can have on business and the important role it will play in the future was an important theme.

Building your team and happiness

Begin by choosing the right team, and then truly engage with them — this was the advice given by Sir Richard Branson when asked about building global teams. Getting to know and trust your people, and having curiosity about your team, how they deal with people, and who they really are is an important criterion at the Virgin Group. Ask yourself if your company would be happier with these team members onboard.    

The Virgin approach to running each business on a small, personalized team basis with great people who love the company is a key success factor which echoed this happy team motif. Instilling pride in the team, in the work that they do, and driving this self-belief and confidence with the small details and the dependability of utterly exquisite results is the secret to the success achieved across all Virgin businesses over the past five decades. Sir Richard believes this dedication will result in being and having the best and, therefore, winning, as the best will always emerge victorious.

Facing life’s challenges and lists

When discussing life’s challenges, hands down the biggest obstacle faced by Sir Richard and his team to date has been the impact of the global pandemic on the business. Getting through Covid while ensuring job security has been a huge achievement that came with sacrifices that he was willing to make.

Dyslexia proved to be a lifelong challenge for him, one that saw him leave school early but also one which he credits for teaching him the art of delegation. This he believes to be a skill which has the potential to hand you back your life and is an absolute necessity for business leaders.

Overall, when it comes to challenges, the message is, if you believe in it, never give up, fight for it … but when it’s done … turn the page and begin afresh.

Philanthropy and entrepreneurship

As someone who has spent decades leading philanthropic projects all over the world and as founder of the Virgin Unite non-for-profit foundation, Sir Richard knows better than most just how impactful this work can be. He encourages all entrepreneurs to employ their skills to help governments fix problems or to fix what they can themselves at a smaller level.

Look around, watch, learn, write everything down, and then create a plan. Everywhere we go there is opportunity for change and improvement and we each have the power to do something to make a difference.   

What we learned:

  • Get to know your people, who they really are, and ask: Would your company be happier with them on board?
  • When faced with a challenge: a) don’t give up, b) delegate, and c) when it’s done, it’s done.
  • Look around, watch, learn, write everything down, and then create a plan.

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