Oct 12, 2010

“Let’s do it Leadership: My Review of Sir Richard Branson’s Interview on Entrepreneur’’ – Part 3

This post finishes the blog article series on my review of Sir Richard Branson’s leadership interview in Entrepreneur magazine. If you’ve found this post first, I’d suggest reading the series from the beginning. In the first post, I reviewed Sir Branson’s first three secrets of management for building successful business. In the second, I reviewed how to be a good leader.

In this post, I’ll review Sir Branson’s last secret to great leadership that produces great business results.

Secret No 5. Be Visible

“A good leader does not get stuck behind a desk. I’ve never worked in an office – I’ve always worked from home – but I get out and about, meeting people. It seems I am traveling all the time but I always have a notebook in my back pocket to jot down questions, concerns or good ideas.’’

So this is how Sir Branson shows he listens to people. In the following, you can see another example.

“If I’m on a Virgin Atlantic plane, I make certain to get out and meet all the staff and many of the passengers. If you meet a group of Virgin Atlantic crew members, you are going to have at least 10 suggestions or ideas. If I don’t write them down, I may remember only one the next day. By writing them down, I remember all 10. Get out and shake hands with all the passengers on the plane, and again, there are going to be people who had a problem or have a suggestion. Write it down, make sure that you get their names, get their e-mail addresses, and make sure the next day that you respond to them.’’

I see this not only as visibility but also as an issue of trust. Everyone is saying, “You need to build trust.’’ This shows how you earn, build, and deserve trust in action.

Respond to people, to their ideas, and do what you promise you’d do. It is a simple and cheap way to build trust. No more, no less. And no MBA degree required.

Customers see you – you solve their problem, or follow up on their suggestion. People will be impressed. This is also how you ensure powerful “word of mouth” marketing on top of everything else.

Maybe you are not as outgoing to shake hands with everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t mean everyone needs the same leadership style, or must copy Richard Branson, although he shows some great stuff you should at least consider.

My complete review of Sir Branson’s leadership and management interview is also in video-audio form. I did this review because I like to learn what worked for other successful people and think about trying their ideas. I believe in figuring out what principles are beneficial, see examples, and get the right questions that I need to answer. I hope this learning style applies to you, too.

What did you learn from my review? Please leave a comment on what leadership means to you. Would you like to learn more about a specific leadership technique? I’d like to hear from you.


  1. For me this one of the hardest.(I used to work as a manager in a Japanese multinational)
    Anyway nice review. Keep it coming.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. I guess you are talking about visibility, right?
    From little research I have done I realize you are very visible on Blogger forum and your blog, responding to people and solving their problems. I appreciate that. I have just used your Java script on my blog, thanks!
    You are welcome to share your experience with us who never worked in Japanese companies.


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