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Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

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Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins Business advice from the best in the business Looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson? In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins Business advice from the best in the business Looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson? In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world's most recognised and respected entrepreneurs. From his top tips on succeeding in business to some hard-hitting opinions on the global finance crisis, this book brings together his best advice on all things business. It's business school, the Branson way.


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Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins Business advice from the best in the business Looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson? In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins Business advice from the best in the business Looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson? In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world's most recognised and respected entrepreneurs. From his top tips on succeeding in business to some hard-hitting opinions on the global finance crisis, this book brings together his best advice on all things business. It's business school, the Branson way.

30 review for Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben Neynens

    This book is like reading a blog, but in book format. By that I mean it's a hotchpotch collection of Richard Branson's musings on a wide range of topics. If you're trying to better understand Branson the man, then perhaps this 'essay/blog post collection' can enable you to achieve that. But the subheading "Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business" implies a self-help element - and in picking up such a book, I'm not out to learn about Richard Branson, I'm out to learn specific expertise. With all Bra This book is like reading a blog, but in book format. By that I mean it's a hotchpotch collection of Richard Branson's musings on a wide range of topics. If you're trying to better understand Branson the man, then perhaps this 'essay/blog post collection' can enable you to achieve that. But the subheading "Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business" implies a self-help element - and in picking up such a book, I'm not out to learn about Richard Branson, I'm out to learn specific expertise. With all Branson's exhortations on being a nice person, one could read this book and gain a stronger sense of the power of good virtue as something that can enable and strengthen a business. But that's pretty non-specific knowledge, and not the type of 'secrets' that I was looking for in a book. Keep this sort of stuff on the blog, Branson. I think the publishers kind of dropped the ball on this one, and unfortunately its put me off picking up any of Branson's other books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Taylor

    Sir Richard Branson has been taking questions from journalists for years on how he runs the Virgin brand so successfully. He's always willing to answer because he believes that the more successful entrepreneurs there are in the world, the better it will be. This book has dozens of short chapters, as it's essentially a guide book for entrepreneurs in question-and-answer format. Branson approaches the topics with his idiosyncratic humour, and they cover everything from starting a business to making Sir Richard Branson has been taking questions from journalists for years on how he runs the Virgin brand so successfully. He's always willing to answer because he believes that the more successful entrepreneurs there are in the world, the better it will be. This book has dozens of short chapters, as it's essentially a guide book for entrepreneurs in question-and-answer format. Branson approaches the topics with his idiosyncratic humour, and they cover everything from starting a business to making a difference in the world. A lot of the advice he gives can be picked up from reading Branson's other books, or other good business books. That, combined with my dislike of the question-and-answer format, is the reason I only gave this book three stars. I do love Branson and I'm a big fan of his companies, how he does business, and his lifestyle. If you can learn easily from the question-and-answer format then you'd get a lot more out of this book than I did. Entrepreneurs do have a lot to gain from it, especially if you don't read a lot of other business books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The-vault

    By (Sir) Richard Branson. Grade: A If the same content had been published under a name unknown to the whole world, this book would have drawn few eyes. Fortunately, when Richard Brandon offers you business advice, you listen. Why? Because it's Richard Branson. He is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, adventurer and icon, and is the founder of the Virgin Group. His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16. In 1970, this progressed to an audio record mail-o By (Sir) Richard Branson. Grade: A If the same content had been published under a name unknown to the whole world, this book would have drawn few eyes. Fortunately, when Richard Brandon offers you business advice, you listen. Why? Because it's Richard Branson. He is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, adventurer and icon, and is the founder of the Virgin Group. His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16. In 1970, this progressed to an audio record mail-order business. The Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Virgin Group now has 400 companies under its belt. Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion. Thank you, Google. Have I made my point? Looking for advice on setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson? In Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world’s most recognized and respected entrepreneurs. A blend of responses to some of the most popular questions he has been asked by people across the globe and an assortment of his reflections on the ups and downs of running successful companies, this book brings together his best advice on all things business. From his top secrets on succeeding in business to some hard-hitting opinions on the global financial crisis, this is business school, the Branson way. The first thing that grabs your attention is the sense of humour. A person once asked Richard, why Virgin? This is what he replied: Virgin is called Virgin because we were new to business and a little bit nervous but also very excited to get started. It is completely unexpected but extremely welcome. Business moguls all over the world describe RB as the man who "just wants to have fun" but not until you start reading what he has written do you realize that it's not just a corny line printed to increase sales. His writing is exactly what people say he is: relaxed, funny but focused, and 332 pages of pure fun. We all know starting a business takes a huge amount of hard work and time. In that case, according to the author, you should naturally enjoy it. In keeping with this tune, the book is refreshingly free of business jargon. He's not one to overcomplicate things, and keeps things short and simple. There were times when I was underlining some points and nodding at the text and there times I was hooting with laughter at his stories. For how many business management books can you say the same? He also gives some sage advice without being preachy and manages to list his accomplishments without sounding boastful. I was skeptical at the tag line: Secrets They Won't Teach You At Business School. Not secrets, per se, but small things that big business schools overlook, which as we see, make all the difference. Brimming with real life experiences, this is also a valuable insight into Richard the person. His innate sense of curiosity and the ability to laugh at himself bring to light his humility. The role of luck, serendipity or synchronicity, as well as hard work and following your gut are all brought to life. There is no subject he has not explored, no matter how embarrassing. The cherry on top? It's also excellently written. He probably won't be hailed as the literary find of our times but he writes with no holds barred, inspires and entertains! Here's an interesting tidbit: When he started Virgin Atlantic in 1984, they had great people and great ideas but sadly not enough money. Compared to the big players, they had a tiny fleet and minuscule advertising budget. To grab headlines, RB became a willing victim in all kinds of crazy adventures. Virgin also started Jugular Marketing, wherein they printed hilarious in-your-face advertisements, based on the latest news. When General Manuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama, was extradited by the US Justice Department to Miami for trial, they ran a big picture of him with the caption: Only one person has flown to Miami cheaper than on Virgin Atlantic. The ads were irreverent and cheeky, and help give Virgin Atlantic a real personality in the early days. Underneath the salt and pepper shakers, they stamped: Pinched from Virgin Atlantic. When British Airways - their biggest competitor - sponsored London's Millennium Wheel in the late 1990s, they planned to make a big splash for the official opening and the world's press were there to see it being erected. On the day the wheel was to be raised, the engineers had great trouble lifting it. Virgin immediately scrambled a small airship to drag a banner across London's skyline: BA can't get it up. To sum it up, I will recommend it to everyone, no matter how old or young. It kicks butt and will leave you feeling like you're going to change the world. Buy it. Originally reviewed at : www.the-vault.co.cc

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Kudlinski

    What better way is there, for a sixty year old billionaire, than to quiet his frequent hangovers by swimming around his private island in the Caribbean? Richard Branson is unconventional. His parents wisely agreed that he should drop out of high school to start a magazine business. Yet he is a better businessman than most folks who graduate from college. Richard Branson views the business transaction in the customers’ shoes, leads rather than bosses and micromanages, puts his employees first (as What better way is there, for a sixty year old billionaire, than to quiet his frequent hangovers by swimming around his private island in the Caribbean? Richard Branson is unconventional. His parents wisely agreed that he should drop out of high school to start a magazine business. Yet he is a better businessman than most folks who graduate from college. Richard Branson views the business transaction in the customers’ shoes, leads rather than bosses and micromanages, puts his employees first (as opposed to a minority of unreasonable customers), empowers employees and listens to them, among other simplistic management methods that dictatorial-type CEOs don’t practice. According to Branson, a service industry executive or employee should be all about passion and fun. Branson views his success as an opportunity to help remedy poverty and disease. He is a political progressive that also champions space travel, reverse of global warming, and alternate fuel development. He seems like an all around great guy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Olexa

    This was a quick read for me-- I read it on the plane last night. Since I never thought I would be an "entrepreneur" I never thought about reading books about those that are. Now that I'm running my own company, I'm all about learning from those that have been there, done that. This was a fast, easy read but with really good insights, particularly about managing people, trusting your "gut" and learning from mistakes. I'm definitely going to read his others.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kruizzer Alvarez

    This is a great book about the Virgin group of companies: how they were able to reach success and how we will be able to apply it to our own lives and businesses. I found a lot of very useful insights that I would be able to use for my start-up and business plans for the future. Just to give you a small preview, one of the lessons that stuck to me the most is "UNDER PROMISE THEN OVER DELIVER" which is pretty much self-explanatory. I would note that some of the tips and learnings aren't all that This is a great book about the Virgin group of companies: how they were able to reach success and how we will be able to apply it to our own lives and businesses. I found a lot of very useful insights that I would be able to use for my start-up and business plans for the future. Just to give you a small preview, one of the lessons that stuck to me the most is "UNDER PROMISE THEN OVER DELIVER" which is pretty much self-explanatory. I would note that some of the tips and learnings aren't all that new for those who read quite a lot of business books already- but it really is different seeing how Richard Branson dealt with things and how he was able to grow Virgin from a mere record-store to a corporation with over 60 companies worldwide.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Piotr P

    Absolutely stunning stories of Richard's brand, his successes and failures. Entrepreneurship knowledge written in a compact form. Short chapters make this book a great deal to continue reading easily without losing the context.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Louise Fry

    This book felt like it was going on forever and not in a good way it follows too much of his previous books so it feels like you know it all already very boring sadly

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geri Shabarkova

    The important lines could be well summarized in no more than a 100 pages. The author stresses on the importance of satisfied personnel, which is quite important in the service industry, as customer service is, logically, the product really. Not impressive. Not providing the "Secrets they don't teach you at Business School" as it promises. Simply a self-advertising, short-term seller.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ida Lindvig

    Missing a good storyline and flow. Some interesting stories, but not what I expected. The man is more interesting than this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ramzi

    RB is a unique individual who has redefined entrepreneurship in the modern era. This book provides an outline of his approach to doing business and for me it’s nudge to get out there and to launch a business of my own. The book is simple and very informative.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sipho

    Sir Richard Branson is the billionaire founder of the Virgin group of companies and one of the world's foremost business icons. As such, I expected a lot from this book touted to be full of "secrets" that you won't learn at business school. I was disappointed. The book is made up of what feels like hundreds of short chapters, that read very much like blog posts. Although Branson does give a few actionable insights, most of the book is personal anecdotes from his own experience. Not bad necessaril Sir Richard Branson is the billionaire founder of the Virgin group of companies and one of the world's foremost business icons. As such, I expected a lot from this book touted to be full of "secrets" that you won't learn at business school. I was disappointed. The book is made up of what feels like hundreds of short chapters, that read very much like blog posts. Although Branson does give a few actionable insights, most of the book is personal anecdotes from his own experience. Not bad necessarily, just not what I signed up for! Key takeaways If you are starting a business, make sure you are either doing something that has never been done or doing something better than the current providers are. Good customer service is a gap that can be filled in many industries. People are the biggest asset of any business. Treat them well by listening to them and giving them the tools to succeed. Intrapreneurs drive a company forward with ongoing innovations. Encourage people to pursue their visions, so they feel like they’re building their own company, rather than simply working for one. Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas or questions. What I liked about the book Simple to read. The chapters were short enough to digest the main points easily. What I didn't like about the book The format is strange - the chapters are not connected to each other. One could be about raising capital and the next about climate change. Also the prose stops half way through the book and Branson starts answering questions that come out of the blue. The book doesn't really give you any "secrets" per se. Most of the advice is not unique to Branson. Repetitive. Conclusion It was unfortunate that this is the first book I have read by Richard Branson. It doesn't encourage me to read his others - which I have heard to be quite good. In short, this book is a hard pass. Unless you're a hardcore fan of Virgin and/or Richard Branson. There really is little that is new or groundbreaking here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam Wiggins

    The author of this book is Richard Branson, business mogul and the founder and CEO of Virgin. The photo of him on the cover makes me think the book should have been titled, “I'm a Rich Asshole, Let Me Tell You All About It.” Which is a shame, because the content is excellent. Two major principles drive Branson's work: - Customer service as a core value. Empowering people on the front lines to solve problems (rather than reading from a script or following a set of regulations). Having everyone in t The author of this book is Richard Branson, business mogul and the founder and CEO of Virgin. The photo of him on the cover makes me think the book should have been titled, “I'm a Rich Asshole, Let Me Tell You All About It.” Which is a shame, because the content is excellent. Two major principles drive Branson's work: - Customer service as a core value. Empowering people on the front lines to solve problems (rather than reading from a script or following a set of regulations). Having everyone in the company take their turn at handling customer problems. Treating customer service as a critical part of the entire customer experience. - Brand. As he puts it, “Brands exist as a means of what to expect from a product or service.” In Virgin's case, he believes what you can expect is a great customer experience, fun, and a bit of irreverence. These things together help explain why Virgin is in so many seemingly unrelated businesses (music, airline, banking, fitness...). Branson sees opportunity to disrupt in any market dominated by established giants who don't offer a satisfying customer experience. His writing style is almost childlike which made it difficult to take seriously at first. But he knows his stuff. (And I also noticed his tips overlap quite a bit with what you'd find in, say, Jack Welch's work.) One slightly bothersome thing is that there's no particular flow to the book, it's just 300+ pages of short, blog-post-like chapters in seemingly random order.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Catchy title. Nothing profound, yet I enjoyed it, simply because I agreed with most of his concepts. Like a Virgin targets entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business. Although concepts 'could' equally apply to the corporate world, I have seen no recognition or reward for proficient soft skills in leadership! Richard Branson regularly brought his focus back to "people". I wish more senior leaders could stop giving this lip-service and truly embrace the importance of respecting people as a Catchy title. Nothing profound, yet I enjoyed it, simply because I agreed with most of his concepts. Like a Virgin targets entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business. Although concepts 'could' equally apply to the corporate world, I have seen no recognition or reward for proficient soft skills in leadership! Richard Branson regularly brought his focus back to "people". I wish more senior leaders could stop giving this lip-service and truly embrace the importance of respecting people as a worthy asset and investment! A few highlights: • CEO needs to be a Chief Enabling Officer • People are the heart and soul of the brand. Having fun attracts people! • Follow team decisions with conviction • Live & Learn. Try it! Listen to people and act on what they tell you. • It really irks me when someone calls me boss, so I need to remember and use this..... If someone says “you’re the boss”, ask them to speak as if “we’re in this together or tell me as if you were in my place?” • Give people the chance to make a difference and they will tackle the project with enthusiasm and true engagement! • An investment in your people is an investment in the company • Hire people you need, not people you like. • Follow up on problems uncovered and resolve them!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Khanh Cao

    Good book on motivating young generations of doing, or should I say, starting, something that they deeply love and passionate about. Doesn't have to be a billions, or millions-worth company, but just a wild, even a crazy dream that everyone once harnessed in their youth. Unlike unrealistic bullshit that movies have been feeding us the whole time, something like "follow your heart" or etc,. Richard Branson just literally points out all the harsh, rough aspects of doing something that you like but Good book on motivating young generations of doing, or should I say, starting, something that they deeply love and passionate about. Doesn't have to be a billions, or millions-worth company, but just a wild, even a crazy dream that everyone once harnessed in their youth. Unlike unrealistic bullshit that movies have been feeding us the whole time, something like "follow your heart" or etc,. Richard Branson just literally points out all the harsh, rough aspects of doing something that you like but you aren't good at, or doing something that you both like and good at, but the market does not need it. But that's not all to it, he also taught what one must prepare, mentally , financially and, friendly (which here means preparing good, long-term friendship that could last with you for life!), in order to step into making his/her dream come true (of at least parts of it come true). Anyway, it is not too heavy to read up. A very light and enjoyable book actually, in my opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Radoslava

    I liked the book and the concept behind it at the beginning, but after page 100 it all became a little bit boring to me. The book might be more valuable to entrepreneurs, I don't know :) Richard Branson is far more impressive as a person and businessman, than a writer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    All the questions you've ever had and the ones you didn't know you had are answered here by the best in the business. An honest and straight to the point account of the do's and the don'ts for all those already involved in business or about to embark on their next venture. A fantastic read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Fun book, Branson is an interesting character, some good tips for business/life! Good summer feel good book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yaqeen Sikander

    Good insights and lessons for start ups and budding entrepreneurs.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Ombu

    Title: Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School Author: Richard Branson Place of publication: United Kingdom Publisher: Virgin Books. A Random House Group Company Date of publication: 2012 Number of pages: 376 INTRODUCTION Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group need no introduction, his business interests are numbered in hundreds and span several industries including music, publishing, media, entertainment, beverages, banking, rail transportation, aviation, under water travel an Title: Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School Author: Richard Branson Place of publication: United Kingdom Publisher: Virgin Books. A Random House Group Company Date of publication: 2012 Number of pages: 376 INTRODUCTION Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group need no introduction, his business interests are numbered in hundreds and span several industries including music, publishing, media, entertainment, beverages, banking, rail transportation, aviation, under water travel and outer space voyages. His numerous stunts like crossing the Atlantic in a speed boat and crossing the globe in a hot air balloon are indelible in my memory and his adventures have set and broken several world records. Richard is the average Joe on your street that followed his passions, did things he loved and ended up making huge successes of them. This book contains his experiences, trial, tribulations, failures and triumphs in explicit detail. He approaches issues with candour and an originality that cannot be written or feigned, it can only be lived. Through the pages of this book you will realise the man Richard Branson is fun loving, having fun and enjoying whatever it is you do is his personal philosophy and the underlining core character of all his business concerns. This is not Richard Branson the billionaire instructing you about business in a school of marketing or management. This is Richard, your friend, telling you how he went out daily, had fun and made billions while doing it. The book contains an astronomical amount of chapters, 82 in all! But amazingly they are all between 3 and 5 pages. The writing style is largely informal, the grammar is simple and easily understandable and a lot of the chapters are actual responses to questions mailed to him from people all over the world. Just like the title ‘Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School,’ all chapter titles have two sentences, a rider and a sub script, which is usually a witty punch line. For example the first chapter is titled ‘FIVE SECRETS TO STARTING A BUSINESS - And making it work.’ Other chapter titles contain dual sentences like ‘PEOPLE POWER- The real engine of any business,’ ‘NICE GUYS CAN FINISH FIRST- Teaming beats steaming’ ‘BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY- Five quick questions’ ‘SCREW YOU GOLIATH-Fighting the big boys’ ‘THE PERFECT PITCH- Have plan-need money’ ‘THEY SAY – Third person problems’ ‘A PERFECT 10 – there’s no such thing’ three of my personal favourites are ‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT – Except when he’s wrong,’ 'DONT LIKE THE SECOND OPINION? - Get a third' and ‘FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE HUGE – But don’t blow it with the second.’ Honestly, the chapter titles make you want to lap up all the subsequent words. Let’s not spoil the thrill of the read by giving it all to you. This is the most sincere book on entrepreneurship I’ve ever read. I found one nugget quite interesting, Richard said we fail in wooing investments into our business mostly because we dwell on too many things (especially numbers) which clutter our view and vision, this clutter also doesn’t give prospective investors a clear view of what the company is and where it is headed. He advises that we adopt the strategy of KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. LOL. I hope you enjoy this work as much as I did but most of all I hope it inspires you to start your business and chase your passions…. Like a virgin. From somewhere out there, Michael Ombu

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Noroozi

    I think he might have oversold it by subtitling the book “Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School”. The book regurgitates a lot of principles and knowledge you would get from reading Peter F. Drucker or, actually, the memoirs of other business leaders such as Phil Knight or Ray Kroc. It seemed most valuable to me for giving examples he’s applied in his own businesses. For instance, he writes and explains his approach to addressing topics like workplace romances, how he keeps abreast of w I think he might have oversold it by subtitling the book “Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School”. The book regurgitates a lot of principles and knowledge you would get from reading Peter F. Drucker or, actually, the memoirs of other business leaders such as Phil Knight or Ray Kroc. It seemed most valuable to me for giving examples he’s applied in his own businesses. For instance, he writes and explains his approach to addressing topics like workplace romances, how he keeps abreast of what consumers of his products want, what kind of behavior he incentivises in people who work for him, what the basics of his successful marketing strategies have been, and lots more. There’s some distinctions he makes that I thought were very helpful to read from someone who at least has proven their principles successful in some way. For instance, he highlights for persons in a chapter that a good entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily make a good manager and that most should prepare to hand off their work to a more successful administrator. He also asks honest questions from his readers about how much they really fit the entrepreneur “type” at least as well as he knows it. I was glad to see that he’s not someone who shuns the principle that successful businesses tend to be the ones that focus on a well defined mission. For readers who don’t know, the ‘Virgin’ brand is a conglomerate that has companies in telecommunications, aviation, music, and many others. It just turns out that the Virgin mission does lend itself to successfully being active in a variety of fields. Insight like that into his philosophy would be helpful to give more perspective to budding entrepreneurs. There’s at least one point in the book where I would bet dollars to cents that he is painting his business and work with a more idealistic brush than the reality. What I mean is, his suggested philosophy would be great in theory but not likely to be entirely in sync with the reality. Not surprisingly his companies always look like shining models of corporate behavior in his book. If you read this book imagining that a politician was writing it - i.e. it was being carefully drafted to avoid any unappetizing truths - then you can still get a lot out of it without being saddled with an unrealistic impression of what you have to achieve in your entrepreneurial endeavors. I think what I’ll remember most from this book is the role that Richard Branson seems to give himself to carefully observe the world around him (he repeatedly espouses keeping a notepad and pen everywhere) and come up with creative solutions. I take him at his word that a certain rebelliousness in his character allows him to not mind breaking from conventional wisdom to pioneer new solutions to the worlds problems. Probably the only secret here that you wouldn’t necessarily learn at business school is the character and mindset of the born entrepreneur.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    In general Richard talks about the importance of people. Lots of advice he gives is very similar to what other hospitality leaders talk about. Striking similarity with Bill Marriott's management principle ("What do you think?"). Key points: - The key to success lies through people. - 1) Do what you enjoy. 2) Create something unique. - For majority of businesses people are the product. - Lead by listening. - Praise more. People develop when you praise them. - The most common reason people leave, is In general Richard talks about the importance of people. Lots of advice he gives is very similar to what other hospitality leaders talk about. Striking similarity with Bill Marriott's management principle ("What do you think?"). Key points: - The key to success lies through people. - 1) Do what you enjoy. 2) Create something unique. - For majority of businesses people are the product. - Lead by listening. - Praise more. People develop when you praise them. - The most common reason people leave, is because they were not listened to. - Persuade others that you love your business. - "The key skills are confidence in your ability to follow your vision, the ability to listen to others and the art of delegation." - Don't criticize people openly. Do that in private. - Have fun! - Don't take yourself too seriously. - Stick to a few simple values. - If a business has a potential to damage your brand, don't join it. - Let your people make mistakes and learn from them. - Under promise, over deliver. - To succeed in business, you must be a good listener. - 90 per cent of life is just showing up. - Praise employees for doing something good. - Your employees should never feel like hired hands, but fellow entrepreneurs.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Lam

    I'm a big fan or Branson as an entrepreneur, and I truly admire his energy, guts and just-do-it attitude. This was an easy read, comprising short chapters/stories (mainly of Virgin companies' stories and experiences), with Branson's random musings, personal messages/philosophies thrown in. In terms of readability, it's a 4.5* probably. And Branson's personality and ideas definitely shine through. But giving this only 3* in terms of content/ applicability of the ideas. The philosophies are cool ( I'm a big fan or Branson as an entrepreneur, and I truly admire his energy, guts and just-do-it attitude. This was an easy read, comprising short chapters/stories (mainly of Virgin companies' stories and experiences), with Branson's random musings, personal messages/philosophies thrown in. In terms of readability, it's a 4.5* probably. And Branson's personality and ideas definitely shine through. But giving this only 3* in terms of content/ applicability of the ideas. The philosophies are cool (e.g. Virgin companies are never the biggest in their industry, it's ok to fail and you shd learn to have fun with it). But in terms of the specific tips and ideas, it feels more like a compilation of blog articles, with repetitive content and randomly-organized chapters. Worth reading? Yes. It's interesting and entertaining, with many good reminders/ perspectives about how we look at life and business. But definitely not instructive/ not a how-to book. Just don't except earth-shattering insights or tips that can transform your business :) It's not one of those how-to books Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summa...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cowper-Coles

    A book that is completely average in both its stimulation and knowledge although does offer some useful personal tips. Mr Branson is also incredibly vain/self obsessed. “ for the majority of my career I have played the role of David and have loved it” 1. To be a great leader you have to be a great listener. Only a fool never changes their mind 2. People tend to come back to do business if they have had positive experiences with you beforehand 3. Never be openly critical of people, it is a poor r A book that is completely average in both its stimulation and knowledge although does offer some useful personal tips. Mr Branson is also incredibly vain/self obsessed. “ for the majority of my career I have played the role of David and have loved it” 1. To be a great leader you have to be a great listener. Only a fool never changes their mind 2. People tend to come back to do business if they have had positive experiences with you beforehand 3. Never be openly critical of people, it is a poor reflection of your character 4. If a new business had the potential to damage your brand in any way, you should not invest in it 5. Noticing the difference of “they” and “we”. When in a retail store and the person says “They have not ordered the shirt” it instantly points to a dissatisfaction amongst a business. If they say “we” it indicates they feel part of the business 6. Middle management is always a good place to look for the source of the problem 7. There is no better way to succeed in business that to learn from your mistakes

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adham

    Interesting life story forone of the most successful entrepreneurs of all times. The story of Richard Branson is very motivational and his ideas, advises and suggestions are very valid and applicable not only to the world of business, but also to everyday situation. I enjoyed every article, page and sentence of this book. The way Richard preserves the business world and the relationship between the employer and the employees is dazzling and interesting. His views and principles are so unique that Interesting life story forone of the most successful entrepreneurs of all times. The story of Richard Branson is very motivational and his ideas, advises and suggestions are very valid and applicable not only to the world of business, but also to everyday situation. I enjoyed every article, page and sentence of this book. The way Richard preserves the business world and the relationship between the employer and the employees is dazzling and interesting. His views and principles are so unique that most of the CEOs and entrepreneurs don't have the courage to adapt them into their businesses. His persistence to his core values is one of the most important keys of his success, and it's the one I like the most. I do recommend this book for all my friends despite the repetitive ideas throughout the pages of this book. Nevertheless, I think that the repetition was useful "at least for me" and represents everything successful about Richard Branson.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Priya Singh

    I picked up this one without any expectations since I havent really read any business books. It proved out to be a huge disappointment. There are a few brilliant bits but it couldnt save the book from an inferior rating. The language is a little too 'dear diary' sort-of-casual. Almost half of the book is repetition of details from previous chapters which kept me wanting for better flow and organisation. The advises are mostly generic, although a few chapters do present some great suggestions and I picked up this one without any expectations since I havent really read any business books. It proved out to be a huge disappointment. There are a few brilliant bits but it couldnt save the book from an inferior rating. The language is a little too 'dear diary' sort-of-casual. Almost half of the book is repetition of details from previous chapters which kept me wanting for better flow and organisation. The advises are mostly generic, although a few chapters do present some great suggestions and viewpoints but its fairly limited. Overall, did not learn much from this. It could have fared better as a novella maybe with a different title for sure. There are not many eye-opening business secrets revealed here.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Fernandez

    Branson's expert advice and lessons learned on what has worked for him in building the Virgin group is all about finding and empowering the right people and making sure they are having fun doing their jobs. People are a company's most valuable resource and leaders should encourage everyone to take an active role in coming up with new ideas and solutions to improve the way your company delivers goods or services to your customers. Providing a great customer experience and good value for money is Branson's expert advice and lessons learned on what has worked for him in building the Virgin group is all about finding and empowering the right people and making sure they are having fun doing their jobs. People are a company's most valuable resource and leaders should encourage everyone to take an active role in coming up with new ideas and solutions to improve the way your company delivers goods or services to your customers. Providing a great customer experience and good value for money is Virgin's brand promise. Great businesses are masters at turning customers into advocates for their companies through word-of-mouth. Listening, communicating and delegating are important aspects for every person in a leadership role. His best decisions have come from instinct or experience.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ankit Agrawal

    Picked up this book right after graduating from a B-school. Quite an interesting read. The book does motivate the reader to open up a business of their own and also give tips on what makes a business successful. Real life examples make the book worthwhile. Book is written in easy to read language, so any person with decent understanding of the language can pick it up. Although it might have been imperative to stress on the points, takeaways from the book are repetitive - they keep coming up again Picked up this book right after graduating from a B-school. Quite an interesting read. The book does motivate the reader to open up a business of their own and also give tips on what makes a business successful. Real life examples make the book worthwhile. Book is written in easy to read language, so any person with decent understanding of the language can pick it up. Although it might have been imperative to stress on the points, takeaways from the book are repetitive - they keep coming up again and again across the chapters. In a nutshell, it is a good read and does teach a few things about opening and sustaining a business.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Romy

    I had high hopes for this book that took me a shocking 2 years 3 months to read. The book means well, covers a lot of areas and is in a light conversational tone, but there aren’t enough practical business tips in this book for me. I think an ideal readership would be a corporate employee in a senior position maybe director and above, looking to make some high level decisions. But it just isn’t that interesting for an aspiring entrepreneur or in any chronological order for educational reading. S I had high hopes for this book that took me a shocking 2 years 3 months to read. The book means well, covers a lot of areas and is in a light conversational tone, but there aren’t enough practical business tips in this book for me. I think an ideal readership would be a corporate employee in a senior position maybe director and above, looking to make some high level decisions. But it just isn’t that interesting for an aspiring entrepreneur or in any chronological order for educational reading. Sorry Richard!

  30. 5 out of 5

    João Antunes

    The book's format is similar to a blog post. I think the author would have been more successful if he had created a blog instead of writing a book. I didn't enjoy the book as much as I was expecting. The main reason being that the "secrets" that he teaches in his book are no "secrets", a simple google search and I can find 99% of what was written on the book. By reading the book I felt that I gained no additional value. It was a very top view of his many companies and strategies. There was no rea The book's format is similar to a blog post. I think the author would have been more successful if he had created a blog instead of writing a book. I didn't enjoy the book as much as I was expecting. The main reason being that the "secrets" that he teaches in his book are no "secrets", a simple google search and I can find 99% of what was written on the book. By reading the book I felt that I gained no additional value. It was a very top view of his many companies and strategies. There was no real details or interesting stories about his ventures that were shared.

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