If you do know of Richard Branson, you will know that he is an entrepreneur extraordinaire, starting with producing a student magazine in 1968, up to the present day when he is using his wealth to mobilize others to be socially responsible. Like A Virgin — Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School — was published in 2012. Not the first, and certainly not the last, Branson promotes the idea (gasp!) of employees first, customers second, and shareholders third. The average working person will applaud while shareholders probably want the book burned. Branson, however, promotes what he writes. His belief is that if employees are happy, they will be willing to give more of themselves to promote the business they are in, leading to increased sales and finally, better value for shareholders. Not rocket science for sure, but certainly not the way most businesses work.
Hire the people you need, not the ones you like, is one of his premises. You have to look beyond the sales personality of someone you need to hire to see if they have the qualities to get the job done. Another comment is that you should know when to step down as CEO. A good one, even if you are an entrepreneur. Know when to pass the torch, even if you keep ownership in the company. Know when it is the right time to let others do your job, perhaps even better than you have.
Some might call Branson a publicity hound but his rationale is that outrageous acts provide more and broader publicity than he could ever afford on his own. This in turn helps his business grow and allows him to spend more time and money on philanthropic pursuits.
An easy read, he is obviously a storyteller in his own right, and what stories he has to share! I am working my way through some of his other books because I agree with his business philosophy. Whether you do or not, I am sure you will still enjoy this book.