Book Talk: Richard Branson on leadership, telling stories

Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:54am EDT
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By Billy Cheung

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is best known for starting and operating business ventures under the Virgin Group, but he is also a prolific author.

His autobiography, "Losing My Virginity," is a best seller, and many other books by the long-haired businessman have also been commercial successes.

In his latest book, "The Virgin Way," he expounds on his leadership philosophies.

Branson, 64, spoke to Reuters about hiring people, start-up companies and grooming the next generation of leaders.

Q: Why did you write a book about leadership now?

A:. This is my 50th year as an entrepreneur, having started in business at 14 years old. I have had 50 years of being the boss and the leader, and I’ve learned a lot. I am always encouraging people to write books, and I had not written a book about leadership. While this is all relatively fresh in my memory, I thought I would give it a go.

I like to tell stories rather than provide a list of do’s and don’ts as with other leadership books.

Q: How do you balance track record against personality in hiring?   Continued...

Sir Richard Branson listens to a speaker at the Global Commission on Drug Policy in New York, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton