Sir Richard Branson has been one of my role models for years. His flamboyant personality, can-do attitude and outside-the-box thinking inspires me in my entrepreneurial journey in one way or another. I love the way he raises his kids, in such a way that they kept grounded even though they can do anything with their father’s wealth. I love how he creates a fun working environment at Virgin.
Well, if you don’t know who Richard Branson is, here is one sentence that can pretty much describe who he is: Sir Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur who founded Virgin Group, a holding company of over 400 companies. ‘Nuff said.
One of the lessons from Sir Richard I want to highlight in this blog post is his habit to stick to what he promises; he walks the talk.
And there’s no better way to explain that in a real life example:
Well, Sir Richard Branson is not a cross-dresser, but why on earth he wore that flight attendant uniform?
It happened about 2.5 years ago. He made a bet with Tony Fernandes about which of their Formula One teams would rank higher at the end of the season. Here’s the bet they’ve agreed upon: Whoever lost shall dress as cabin crew on the other’s airline. At the end Sir Richard lost, but he needed to wait for 3 occasions (skiing accident, the royal wedding and his burnt down house on Necker) before he finally kept his promise.
Promise is a promise – Sir Richard finally honours the bet and join Tony Fernandes’ Air Asia X’ cabin crews on a flight from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Walking the talk: Lessons learned
One of Sir Richard’s inspiring quotes is this:
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise.
He showed this in the way he does business and the way Virgin companies are running things. Not only professionally, he also kept his promises at personal level, including his bet with Tony Fernandes.
One, single lesson learned: When you make a promise, be sure you keep it; if you can’t, then don’t make any promises. It’s that simple, yet so powerful.
I must say wearing a red uniform is pretty embarrassing for Sir Richard. But looking at the pictures, he seemed to enjoy every bit of it. A very positive – and fun – man; a worthy role model to follow by many.
Can’t get enough of Sir Richard?
If you want to learn more from Sir Richard Branson, you might want to get started from his business blog at Virgin. Loads of insights and tips straight from his own experience. A must-read blog, in my opinion.