Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson

This week success is on my mind, so who better to profile as the AIB Featured Business Leader than a man who is considered as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in our time. Sir Richard Branson wasn’t always as successful as he is today – at the age of 16, he actually dropped out of high school due to difficulties with his studies. After starting a youth magazine named ‘Student’, Branson then began record company ‘Virgin Records’ in order to help fund the magazine.

Over the next 20 years, Branson expanded his repertoire into a multimillion dollar group, including the addition of an airline, but was faced with a major setback in 1992 when he was forced to sell his company due to financial struggles. With no choice but to completely start again, Branson displayed an admirable resilience and founded a second record company, namely ‘V2’. From there, the Virgin Group has expanded to more than 200 companies in over 30 countries worldwide, placing Branson on Forbes’ ‘World Billionaires’ List.

There are a number of lessons that aspiring entrepreneurs, students, managers and workers can take away from Sir Richard Branson. He once said ‘I am prepared to try anything once’. That quote alone can be inspiring in a number of different circumstances; if you want something in your life, you have to be prepared to try new things.

Branson also discusses his people management skills in many of his public appearances. He was quoted saying ‘Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.’ This particular quote is of relevance to those in management roles or aspiring managers, many of whom are students of AIB’s MBA degree.

Finally, Branson once said that his interest in life comes from setting himself challenges which others consider to be unachievable, and trying to rise above them. In our eyes, this is a wonderful example that aspiring students can take on board. Many of you come to us and question whether it is possible for you to complete your MBA whilst working fulltime. We believe this is a great attitude to adopt, not just in terms of your education but in your life. Progressing and succeeding both personally and professionally is not possible without setting yourself challenges. With an attitude like Sir Richard Branson’s, the sky is truly your limit.

I think that what Branson has achieved is quite spectacular, but would love to hear your views. Do you have any suggestions of business leaders who you would like to see featured?  I invite you to share your views below with any questions or comments.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Virgin Group and Bio. Magazine.

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