Sir Richard Branson is an iconic and legendary figure within business circles. His Virgin companies span the globe, while his thirst for brand domination and sense of adventure tell a story of an intriguing and thought provoking life sprinkled with danger, high risk tactics — pushing the boundaries of the possible — and an all encompassing purpose that is built upon fairness and change. Add to this mix a charismatic persona and an extraordinary business acumen, and you have one of the most well-known and iconic figures of today’s business world.
The discussion that follows delves briefly into aspects of Richard Branson’s personality and behavior in order to shed some light into the mindset of this entrepreneurial magnate.
The purpose of this IQ Matrix and accompanying article post is to present a visual overview of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur whose qualities we can all model, learn from, and cultivate until they become our own. We will specifically break down Richard Branson’s habitual patterns of behavior, his skill-set and the mindset that has shaped and carved Richard Branson’s personality and made him a legend within the business world.
The information contained within this article was collected from several books which are listed towards the end of this post.
Richard Branson’s Habitual Patterns of Behavior
There are several subtle, and some not so subtle behaviors that Richard Branson undertakes on a daily basis that enable him greater clarity of thought and a personal understanding of the events and circumstances that he is confronted with at any given moment in time.
These behaviors are briefly outlined below:
Stepping Outside of Comfort Zone
Richard Branson is constantly stepping outside his comfort zone into new industries to face unique challenges that test his discipline, expertise and resolve.
Facing Problems Head-on
When problems arise, Richard Branson tackles them immediately and aggressively, making sure that small problems don’t become big headaches.
Open to Change
Richard Branson is constantly open to changing his perspectives, viewpoints and approach to any situation if he feels that it will help him attain his goals and objectives in a much more effective and efficient manner.
Making Every Second Count
Richard Branson is very aware that every moment that goes by is an opportunity to do things better, to improve a process or to take the next step towards a bigger objective. He therefore makes every second count by mixing business with pleasure.
Hunting for New Opportunities
Richard Branson is always on the lookout for new opportunities and ideas that will enable him to gain an advantage over his competitors.
Richard Branson is constantly asking solution focused questions that clarify his thinking and help him overcome the challenges that confront him on a daily basis.
Whether in business or life Richard Branson is constantly challenging himself. He sees everything as an opportunity to strengthen his resolve, expertise and grow his global Virgin empire.
Enjoys Living Life to Fullest
Richard Branson is constantly seeking out new exciting endeavors, adventures and experiences. He believes that life must always be lived to its fullest potential.
Richard Branson turns everything into a game where having fun is on top of his agenda. For this very reason he enjoys mixing work with pleasure and has successfully created an easy-going and fun-loving culture at Virgin.
Meeting New People
Richard Branson is a passionate networker. He enjoys meeting new people, discussing new opportunities, and building mutually rewarding relationships with others.
Trying New Things
Whether it be venturing into a new and unexpected industry, or flying balloons over record distances, it seems that Richard Branson will do just about anything at least once.
Because Richard Branson mixes his work with things that bring him pleasure, this lifts his spirits and strengthens his motivation to work for extended hours throughout the day and night.
Carries a Notepad
Richard Branson carries a notepad in his pocket in order to capture ideas for new projects, gather feedback from customers and employees, and to write his goals, thoughts and experiences on paper. This likewise helps clarify his thoughts and provides him with guidance throughout the day.
Surrounds Self with Great People
Richard Branson surrounds himself with business coaches and mentors who act as sounding-boards — helping to guide his decisions. He also surrounds himself with reliable colleagues and co-workers who have similar goals, values and interests. These people naturally compliment Virgin’s ever expanding cultural presence. In addition to this, Richard Branson surrounds himself with supportive family and friends who believe in him, his mission and vision.
Takes Calculated Risks
Richard Branson takes calculated risks in business and life. He understands where the boundaries lie, and is therefore careful not to over-extend his personal and professional capabilities and capacity to move intelligently through periods of emotional turmoil.
Takes Time to Read and Learn
Richard Branson fully understands that lessons are often learned through mistakes and experience. However, he acknowledged that lessons can also be experienced within the pages of a book. And it is these book-experiences that save him an ample amount of time, energy and money, that he would normally spend learning in the real world.
Takes Time to Catnap and Daydream
In order to re-energize his body and mind, Richard Branson takes catnaps throughout the day. He also undertakes periods of daydreaming about his passions, which invigorates his creative mind and strengthens the flow of new ideas.
Takes Time to Think
Richard Branson sets time aside to create new ideas, plan projects and think about creative solutions to pressing problems..
Richard Branson’s Skill Set
A lifetime of unique experiences and a passion to fulfill his goals and objective, have assisted Richard Branson to develop certain sets of skills that help to improve his productivity as he goes about his days.
Here are the skills in no particular order:
- Flexible thought
- Sales skills
- Public relations
- Negotiation skills
- Persuasion skills
- Leadership skills
- Good listening skills
- Good communication skills
When Richard Branson communicates with other people he often uses stories, descriptive words and metaphors that paint pictures and excite the senses — bringing his listeners into his personal world and interpretation of reality.
Richard Branson’s Mindset
Richard Branson is who he is, and does what he does because of who he has become as a result of a culmination of experiences, setbacks and triumphs. These circumstances have shaped his mind in profound ways, enabling him to achieve incredible feats that have progressively built his fortune and empire.
To unlock this mindset, one must look no further then the patterns of Richard’s behaviors, decisions, language and actions.
Richard Branson’s Purpose
The primary purpose that drives and directs all of Richard Branson’s choices, decisions, behavior and actions is the act of making a difference in this world.
Richard Branson’s Values
Every one of us has a hierarchy of values that help direct our daily choices and decisions. The values that lie on top of this hierarchy we consider to be of utmost importance, while the values that lie on the bottom tend not to influence our lives to a significant degree.
Richard Branson’s values have helped shape all the circumstances of his life. And while it is difficult to pinpoint the hierarchy of his values (these can change all of the time), we can however identify some of the primary values that are currently molding his destiny.
Here is a list of values that are driving Richard Branson’s actions and decisions (they are presented in no particular order):
By progressively adjusting your own values to match the list presented above, you will find that your choices, decisions and actions will slowly begin to align and match those of Richard Branson’s.
How different could your life be if you adopted Richard Branson’s values as your own?
Richard Branson’s Beliefs
Alongside values we have beliefs.
Beliefs are the building blocks of our daily decisions, behaviors and actions. They will essentially determine the actions that we take, or refrain from taking when faced with obstacles or challenges.
Richard Branson’s beliefs have been shaped and molded as a result of a lifetime of unique experience. These beliefs have strengthened his resolve and made him into the man we know today.
Here is a list of some of the beliefs that have shaped Richard Branson’s personality:
- Believes that anything is possible.
- Believes that everything is negotiable.
- Believes that rules are made to be broken.
- Believes that business is a fun and creative way of life.
- Believes in developing people.
- Believes in leading from the front.
- Believes in action over hope.
- Believes in being polite and honest.
- Believes in doing no harm.
- Believes in building teams.
- Believes in integrity.
- Believes in respect.
- Believes in trust.
- Believes in controlling one’s own personal destiny.
How different could your life be if you adopted Richard Branson’s beliefs as your own?
Richard Branson’s Qualities
There are certain and specific qualities that Richard Branson cultivates on a daily basis that help shape his character and public persona. These qualities include:
- A solution focused attitude.
- An ambitious and passionate nature.
- A competitive, resilient, bold, rebellious and ruthless approach to life.
- A fun-loving, humorous, cheeky, curious, enthusiastic and charming demeanor.
These qualities are a representation of the visual mask that Richard Branson projects out into the world on a daily basis. These are the qualities that the media writes about, that co-workers gossip about and that others try and emulate. However, keep in mind that you cannot cultivate these qualities within your own character if your values and beliefs are in conflict with the external persona that you are trying to project into the world. You must therefore, first work on yourself within, before experiencing the results in the physical world.
How different could your life be if you adopted Richard Branson’s qualities as your own?
Richard Branson’s Perspectives
It is probably safe to say that Richard Branson perceives life somewhat differently than the majority of people in this world. And it is this perspective that drives his thoughts and influences the emotions he allows himself to experience on a daily basis.
Let’s take a closer look at these perspectives:
- He lives his life on the edge.
- He lives life to the fullest.
- He lives life for the moment.
- He lives life with a work-hard / play-hard mentality.
- He understands that a solution will always be found no matter how big the problem.
- He chases his dreams while at the same time remaining grounded in the real world.
- He sees money as a means of making things happen, and not an end in itself.
These perspectives help shape his life, while transforming the patterns of thought that are directing his behavior.
How different could your life be if you adopted Richard Branson’s perspectives as your own?
Richard Branson’s Secret to Success
Richard Branson Quotes
Here are a number of well known Richard Branson quotes that will provide an even deeper insight into the makeup of his character:
Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.
A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.
And you know, I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on.
Fortunately we’re not a public company — we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.
I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.
I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other — and we still are.
I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.
My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.
Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa — and it’s about getting a balance.
The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world.
We’ve got an engaging, edgy, vibrant, fun product, … It may or may not work, but we’re going to give it our best shot.
What’s the quickest way to become a millionaire? Borrow fivers off everyone you meet.
I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.
You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.
Well, I’m somebody who is just living…living life, and if I get frustrated by something, then I like to try to put it right,
It has been like hitting up against a solid brick wall. All day and all night long, we battled to get through it.
I am slightly biased, but I think it is an incredible achievement — the last great aviation record left.
There is no doubt that Richard Branson’s qualities have brought him a great deal of success and fame over his lifetime. His charismatic persona, his rebellious and death defying acts, and his easy-going nature provide him with a unique blueprint of success that has helped him create a global brand unlike anything the world has ever seen.
To model his success, one must cultivate an extraordinary amount of patience, discipline and passion over an extended period of time. It is after all these qualities — above all else — that lay down the seeds and the foundations of the dreams that are still yet to come.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any further queries or questions, or would like to share your experiences about this topic, than please do so in the comments section below.
Gain More Knowledge…
Here are a number of highly recommended free articles and online resources that will further help expand your understanding about this topic:
- Business Stripped Bare @ Official Richard Branson Blog
- Lessons from Richard Branson: How to Identify Opportunity @ Young Entrepreneur
- Lessons from Richard Branson: Don’t do it for the Money @ Young Entrepreneur
- Follow Richard Branson on Twitter @ Twitter.com
- Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur by Richard Branson
- Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson
- Screw It, Let’s Do It: 14 Lessons on Making it to the Top While Having Fun & Staying Green by Richard Branson
- Richard Branson, Virgin King: Inside Richard Branson’s Business Empire by Tim Jackson
- Business the Richard Branson Way: 10 Secrets of the World’s Greatest Brand Builder by Des Dearlove.