Richard Branson’s Words Of Wisdom For Microsoft Partners
Sitting in the Los Angeles Staples Center at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference a few weeks ago, we and fifteen thousand other attendees listened to Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group) discuss business and his ideas for Microsoft Partner business owners.
A few comments in particular stood out which I think are very applicable for any small business, Microsoft Partners included. Following are some notable quotes and comments.
I'm a great believer that small is beautiful.
“And so, when we had our record company division, we actually had 20 separate record companies, and 20 separate buildings with 20 different brand names. The people who are running those companies could feel if they were doing well, they could feel that it was their success; and if they were doing badly, okay, they had to do a bit better. I think you can become a big corporation, but you ought to be made up of lots of small corporations, and that's the best way of getting there.”
Stop trying to do it all by yourself
“If you're a managing director of the full corporation, don't try to cling on and do everything yourself too long. The sooner you can try to find somebody who is better than you to run it on a day-to-day basis, and then step back and start thinking about the next venture, or the next entrepreneurial thing you can do, the better. It will free you up for better family life, but it will also just mean that you'll free yourself up to think about the bigger picture.“
Have fun and be flexible with employees
“90 percent of your time you spend at work should be fun. And it's up to the people running companies to make sure it is fun.“
“I think a lot of us need to be a lot more flexible in how we treat our staff. I mean, should somebody wants to go on unpaid leave for a while, welcome it, don't sort of frown on it. If somebody wants to work from home on Fridays or Mondays, let them work from home Fridays and Mondays. If people want to job share, don't think of them as being lazy, or if they want to go part-time, don't think of them as being lazy. The great thing about job sharing or going part-time is that will create more jobs, which will actually help the economy. And actually it's very good for the company, because people are then doing the things they want to do.”
Forgive your enemies, the world is too small
It's much better in life to befriend your enemies than leave them out there as enemies. And I think the same applies in your personal life. If you have a divorce, or you've had a bad fallout with somebody, they might find it quite strange, but ring them up, have them over for lunch or dinner and befriend them. And it will good for you, it will good for them, and it will definitely be good for the children."
On entrepreneurship and making a difference
“I never thought of myself as being a business person, and I think most successful people in life do not set out to become business people. They set out to create things…. I think the most successful people in this room will be people who think, how can I make a real difference in other people's lives, and we'll worry about whether the bills add up at the end of the year.”
Reputation and brand are important
“Your reputation is all you have in life. So, your personal reputation, and the reputation of your brand. And, you know, if you do anything, anything that damages that reputation, you can destroy your company.”
The audience loved his presentation and many commented on how some of his points really resonated with them. The real key is to take great ideas and make them actionable. That’s where we come in.
If you enjoy discussing current business thinking, best practices and learning from others walking the same walk you are walking, consider joining one of KnowledgeCircles Peer Groups for Microsoft Partners or one of our General Small Business Groups.
We discuss ideas and use the collective experience of the group to evaluate what works and what hasn’t worked. We help our clients take these ideas, turn them into action and use the sounding board of our Peer Advisory Groups to make actions successful and meaningful.
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