Never Forget the Fun
Lesson time 04:12 min
Everything Richard does comes back to fun. Your team, your customers, and the world at large want to laugh and enjoy themselves, and it’s up to you as the leader to set the tone for this in every aspect of your business.
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Topics include: Everything Richard does comes back to fun. Your team, your customers, and the world at large want to laugh and enjoy themselves - and it’s up to you as the leader to set the tone for this in every aspect of your business.
- Yeah. I just think it's very important that if you're going to start a company, that you don't take yourself too seriously. When we launched the Virgin Hotel in Chicago, we did a Ferris Bueller parade outside. And the whole street was just packed with people. Obviously, cars couldn't get through. I'm not a great singer, but I had to sing "Twist and Shout." And the police on that occasion, again, did arrest us. And they did fine us for that. But the publicity was worth it. If I look at the history of building Virgin, I think some of the things that sort of brought the company together the most were not necessarily mission statements, but were more Friday night, let's all go down to the pub for a party. Let's make sure-- you know, I mean Richard, if he's the guy who's running the company or the department, he's up on the bar. First dancing on the bar. Letting his hair down having a good time, which means that everybody else can do the same thing. If there's a swimming pool, the guy who's invited everybody there, he's the first in the pool fully clothed. So everybody else can get in. Jump in the pool. And you know, I found that you learn-- in those sorts of situations, you can then be chatting at the bar. Maybe in your soaking wet clothes. But anyway, you can find out what's going on. You can find you can talk to people. You get to know the real people. And I remember when we took over a big chunk of British Rail in the UK, it had been run by the government. And the staff were demoralized. You know, they certainly hadn't had a party. The very first thing we did was to invite 10,000 of the staff down to my house in the country. We gave them the party of a lifetime. We had tents. We had bands. We had playgrounds. Their kids came. They stayed overnight. And they became Virgin people overnight almost. I mean, the difference when you went on a train the next day was powerfully different. And it doesn't take a lot to make people feel wanted and appreciated. And the public want to smile and have fun. Your staff want to smile and have fun. And your customers want to smile and have fun. And so you try to do things that make people smile. Even if you make a fool of yourself. Or even if you get arrested. All right. Come on, Richard. Let's go for it. I just want to say also thank you to the whole wonderful team. Been a real pleasure to meet you all now. And I think we should-- what should we do? Let's see. We should take the microphone off. I think we're done with that. Put that down there. How do we do this? Yeah. That goes there. I think we should all jump in the pool.
About the Instructor
Sometimes, making it big is all about following the fun. Ask Richard Branson. The founder of the Virgin Group built a business empire by solving the problems that fascinated him, disrupting every industry he touched, and pursuing dreams that seemed impossible. The adventure took him from humble beginnings to the stars. Learn how you, too, can find ideas so good they’re scary, lean into your fear, and achieve liftoff.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
Entrepreneur Richard Branson teaches you how to turn your wildest dreams into successful businesses—and have fun doing it.Explore the Class