Richard Branson by Dom Fotso
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  • 1. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION RICHARD BRANSON Dom Fotso How to live a full life
  • 2. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION Bio and major accomplishments Entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist • Born in 1950 in London. Eighth fortune of UK ($5B) • Created Student magazine at 16 after dropping out of high school • Founder of Virgin Group (50K employees, 400+ companies, $25B annual revenues) • Knighted in 1999 by Prince Charles • World records: Crossed Atlantic in hot air balloon (1987), Longest balloon trip (1991) • Entrepreneurial highlights: Virgin Records (1970), Virgin Atlantic (1984), Sale of Virgin Records for $1B (1992), Virgin Cola (1994), Virgin Rail (1997), Virgin Mobile (1999), Virgin Galactic (2004) • Virgin Unite as non-profit: Virgin Earth Challenge, The Elders • Married to Joan and has two children, Holly and Sam
  • 3. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION Be Real Act with authenticity by clarifying what's important • Encouraged to be authentic by his parents • Dyslexic, struggled in school and dropped out at 16 to become an entrepreneur • His headmaster: “In prison or become a millionaire” • Risky business decisions: • signed Sex Pistols, promoted avant-garde music (Punk, New Wave) • Invested in airlines industry then sold Virgin Records to support it • Multiple world record attempts • crossing the Atlantic in hot air balloon (1987) against Virgin Atlantic executives recommendation • fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle in 2004
  • 4. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION Be Whole Act with integrity by respecting the whole person • Management of Virgin Group: HealthMiles to support employees health engagement, Virgin Pulse to help employee engagement and support philanthropic causes • Home / Work integration: • Goes on all holidays with kids, pioneered flexible workplace at Virgin • Involves family in world record attempts (crossing Atlantic in sail boat with his kids) • Unite, the non-profit arm of the Virgin Group • The Elders (with Nelson Mandela, Koffi Annan) • Carbon War Room (initiative for Global Warming)
  • 5. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION Be Innovative Act with creativity by experimenting to find new solutions • Entrepreneurship through frustration as a philosophy to challenge the status quo (Virgin Brides, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Galactic) • Virgin Earth Challenge: $25M prize for a viable solution to the greenhouse gas problem • Innovative commitment device: pledged 10 years of profits from Virgin transportation (~$3B) towards renewable alternatives to carbon fuels
  • 6. KNOWLEDGE FOR ACTION Lessons Learned • Live with passion (and encourage it for your kids) • Invest in what you believe in despite other people’s opinions • Find the right people and inspire them • Life is one long learning process: love learning and challenging the status quo • Stand for something: Virgin stands for quality and for combatting frustration