Just in case you don’t know him, Richard Branson is a British billionaire who owns the Virgin brand of companies.
He is a hero of mine.
I adore Virgin Atlantic and won’t fly to London with anyone else.
I’ve even got a jigsaw puzzle of one of the Virgin planes.
I bought replicas of the planes for my plane-mad son to play with.
I’ve written blog posts on Virgin flights.
And I’ve long been a fan of Richard Branson, right back to the days of my early career.
I liked his freewheeling style, the fact that, like me, he didn’t go to university, that he was creative.
I really liked how he clearly had limitations.
And I imagine he can be a bit of a nightmare to work with – he comes across as pretty scattered, wild, a bit hippy. And dippy.
But in a way that people forgive him.
You can’t ignore his success.
He hasn’t been beset by scandal, he is still married to the mother of his grown-up children.
He has done (and said) some ridiculous things, some brave things and some embarrassing things.
But he’s still a billionaire who seems grounded, normal, and honorable. And is considered a leadership hero of our modern age.
Why is that?
Is it because he’s dyslexic but hasn’t let that stop him?
Is it because he’s upfront about what he’s not so good at?
Is it because he has built a phenomenally strong brand?
Is it because he has a great PR firm?
I really don’t know (I do think he has a great PR firm) but I know he has a personality that I can relate to albeit in a more modest way.
Like him, I have lots of ideas but lack the follow through – either because I procrastinate or get bored or I don’t have the time or the skills.
Or, of course, the money.
But Branson has, or has had, essentially the same problems.
He does have money now but he didn’t when he was younger, bootstrapping a record company and doing some risky financial things to make his business work that pushed him just over the wrong side of the legal line so that he spent the night in a cell.
Richard Branson is great at what he’s good at and hiring people to do the rest.
He’s great at taking risks, motivating people, hiring the right sorts, (and listening to them,) coming up with ideas, having a vision.
He is a disaster at details, routine, and number-crunching.
He relies on others to fill in where he has gaps.
While he creates.
He states that he never runs by a business idea before accountants when starting a new business.
He works purely on gut and the instinct to create.
As someone who has constant back and forth chatter going on in her brain, these words make me sigh with relief.
As the creative, the sensible and the rational war in my brain, it is so freeing to hear this.
So when I get stuck, bored or procrastinate, I notice, I sit.
And I ask ‘What would Richard Branson do?’
And I go do it. It makes for an exciting life!
Who can you rely on to fill in your gaps? And what can you create today?
Let me know in the comments!