When starting out, entrepreneurs face seemingly never-ending lists of tasks. I had to be a jack-of-all-trades at Virgin Records. I had at least 10 job titles (depending on who I was talking to) – marketing, PR, operations, business development… you name it, I did it.
Working across so many areas is great because it enables you to learn quickly, broadening your skill set, and tackle challenges head on with confidence – but in order for an entrepreneur to grow into a successful leader, they must learn to delegate.
It's no secret that I wasn't the most academic student. Dyslexia held me back from focusing on school work and achieving good grades. But I quickly learned that if I flanked myself with people that complemented my weaknesses, I could work with them towards greater achievements.
Over the past 50 years, I have used this as my model for doing business. While the Virgin Group has always been my vision, a number of people have significantly influenced the journey along the way. There are far too many to name-check, however over the course of my career I have worked hand-in-hand with many inspired minds to bring innovative ideas to life.
Richard Branson with team members at The Virgin Way Co-Lab
Entrepreneurs and business leaders have a lot in common with scouts for professional sports organisations. They should be out there talent spotting, whether with established stars on other teams or undiscovered, up-and-coming raw talent.
Delegate – it’s the most important bit of advice I can give to entrepreneurs and leaders. Surround yourself with people who complement you, aid your self-development, and most importantly give you the freedom to look after yourself and your family and scale to move forward into new areas.