Wonderful to receive a letter from a former Virgin Atlantic employee who started his own company after 18 years in the Virgin family. 14 years on, his company is now supplying shutters to homes across the globe – Necker Island included.
If you empower your people to fulfil their potential, they will thrive and do their best work you. I’m often asked – ‘but aren’t you just training people to leave?’
My answer would be no – not if you’re looking after them. If you support them and help them develop their careers, then often they stay working for you for many years. But as this example shows – it’s not always a bad thing if they go off and start their own adventure.
Mark Carter started as a junior flight attendant in 1985 and worked his way up to becoming the Head of Cabin Services, overseeing 2,500 Virgin people. I sent him a letter when he left Virgin Atlantic in 2003 to start a company called Shutterly Fabulous in the UK, which has now hit America as a DIY shutter company called The Shutter Store.
After Hurricane Irma devastated Necker Island, we couldn’t think of anyone better to replace the shutters in the Great House. After placing the order, he sent us a lovely thank you letter saying how working at Virgin had empowered him and gave him the courage to start his own company.
I’m glad that Virgin’s entrepreneurial spirit made a Mark!