Note taking is one of my favourite pastimes. I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people's) as soon as they came to me.
Some of Virgin’s most successful companies have been born from random moments – if we hadn't opened our notebooks, they would never have happened.
No matter how big, small, simple or complex an idea is, get it in writing. But don’t just take notes for the sake of taking notes, go through your ideas and turn them into actionable and measurable goals. If you don’t write your ideas down, they could leave your head before you even leave the room.
In my experience, 99 percent of people in leadership roles don't take notes.
I was in South Africa recently and spent time talking to the manager of one of our properties. The next day I noticed that he hadn’t actioned what we spoke about, so I asked him if he had taken a note of our conversation.
If you don’t write things down it’s really easy to forget what was said – and often in business it’s the little things that make a big difference to your customer. Keep a notebook in your back pocket to scribble down thoughts or feedback, and make sure you follow through on them in a timely fashion.
The reason Virgin Atlantic stands out from the competition is because we notice the small details and try and make the experience unique. We take feedback seriously and it’s what makes us a great airline rather than an ok airline.
Many people think writing notes is below them – but everyone should be doing it as it can greatly improve what you do.