[Richard Branson is an English businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies.]
Richard Branson is the kind of boss everyone thinks they deserve, but probably only Virgin employees get. He’s brought about organization level changes, and himself is synonymous for cool with his personal philosophy.
Here are some of the reasons to wish you had a boss like Sir Richard Branson.
1. Unlimited Vacation
In September 2014, Richard Branson announced “Unlimited Vacations” for his staff. No questions asked. The employees can take off how much time they need off work, without needing prior approval or need to inform. Sounds too good to be true? Believe it. Branson explained on the company blog how this policy is better for the organization not just the employee’s well being. “It is left to the employee alone to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business – or, for that matter, their careers!”
2. One year Paternity leave
Recently, Branson announced a year of paid paternity leaves for Virgin employees – not only on occasion of a birth of a child but also on adoption of one. This according to Branson will give ample time for a new dad to devote most important years of child’s growth and bond with their child.
3. Believes in talking on social media
With almost 6 million followers, Richard Branson is one of the most followed businessmen in the world. His tweets are informative, motivational and full of insights gained from his years in business. And here is one 62 year old CEO that does not shy away from using this Gen-Y medium to communicate company stuff.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) June 11, 2015
4. Doesn’t suit up
Richard Branson thinks that suits and ties in an office are just another type of uniform, but in an arena where uniforms no longer serve any useful purpose.
5. Aims for the the sky, literally
Not content with just normal aviation, Richard Branson is the man behind Virgin group’s ambitious Virgin Galactic project which plans to make flights to space available to the public. (Of course at a price). “It’s going to be an explosion of people having had the chance to go into space and enjoy the marvels of space travel”, said Branson on the company blog.
6. Cool as a man. Cool as a woman
The founder is not just about effecting liberal policies in his organization, but is up for a little caper with competitors too if need be. A lost bet with fellow motor-racing and aviation rival Air Asia chief Tony Fernandez had this multi-billionaire founder do a little drag gig. Branson did full justice to his bet and dressed up as a lady flight attendant on an Air Asia flight! He even shaved his legs for the flight – served drinks and pledged to clean the toilets on the special flight – all while sporting the red AirAsia uniform, which included a skirt suit and crisp white shirt. (Dailymail, UK)
7. Has a heart of gold
Not only does Sir Richard Branson believe in making the workplace a heaven for his thousands of Virgin employees, but his humane side extends to charitable causes outside of Virgin. In 2013, Branson has pledged to commit $3 billion, all profits from his travel firms over the next ten years, to the reduction of global warming. Not only is he associated with hundreds of charities and causes through his CSR arm Virgin Unite, but is hands on and involved in many projects including the Global Warming project with the UN. A complete low-down on Branson’s charitable associations, here.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) June 11, 2015
8. He’s been cool since school
While most of today’s entrepreneurs and CEOs can boast of fancy MBAs from universities, Branson has been a child prodigy. He dropped out of college at 17 and launched the successful magazine “Student”, interviewing bigwigs like Mick Jagger. Branson started his first charity, “Student Valley Centre”, also around then. He started a mail record business- what can be arguably the foundation for the current Virgin group when he was just 20, and went on to open multiple chains by the time he was 22.
9. He’s a Knight without any armour
Sir Richard Branson doesn’t do things like a sir. He is one. Richard Branson was knighted in December 1999 by Charles, Prince of England for his services to entrepreneurship and humanity. This is one of the highest honours a British citizen can get and one that even the richest people cannot buy, but only earn.
10. Doesn’t sound like a movie star. He is.
Well almost. Branson’s cool enough to feature in many shows, and movies playing mostly himself. Friends, Baywatch, The tonight show are some of the shows he’s appeared in. He’s guest starred in movies like Casino Royale, Star trek and even cameoed in a Bollywood movie “London Dreams”, playing himself, soon after launching Virgin mobile in India.
11. He calls his biggest disability a great ability
A dyslexic since childhood, Richard Branson has difficulty reading and learning normally and dropped out of school at 16 largely due to the condition. In a hand-written letter to a 9 year old Dyslexic girl who had written to him, Branson calls his condition a gift. “I see my condition as a gift, not a disability. It has helped me learn the art of delegation, focus my skills, and work with incredible people.”
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) June 12, 2015