Why your people matter when you’re growing a business

by Richard Branson | Founder at Virgin Group

Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality

I’ve always wanted to change business for good and disrupt stagnant industries, but I have only been able to achieve anything because I have a great team behind me.

Growing and scaling a business is difficult but it can be made easier if your team are behind your vision and you have trust in each other.

In the very early days at Virgin Records, I entrusted my fresh-out-of-university cousin, Simon Draper, to take the lead on buying music for the company. While I had always appreciated music, Simon lived for it.

He didn’t just casually enjoy an album, he understood it. Simon’s taste in music became the single most critical element of the Virgin ethos. Our record shops were not just stores, but arbiters of taste.

Simon’s keen ear for talent, shown by his appreciation for Mike Oldfield amongst others, eventually led us to create Virgin Music – without which we could have never started or propelled Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money and every business that has followed.

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. And I’m not alone… Many of the world’s most powerful and successful people do the same. Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak. Microsoft was the joint effort of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Larry Page had Sergey Brin and they worked together to develop Google. Every leader has a team.

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. However, I learned that if I flanked myself with people that complemented my weaknesses and shared my passions, I could work with them towards greater achievements.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.