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Sir Richard Branson’s best leadership advice

Published: 11th September 2013

From records to trains and planes, Sir Richard Branson has inspired and innovated for more than 40 years. Ahead of his keynote speech at next week’s IoD annual convention, we pick his 12 top tips for being a good leader.

1. “Treat people well, motivate them and don’t try to second-guess everything they do”

2. “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple”

3. “Nobody respects a leader who doesn’t know how to get his hands dirty and innovate personally”

4. “Employees want to know, ‘am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel?’ People really need to feel wanted”

5. “Give individuals the tools they need, outline some parameters to work within, and then just let them get on and do their stuff”

6. “Most of the existing leadership models have been built in silos – that is, we’ve created isolated areas of responsibility for different sectors. There is little or no encouragement for them to work together”

7. “Assemble a great management team that has a vision, passion and a real sense of ownership. Look for leaders who listen – both to employees and customers”

8. “Find the fun in your business”

9. “Learning the art of delegation is key”

10. “Nobody can be successful alone – and you cannot be a great leader without great people to lead”

11. “Rather than focusing on mistakes, catch someone doing something right every day”

12. “Screw it, just do it, because to succeed as a business leader, you must have the bravery to give it a go”

WATCH: Sir Richard Branson’s advice for entrepreneurs

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