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Big Shots: Business the Richard Branson Way

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Big Shots: Business the Richard Branson Way

10 Secrets of the World's Greatest Brand Builder


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If you can be as publicity seeking, nimble, entrepreneurial and adventurous as Richard Branson, can you get that rich?

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Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


This book is a handy compilation of observations, hypotheses and speculations on the subject of Richard Branson. Author Des Dearlove freely and frankly admits his debt to several other writers who have probed the Branson story in depth and breadth. There is little if anything original to be found, aside perhaps from the author’s style of presentation, which tries hard to be light and deft. Although the book carries you along, its biggest punch resides in the author’s list of "10 secrets" of Branson’s success. Readers who would like to know in the most general terms what Branson has done and how he has done it, and who are willing to swallow a few cliches in lieu of explanations, will seize upon this book. thinks you will enjoy it and, after all, enjoying your work is one of Branson’s great secrets.


Virgin Secrets

Brash Richard Branson leveraged Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. into an international conglomerate called the Virgin Group Ltd. On the way up, he carved out a deliberate public image as a successful, adventurous entrepreneur. Branson's success rests upon 10 "secrets," which are:

One: Pick on a Big Guy

Don't be intimidated by big, powerful, well-capitalized and deeply entrenched competitors. Branson loves situations where major companies seem to dominate an industry. He knows that by thinking creatively and moving nimbly, he can outfox them. His approach is simple:

  • Be a crusader — Offer the consumer more for the money.
  • Be a pirate — Disrespect the powers that be and make sure people know you do.
  • People favor the underdog — So be one. Fighting the odds can be stimulating.
  • Pick your fights — Understand the opportunity, obstacles and potential rewards.
  • Hit them hard — Make them feel pain. Attack your competitor's vulnerabilities.

Two: Be a Nonconformist

Richard Branson was a child of the flower power movement. But then he has been a child of every movement that has presented...

About the Author

British writer Des Dearlove is cofounder of the media content, concepts and consulting firm Suntop Media. He writes regularly for the American Management Review and Human Resources. He is the author of numerous management books.

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