• The Virgin Way

  • Everything I Know about Leadership
  • By: Richard Branson
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (5,127 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

While building the Virgin Group over 40 years, Richard Branson has never shied away from seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on several occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.

Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world has always dubbed (with a wink) the "Virgin Way."

This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at 16, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box - an expression he despises - but Branson asserts that "you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you."

This is a unique audiobook on leadership from someone who readily admits he has never read a book on leadership in his life. So expect the unexpected.

©2014 Richard Branson (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Virgin Way

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,281
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Inspiration, and nuggets of wisdom for anyone

There are certain criticisms of this book that can be anticipated; I have heard said of many books in this category that the ideas are not new, lack earth-shaking originality. I think such criticisms miss the point in general, and overlook the real significance and value of this book in particular. The question to be asked is, has this book shaped your outlook on starting and running a business in a meaningful way. For me, the anecdotes are entertaining and inspiring, and the embedded encouragement is genuinely motivating. Mr. Branson certainly does have various unique takes on common wisdoms of business leadership. Beyond the interesting presentation of his "radical" confrontation of business convention, though, the impact of this book derives from the diversity and longevity of Mr. Branson's working experience. In a relatively short book, he covers a lot of ground, and relates an array of personal experiences, each punctuated by his take on the moral to be had from the story. Some may resonate with you, some may not, but by the end of it, you are likely to find that you have come away with a rewarding trove of new ideas, novel approaches to confronting your own business challenges, and a satisfying "can-do" attitude. I know I did.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No Depth. Promo Piece for Virgin.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book was really hard for me to get through. I found the great majority of the stories to be more promotional than insightful. Way too many stories about how Branson 'out-witted' his opponents/competitors, or very surface level suggestions like 'make sure you take notes in meetings.' I didn't find it helpful or interesting.

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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One Cool Dude

What did you love best about The Virgin Way?

Mr Branson has a very cool way about the way he talks about himself and his companies. HE oozes success and "Boss-nes" but never comes across as being condescending. In fact he seems like he would be a really cool guy to have as a mentor/boss/friend.
There is humor but it's never silly. It's a fairly light and yet informative book on general business and leadership, with Mr Branson's special twist.

The narrator actually sounded a bit like Richard Branson, which made this even better.

What did you like best about this story?

It was nice to hear a major player to share what principles worked for him and which didn't. Some of what he says goes a bit against conventional managerial and business wisdom, and I liked how he is steadfast in sharing his opposing views.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

More entertainment than meat

Overall not a bad work, but it's not ground breaking. The story of Virgin is interesting. Branson believes in "fun" and he keeps the book light and comical.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is the sophomore level management course

I enjoyed listening to this book for the most part. There is nothing earth shattering here to Learned. It was enjoyable learning from his experience.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Richard is a nice guy but....

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If there were more practical advice given I think this might have been a better book.

Has The Virgin Way turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Gildart Jackson?

The Author

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

It really seemed to anecdotal with leadership knowledge that was almost cliche. I found it lackluster.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Much better than anticipated, narration amazing!

This proved to be a very interesting book on leadership for the entrepreneur, corporate leader, intrepreneur, and a mix of all. - Since I am not a 'fan' of Richard Branson's antics nor his sexist innuendos, I put off reading anything he published for many years. However, considering the fact that there are over 400 companies in his "Virgin" company portfolio and that he acquired a worth of over 5 billion, I figured there is something to learn and learn I did. A great quote from the book: "Listen- it makes you sound smarter!" - I wonder how much better he would have done in life if he graduated high school rather than starting his first business? :P

I was amazed that he didn't include FedEx as one of the companies that embraces the People first philosophy. Fred Smith introduced the concept in 1973 when he started Federal Express.

The narration is amazing. Normally, I have a tough time with the British accent and dialect but the narrator of this book does an amazing job and if I every met Richard Branson and he didn't sound like the narrator, I would be disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a few good nuggets

I got a few very good ideas from this book and overall found it to be entertaining , instructive & inspirational. later chapters got kind of slow & too macroeconomic for me though. over all good book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting rambling stream of consciousness

If you're looking for real learning, this book is probably not the best. While it's interesting to hear about Branson's life experiences, this book is mostly a long rambling recounting of his business life, not a practical guide to better leadership.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining. Performance is sometimes painful.

What made the experience of listening to The Virgin Way the most enjoyable?

There are a few good nuggets here and Richard Branson comes off as a decent human being who enjoys what he does.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Nothing, really. He is what he is.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Horrible, horrible, cheesy accents.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No. I like his approach to working with people and his 'change me first' approach. He seems to have had fun throughout his career.

Any additional comments?

I found the performance really distracting. You don't need to do an accent when you read a quote from a book. Just read it.

2 people found this helpful

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