In the video below, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, talks to President and COO of Goldman Sachs. My favorite part of the interview was the question and answer below. I shared it on twitter and Branson liked it as well.
Question: If you could go back to yourself as a 16 year old and give yourself one piece of advice based on what you’ve learned over the last five decades, what would that piece of advice be?
Branson: My mom had very good advice. If I ever, ever said anything even slightly negative about anybody, she sent me to the mirror, and made me stand in front of the mirror for 10 minutes, and look in the mirror, and she just said it reflects so badly on you, I don’t want you ever, ever, ever to say ill of anybody ever again. That’s really good advice. I think, especially as a leader, you’ve got to always be looking for the best in people, and if you look for the best you get the best.
Here is the entire interview with time stamps below it:
0:31 - Where did your entrepreneurial spirit come from?
4:32 - How did you start Virgin Records?
8:39 - What did you get right about the airline business?
14:12 - Not an easy business?
15:54 - Virgin Space video
18:42 - What is it taking to get this done?
21:32 - Biggest challenges?
24:07 - What are you learning about now?
26:44 - Virgin Unite?
31:03 - What is special about the Virgin culture?
36:12 - Who do you admire?
37:47 - Advice to a younger self?
38:48 - Lighting round
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