Richard Branson started his first business at the age of 15, after dropping out of high school. Today, the multi-billionaire and founder of Virgin Group controls over 400 companies and employs more than 70,000 people from around the world, and his daughter says he did it by exemplifying two key traits throughout his career.
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“I'd say the main thing, that he does is that he listens to everybody. It doesn’t matter, if he’s talking to CEOs, the cleaner or the receptionist,” Holly Branson, the daughter of Richard Branson, tells FOX Business, adding that he also makes sure to write everything down as well.
“So, if someone has a good idea or even a complaint, he takes everything that went on and the next day he goes through and makes sure he fixes things that people have said to him,” she says.
The 36-year-old says she essentially watched her father grow his empire from the living room couch.
“He was home all the time. We would be playing Xbox at one area of the sitting room while he was meeting with The Rolling Stone on the other end and we really didn’t know what was going on but to us that was just normality,” she adds.
Branson says at first she had no desire to work with her father and decided to become a doctor instead, but later changed her mind after getting a little push from good ole’ dad. She now runs the charity arm of her father’s 20 billion Virgin group, called Virgin Unite.
“Dad has never put pressure on Sam [my brother] or me to go into the business, but he also never made it a secret that he’d love nothing more than to share his passion with us,” Branson wrote in her new book, "WEconomy," a guidebook for businesses and workers on finding a purpose in their jobs while being profitable, something that she says her father has mastered and is key to his growing empire.
“His other key trait is treating everyone just like how you want to be treated. He has always treated his employees unbelievably well and continues to do so now. Having happy employees means you’re going to have happy customers because you’re employees trust and value you,” Branson says.
The former doctor says she opened up in her new book that she co-authored in an attempt to get other big companies and individuals to follow in her father’s footsteps and implement purpose and charitable acts into their business models.
“I really wanted to write this chapter [and book], because I haven't really done many of these things and people don’t think of me as a person," she says. "And I felt that I really want people to trust me in giving them advice on how they can add purpose into their life and into their business but they actually had to know who I was as a person. That is why I was quite honest and open about things.”