I’m reporting live from the Society for Human Resource Management‘s annual conference in Las Vegas. The opening keynote featured Richard Branson, founder and president of Virgin Group. Among the highlights of his discussion:
- He credited his mom for fostering his independent streak, sharing a story about her dropping him off about a mile from their destination and forcing him to find his way.
- He admitted that luck has been a factor in his success — indeed, his physical survival in some cases — but not the only one. He considers his inquisitiveness and desire to improve people’s lives essential. “I don’t think there’s any reason to start a business unless you’re going to change the world.”
- If you want to attract great people to work for you, you have to actively make a job attractive. He cited his airline as an example, noting that if you get the details right, the staff will be proud and cheerful to work there. “It doesn’t cost that much extra to make your product sing and dance.”