What is a company? A company is a group of people and that’s really all what a company is, so if you’re going to have a group of people together they must be happy people and if they’re going to be happy people they have got to be led by someone who is happy themselves, who loves people, who cares generally about people, who looks for the best in people, who is somebody who doesn’t criticise but who praises and brings out the best in people.
So we look for people who are great leaders of people because they genuinely care about people and we’re lucky at Virgin that that’s the kind of people we’ve got. Now if a company brings in somebody… that’s not that kind of person, they can destroy a company very quickly, if you destroy the morale in a company, it’s very difficult to get that morale back.
We try to promote within our company so we know peoples strength and weaknesses before we promote them, we do sometimes bring some people in from outside and we try very hard to make sure that they’re the kind of people that we’ll get on with. I’ll give you one example, I was interviewing somebody who was coming to my country from overseas, there were six people coming for a job, I knew what time they were arriving from the airport so I dressed up as a very old taxi driver and I had a whole new face put on and I went to the airport and I acted like I was 90 years old and I had a stick in my hand and as they came out of the airport if they asked me to carry their very heavy bag they didn’t get the job but the ones that carried their own bags and helped me into the car, they were the ones that got the jobs at Virgin.
By Richard Branson.
Source: WOBI – World of Business Ideas