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Richard Branson: How Best to Forge Deep Partnerships and Collaborations

LinkedIn Ask Richard | Richard Branson | Aug 2, 2022

Richard Branson Ask Richard - Richard Branson:  How Best to Forge Deep Partnerships and CollaborationsAs humans, we need connections to thrive – meaningful relationships with family and friends to grow personally, and great professional partnerships to ignite ideas and make a positive impact.

Connect with people who have different strengths and skills

Since the early days at Virgin, I’ve forged partnerships, teams and collaborations with people who bring different skills to the table. When we launched Virgin Records I was dyslexic, 19-years-old, and had no real experience running a business (hence the name Virgin), but I surrounded myself with people who knew what they were doing.

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We created a tight-knit team who all trusted each other and were motivated by the same purpose of making records cheaper and supporting independent artists. As a team of musicians, creatives, press managers, lawyers, accountants, and beyond – we formed an incredible partnership and disrupted the industry for good.

Stay open to different ideas, opinions, and views on life

Throughout my life I’ve tried to remain open to different opinions, even when they are at complete odds with my own. If you want to grow and create something new – you need to encourage healthy debate and stay open to different ideas. If you want to change someone’s mind and make meaningful change – you need to try and understand where they are coming from. I’ve always said that you should listen more than you talk, and I view every conversation as a learning opportunity.

Break down hierarchies and build relationships based on equality 

It’s difficult to form meaningful connections if there are stuffy protocols, stiff upper lips and old-fashioned hierarchies in place. This is why we’ve never had dress codes at Virgin and why I sometimes go around cutting off people’s ties.

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It’s also why we embrace reverse mentoring and have created a culture where people can bring their authentic self to work each day and where all ideas are always welcome.

Don’t be afraid to challenge each other

When you form a deep connection, it’s important to become comfortable with challenging one another and saying ‘we can go further than this’. This is how you really stretch out an idea and reach new heights.

Co-create, challenge one another, and never work in silos.

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