Virgin brand founder, Richard Branson, thinks of himself to be the complete opposite of Steve Jobs. Apparently, being a founder of a multi-billion dollar company doesn’t necessarily make you similar. Who knew?
I admired Steve Jobs, although he was completely different from me. He used to shout at employees that made mistakes. He did not delegate much, and broke all the rules I believe in. Somehow it worked for him. Apple is one the best brands in the world.
I devote most of my time to activities like The Elders [A South-African NGO], but I make it a point to take care of things that are important to Virgin, like hiring its key executives. I interviewed Josh Bayliss, the Group’s CEO, in the back seat of my car while waiting in a traffic jam that lasted almost two hours. Now, he makes money so I can spend it. Learning to delegate is vital in business. You have to be willing to let people do good things and let make them mistakes…
Yes, Branson and Jobs may have had different approaches to employer-employee relationships, but they both got big stuff done and made billions in the process. Steve Jobs was very aggressive in his work and it paid off. However, we cannot say that he didn’t give his staff a chance. If you had a good idea, he wouldn’t shoot it down. In fact, there are many stories out there of cases where Jobs would let you take lead, but I won’t go any farther. After all, I never met the man. But I will say this: Branson and Steve had very different ways of communicating with other people.