A sequel to the business magnate’s 1998 bestseller, Losing My Virginity.
Branson (The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, 2014, etc.) describes his rise in the past two decades as a global entrepreneur whose Virgin Group brand now controls more than 400 companies in sectors ranging from media and entertainment to travel and financial services. His brisk narrative celebrates life as “one big adventure,” offering vivid scenes of his personal life, his colorful, often irreverent business practices, and his wide-ranging philanthropy to advance health, help the environment, and stop the exploitation of children. “I do most things on emotion,” he writes, allowing that his risks are calculated and managed by carefully selected staff. Much of the book details the deals behind his work in space flight and other areas, where he brings “passion, know-how and determination” to bear on his disruption of existing industries. A man who prizes humor, Branson recounts many of his publicity antics, from dangling from a crane in Times Square to hiding in overhead baggage compartments on Virgin aircraft, lowering himself to ask boarding passengers if he can be of service. He deems entrepreneurship, which he encourages in many forums, to be “our natural state…like playfulness,” and his many stories of vetting new business ideas, learning the lay of the land, and acting decisively illustrate how he has been pursuing that life since founding Student magazine at age 16. His work with The Elders, a group of leaders working to solve global conflicts, begun by Branson, Nelson Mandela, and others, underscores his keen interest in humanitarian work. The author also provides revealing anecdotes about Paul Allen, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Kate Moss, Donald Trump, Al Gore, Rupert Murdoch, and others.
A welcome update from an irrepressible iconoclast who prides himself on “effervescence, cheekiness and great service.”