What I learnt from a week with Richard Branson


What I learnt from a week with Richard Branson

After spending a week with 30 entrepreneurs and Richard Branson himself on his private island, Necker, the most common question I have been asked is “what was your top take-away from your time there?

Initially I found it very easy to answer the question. There were so many simple and profound learnings from the island that I could apply in my business immediately upon my return. More on these in a future article, but as I have had time to digest the experience and reflect on what my top learning was, it has crystallised and become so abundantly clear that I wanted to share it.


No, none of the above make it to the top of the list. This place is held firmly by the most fantastic staff that I have ever met in all my travels around the world.

Therefore my top learning from my time on Necker island is that it is the team that you surround yourself with that makes all the difference to your success.

Now I hear you say that this is fairly obvious & you could have learned this from any business book, and you would be right. But to see it lived and breathed by over 100 staff that make up the Necker island team is what brought it home for me.

Every person on that island, who are hand picked by the Virgin management, were truly there to ensure you had the most fantastic time of your life. If you lost your notebook (as I did) you didn’t have to go and see someone at front desk who would respond with a surly promise to have someone look for it. No, you could ask any of the amazing staff and they would make it their personal mission to find your lost items and return it to you. Feel like a Pina Colada — no problem, ask the lady sweeping the floor and she would respond with a beautiful Caribbean smile and scuttle off to get your beverage for you.


It was this overwhelming feeling that nothing was more important to the person you were speaking to than to assist you with your query or request. Every team member was infused with an almost infallible desire to show you the very best time you could have.

And so it is as I look around my business D&C Interior Projects. When I look at why we are growing year on year and why our clients become part of our extended group of friends, it is not because of great design or seamless delivery, it is because each and every person is dedicated to making the experience of working with us an absolute pleasure.

Are we perfect? No. Not yet. Do we strive to be? Absolutely! Will we ever be perfect? Probably not. But, I feel as I consider everyone who is part of our our growing team, from the Architectural graduates that join our design team to the Construction managers responsible for delivery and all the way up to our GM — my team are constantly striving to improve and prove that nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to service.

So, in short, my top take away from the island is hire top staff members and let them shine. In fact, I felt so strongly about the professionalism I saw on Necker Island that I hired one of Richard Bransons staff to join our team in September this year. We cant wait to have her join the team and I hope you will have the opportunity to meet her.

– Gary