Thursday, December 5, 2013

"What inspires me" by Richard Branson - CEO Virgin group

What Inspires Me: Game-Changing People Everywhere

My professional inspiration has no separation from my personal inspiration: it is people who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. I am fortunate to come across quite a few of these game-changing people, and the desire to help (and keep up with them!) is what drives me.

As Steve Jobs famously said:
The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
There are lots of these crazy ones hard at work today trying to make the world a better place, but there is always room for more! Nowadays I spend most of my time working with our not-for-profit foundation, Virgin Unite, and am honoured to work alongside inspirational people taking on challenges from climate change with the Carbon War Room to conflict-resolution with The Elders.

In The B Team, we are stimulated by the desire to ensure business has a purpose beyond profit, also focusing upon people and the planet. I think it is all of our responsibility to try and leave the planet in a better condition than we found it. A good way to find inspiration — and to have a positive impact — is to think about your grandchildren (whether you have any yet or not). What type of world do you want them to inherit?

Elsewhere within the Virgin Group, there are countless people who provide endless inspiration, not least the pioneers at Virgin Galactic. The whole area of space exploration can be held up as an example of what can be achieved with action and ambition. I have looked to the stars for inspiration since I was a child, and hope to be inspired by looking back at earth from space one day soon.

Back on this planet, there is always another exciting new idea to get my teeth stuck into and find inspiration. I get a lot of business proposals and they are usually fascinating to hear, as you never know where the next game-changing idea will come from. Yet it is the personal tales of people I meet that are most inspiring. Thanks to social media, I hear plenty more stirring stories from people all around the globe. Often I am more struck by the potential of an individual than their idea. As I said recently, if you find the right people to work with, you can’t go wrong.

If you are creative, then inspiration can come from anywhere. Creators are never fully satisfied. They can always be better. They are determined to change the game for good. I would love to hear what motivates you, too. Where do you find inspiration?