Branding Expert Glen Campbell Explains Why Richard Branson Is So Wildly Successful

Richard Branson appears on the surface to be nearly the opposite of what a successful leader is expected to be. Yet, he has accomplished more in his lifetime, built more companies, and created more wealth that most people can imagine. His achievements leave many business leaders scratching their heads and asking the question: How can this guy be so successful?

“A great deal of ink has been spilled trying to uncover the secrets of great leadership,” says Glen Campbell, strategic branding expert and creator of the Brandheart Method. “What I’ve discovered during my more than 25 years in brand strategy development is that great leadership has little to do with systems, methods, and rules. Great leadership, and the remarkable brands that great leaders create, flow from the unique characteristics of the individual.”

Richard Branson is an excellent example of what someone can accomplish when they approach their life and their business with simplicity, clarity, and focus.

Branson, who is dyslexic, dropped out of school at the age of 16 and was living in a commune in London when he launched Student Magazine. A couple of years later he created a small mail-order record company that he called Virgin. The success of these two enterprises fueled the birth of Virgin Records and his ever-growing business and philanthropic empire.

“Perhaps it is because of his dyslexia that Richard Branson places so much value on keeping things simple,” says Campbell. “What drives Richard is also very simple but powerful, fundamentally it’s his unwavering internal certainty around his personal vision, purpose, and values.”

“He firmly believes ‘anything is possible’ and has a compelling desire to ‘make available to the masses what was the domain of the wealthy.’ He is also very clear and consistent around his core values of family, entrepreneurialism, adventure, teamwork, contribution, and competition,” explains Campbell. “It’s these
characteristics that make him a visionary leader who is able to turn businesses into powerful and enduring brands.”

Branson described his approach to life and his entrepreneurial ventures in a 2009 article published in SUCCESS Magazine. “I do a lot by gut feeling,” Branson told the magazine. “If I relied on accountants to make decisions, I most certainly would have never gone into the airline business. I most certainly would not have gone into the space business, and I certainly wouldn’t have gone into most of the businesses that

“Effective brands emanate from self-aware leaders who resonate, make decisions with unwavering internal certainty, and make promises that his or her company is equipped to keep, in an emotionally connected way,” says Campbell.

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