Customer Reviews

105
4.2 out of 5 stars
Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$12.61 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Who says a business book can't be entertaining? Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to get your business off the ground, an executive in a business that needs a boost or a worker bee looking to make work more fun, this book is for you.

Richard Branson is the Leonardo da Vinci of business. His unquenchable curiosity combined with contagious extroversion is the alchemy behind the 400+ successful businesses he has created. This book, consisting of 76 short essays and articles, documents the lessons he has learned. Numerous examples, most drawn from real-life experiences with people at his Virgin Group companies, are a roadmap for others in business to turbocharge their own success.

Branson's "Like a Virgin" reveals just what a huge gap exists in modern business school curriculum. Do they teach these things like this?

- A CEO needs "a certain generosity of spirit."
- "You have to protect your people."
- "You must be fearless."
- "Business favors people who, when they see a problem or injustice, try to do something about it."
- "Leaders have empathy ... for people who are affected by the business's operations."
- Show generous praise for employees caught doing something right: amp it up!
- Think big. Build small.
- "The sky is no longer the limit."
- Be very tolerant of mistakes. Move on. Give employees second chances (he did so even with a thief!)

Business should be fun. Employees are co-entrepreneurs and enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Challenge. Celebrate. Keep splitting the company into smaller businesses as it grows to avoid bureaucracy and empower employees.

There is no identifiable progression of thought to the sequence of these articles. Although each is excellent in its own right, it is difficult to identify the article's subject from the table of contents. The articles are not numbered making it a bit troublesome to reference any particlar one or to build a concordance (cross-reference) to include in, say, an Amazon review. If it were possible to deduct a half-star from the rating, this would be the reason to do so.

Some articles are thoughtful essays and others are extended responses to questions he has received from people via email and social media. Topics include how to plan a startup to maximize chances for success; how to write a compelling business plan; perfecting your pitch; raising money; dealing with customer complaints; motivating employees; dealing with partners; failure; the art of delegation; when to step aside; environmental stewardship; the war on drugs; earning customer trust; and marketing, sales and advertising.

Branson's writing style is conversational, succinct, personal and tempered by real world situations involving employees, partners, vendors and customers. His charisma seeps out of the page. His advice is very practical and for the most part consists of ideas that anyone can immediately put into practice with some modification for circumstances.

Imagine, a business book that is a "page turner." Enjoy! Five stars!

PS. Read the Foreword to the book to better understand the title of this review :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Very easy to read, totally engaged & could not put it down. Being a business owner who uses alternative measures to gain market share & believes in company culture! Fantastic!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I want to be Richard Branson but this book was a little light and really provides no insight into how Richard really built his businesses.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is like reading a blog, but in book format.

By that I mean it's a hotchpotch collection of Richard Branson's musings on a wide range of topics.

If you're trying to better understand Branson the man, then perhaps this 'essay/blog post collection' can enable you to achieve that.

But the subheading "Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business" implies a self-help element - and in picking up such a book, I'm not out to learn about Richard Branson, I'm out to learn specific expertise.

With all Branson's exhortations on being a nice person, one could read this book and gain a stronger sense of the power of good virtue as something that can enable and strengthen a business. But that's pretty non-specific knowledge, and not the type of 'secrets' that I was looking for in a book. Keep this sort of stuff on the blog, Branson.

I think the publishers kind of dropped the ball on this one, and unfortunately its put me off picking up any of Branson's other books.

Ben Neynens
Author: Daunting Sands
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
When you're starting a business or a career, you've got to think out of the box with fresh new bold, exuberant ideas that lack cynicism. In other words, think Like a Virgin! Sir Richard you've done it again with a book that empowers and excites our imagination! This is a must read for anyone who is in business or wants to be!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Branson is a fascinating character and I read anything that I can get my hands on when it comes to Virgin. Obviously he has been successful and has a lot he could share. He does not do it in this book. As a primmer on Customer Service it is entertaining. Not much else to say about it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although the title is misleading, the snippets of ideas where each chapter essentially runs 3-5 pages, is enough to read if you're too busy working, like myself. I'd say the title is misleading because some of the ideas are indirectly taught in business school--if you take a great case-based course on service marketing. But there are some ideas that are worthy of reading.

While some would argue that the ideas in the book are common sense, nothing is as great as emphasizing these ideas by reading them (again and again) from Mr. Branson, who made a great fortune for himself and helped changed product development in other companies. Even if you're borrowing this book from a library, I recommend buying it just for yourself in case you ever need words of wisdom from Mr. Branson.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As always, Branson makes some great points, especially regarding caring for people and putting your employees first. However it did get a little tedious at times with the repeitition of anecdotes throughout.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
I follow a LOT of Sir Richard Branson's stuff and this book definitely seems like a ghost-written compilation of some of the "best of" that can be found online. This isn't that big of a downer in that most really phenomenal people are terrible writers and there's nothing wrong with a thoughtful compilation by any means.

This book is a quick read and is chock full of his signature, irreverent and unconventional business advice culled from his trial and errors throughout life. I agree with his premise that a traditional business school education might not have served him well as such an iconic auto-didact but it's also very hard for me to imagine that any formal education would've squashed his indomitable care-free spirit and perspective.

I do wonder though:
- How many of his tactics (and this book is really full of a lot of advice on the attitude and tactical level) would work for a scrub like me?
- Just how many hours does this guy work anyways?
- And how much of his quirky business is possible without his foundation of the Virgin empire?

Still, a great non-academia-feeling read for that short trip on a plane (and hey, who doesn't like carrying a book in public with "virgin" wordplay!) so I'd recommend borrowing it or buying on kindle instead of the book as it's not going to be something you refer back to for much.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I read all the other Richard Branson books and this I think is the weakest of his books. I had high hopes for this book, but when I started reading it just did not live up to my expectations. It feels very light from a content perspective and is too high level (not sure about the best term to describe it) - in that regards the book title is very misleading. The book does not have a good flow and so it is more difficult (and less relaxing) to read.

If you have read his other books, this one is the one to skip. While the advice in this book is solid, it's repetitive after having read the other books. And while the other books had a great connection and good flow, these "short stories" do not.

Richard Branson seems like a really nice guy and his approach to business and life are simply awesome. So, buy his other books and skip this one. It is much more fun to enjoy his stories that way.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson (Hardcover - September 9, 2014)
$22.19

Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads)
Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads) by Richard Branson (Paperback - May 16, 2006)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.