Richard Branson: Strong Leaders Are Good Listeners

The Virgin Group founder attributes his success to being open to all possibilities.

learn more about Nina Zipkin

By Nina Zipkin

When thinking about the most important qualities of great leaders, one might think of being able to inspire others, the ability to delegate, having problem-solving skills, you name it. But when asked by an Entrepreneur reader about how to stand out as a leader, acclaimed Virgin Group founder Richard Branson offered something different.

To be a great leader, and to be successful, one must be a good listener.

Related: For Better Conversations, Replace 'How Are You?' With This One Phrase

"If you want to stand out as a leader, a good place to begin is by listening," he said. The best teams and bosses pay attention and value the other's perspective.

"Great listeners are often terrific at uncovering and putting in place strategies and plans that have a big impact," Branson continued. Being able to provide encouragement to aspiring business leaders has been invaluable because those conversations spark his ideas, too, he said.

For more advice from Branson, check out the video above.

Related: SBA Chief: The Secret to Being a Good Boss Is Being a Good Cheerleader

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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