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JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Richard Branson & His Notebooks

June 2, 2021

From an interview in the Wall Street Journal, 5.24.21 —

What’s your most useful work habit?

Notebooks.

If I have a meeting with people, I’ll take notes. If I’m traveling on a Virgin plane, I’ll take notes. I’ll listen to the staff, to the customers.

If you’re not taking notes, I think it’s offensive.

A staff member will give you an idea or tell you a frustration or make a suggestion for improvement, and they will know straight away that if you don’t write it down, you’re not going to deal with it. 

I’ve taken notes on all the fun things my grandchildren and children have said. Looking back on them, if you’ve got an 18th or a 21st birthday party for your children, it’s wonderful how one can embarrass them with some of the things they’ve said in the past. One of my favorites is, when Joan and I got married on Necker Island, when Sam was four and Holly was seven, friends of ours in front of Sam said that they were getting married. This was the day after the wedding, and Sam turned to them and said, “You can’t be getting married, you haven’t had children yet!”

If you don’t write it down, you’re not going to remember it.

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