What does 5 days with Richard Branson teach you?

Still pinching myself!

I recently had the privilege of attending Igniting Possibilities: Building Purpose Led Businesses.

A 5-day Leadership Gathering on Necker Island.

Led by Virgin Unite and Business Chicks, it was a meeting of big hearts and smart minds for the purpose of reimagining how business can transform the world.

Picture mornings waking you up like:

(Hello, inspiration!)

And the afternoons quickly escalating to:

(Yes, I jumped in with all my clothes on! Hey, everyone was doing it! 🙂

So what happened in-between?

Our days were spent hearing from exciting speakers and fabulous entrepreneurs. People out there really shaking things up.

Richard Branson (no intro needed), Amy Cuddy (social psychologist), Reshnma Saujani (CEO of Girls Who Code), Marc Randolph (CEO of Netflix), Mick Ebeling (founder of Not Impossible) and more.

It was an inspiring, worldview-challenging, thought-provoking time.

Now that I’ve had time to soak up the insights and reflect on my experience, I’d like to share my top 10 takeaways from 5 days on Necker Island…

10 Takeaways from Necker Island

We’re living in exciting times. 

At the crossroads of an exponential technological revolution, rapidly shifting consumer values (Gens Y & Z), and increasing demands on corporate transparency and citizenship (just look at social media).

And yet, digital globalisation has brought the challenges that we face as a collective into clear view: poverty, conflict, environmental issues, health, etc.

In this polarisation, as technology continues to develop and meet more of our basic needs, people are looking for more. Employees want a reason to come into work on Monday. Consumers want brands that share their vision of a better tomorrow. And smart business leaders are positioning their reason for being, as more than just for profit.

The world is looking for purpose. It’s time to step up! 


  1. Key for success is your tolerance for risk
    • This is one of Richard Branson’s key tips for success. If you don’t take chances to innovate, you’ll be left behind. “Every risk is worth taking as long as its for a good cause and contributes to a good life” – Richard Branson.


  1. Do something new every day
    • Challenge yourself, your team, and your business to grow through learning and taking on new challenges.


  1. Can only test ideas by exposing them to the real world
    • The only opinion that matters in the opinion of the market. Learn to test ideas quickly and at low-cost.


  1. Take off our superhero capes. Figure out how to become super collectives
    • No-one can go it alone. It’s about forming high-performing teams, leveraging partnerships and working together to make a difference.


  1. Can only be a good leader if you are a good human being
    • ‘Doing good’ is a theme that’s proving more influential in today’s business environment. It starts with you.


  1. Humanise your workplace: break down traditional policies and be 100% human
    • High performers want responsibility, freedom and trust. Boxing them in with unnecessary processes and procedures will slow them down.


  1. Be a mission with a company, not a company with a mission
    • It’s time to put purpose above profit. As transparency increases, seek out businesses who are authentically doing good for all.


  1. Cannot be what you cannot see. Role model the change you want
    • As a leader you need to go first. Live the values you want others to aspire to, and inspire them to change.


  1. Who is your ‘one’?
    • Look for one issue that gets to you. Put social issues at the centre of your business. Build companies to make people’s lives better. Use the power of story to evoke the change you want to see.


  1. Never has there been a time in the world where we need business leaders to step up
    • There is a vacuum of leadership in the world. We need to be the people we are waiting for. Doing good is good business.

Your turn now: 

  • What are you put on earth to do?
  • What is your passion?
  • What is your legacy?
  • What will you be remembered for?

I can only share so much here. I’d love to give you more insights from the Necker experience, and how leading entrepreneurs are thinking about business in 2016 and ahead. So I’m excited to introduce a new opportunity for you and your team.


Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!