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When searching for talent, look for purpose, passion

Published: 
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Q: It’s obvious that you are great at choosing partners to execute your ideas. How do you verify whether a person has enough passion and determination to grow a business?

Maciej Miko, Poland 

 

It takes many different types of CEOs and top managers to lead Virgin’s 50,000 employees and keep our businesses fun, purposeful and profitable.

 

We find great leaders everywhere: working hard inside our company, executing entrepreneurial changes in large corporations, and even selling auto supplies from the backs of their cars. The exciting part is letting them shine in leadership roles.

 

The long process of building up your company’s bench strength starts with the daily practice of letting employees take on challenging responsibilities beyond their current roles. All you have to do is listen to their ideas and give them the power to make the best ones a reality. Building their skills is essential to your company’s long-term success.

 

Following on this principle, we promote from within as much as possible - there’s no better way to learn whether someone has passion and determination than by working with him or her every day. Jayne-Anne Gadhia’s career with us is a great example of how this can work.

 

In 1995, she was a crucial member of the team that launched Virgin Direct, and then she helped with the launch of an all-in-one banking product, the Virgin One account. Virgin One was so successful that three years later, the Royal Bank of Scotland bought the remaining 50 per cent of the business that it didn’t already own, for £100 million.

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