WHY RICHARD BRANSON MAKES ME WANNA BE GREAT IN THIS GENERATION: Inside One Billionaire’s Secret To Success December 1, 2008 by 210 Leadership





One of the best-kept secrets on television, in my view, is a show that airs every Thursday at 10 p.m. on the Sundance Channel, called Iconoclasts.

Basically, in each episode, two very different celebrities or icons get together and hang out for a few days and each gets a tour of the other’s life and work and background.  It’s a rare, honest look into the lives of these great achievers and icons.  I love every minute of it.  And I can’t wait for Thursdays to arrive, so I can watch the new episode for each week.


Well this past week they paired Noble Peace Prize winner and international human rights activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Sir Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group of Companies.


















And about 45 minutes into the 1 hour episode, Bishop Tutu asks Richard Branson, “So, say I’m a young man and I see you on TV and in the media and I come to you and I say Sir Richard what must I do in order to be successful?”  and before Branson answer’s I say to myself – from what I’ve read about him, I think the secret to his success is that he’s always had the guts to not only see opportunity but act on it and take risks.


Then Branson answers and he gives a run-of-the-mill answer “well, I’d say money is not the most important thing, find something you love and something you can use to make a difference.”


But it’s obvious that answer isn’t good enough and Bishop Tutu shoots back, “what would you have done if you had never been successful?”

And Richard Branson says, “well I always believed that as long as I tried . . . (I’d be successful) . . .”

Then he adds, “I’m not the sort of person who fears failure.”


When I heard that I didn’t know if I should jump in the air, shout for joy or cry.  I nearly fell off my chair.


Did you get those pearls of wisdom, and insight into the mind of one of the greatest business visionaries and business icons of this generation?


He says, “I believe I would have been successful as long as I tried.”

Then he says, “I’m not the sort of person who fears failure.”


Did you get that : “I’M NOT AFRAID OF FAILURE.”









Wow !!!!


How many of us can say that?

Rather we say “If only I had blank _______ then I would.”


“I would try blank ______ but.”


And no matter how we choose to label it, all our excuses comes down to our fear of failure.  All the while we stare at the opportunity in front of us, but we’re afraid to jump, – AFRAID.


AFRAID to take hold of our future.

AFRAID to be all we can be.

AFRAID that we might fail.







Think of the incredible visionaries in the Church who’ve done great things for God.

Billy Graham, Louie Giglio, Rick Warren – anyone else you want to pencil in there –


Why were they able to be great in this generation?

BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT AFRAID TO ACT. They were not afraid to be wrong, to be humiliated, to make mistakes.  To fail.



Why is this important to us as Christians?  I’m glad you asked.  Because we are individuals created in the image of God, created for glorious destinies.  But the biggest misconception about destiny is that destiny is a matter of chance.  Fate.  Irrevocable.  That if it’s meant to happen it will.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  You see, destiny is not a matter of chance,  it is a matter of choice.  It is not something that happens to you, it’s something you chase after.


Something you fight for.

A vision you sacrifice for.

An ideal  you strive for.


You don’t wake up one morning and find yourself in your destiny.  No you run after it, you fight for it.  You climb for it.  You pursue it.  You grab on to it.


How long will you continue to let the fear of failure hold you back from that vision, that job, that ministry, that life change, that Church, that girl, that guy, that business, that dream you carry in your heart?


When was the last time you looked at opportunity in your life and said, like one of Branson’s book titles, “Screw It.  Let’s Do It.”


You might just succeed.  If only you would try.








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