“I have enormous admiration for what Steve Jobs achieved, but it was a very different approach,” Branson tells Inc. president and editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg in an interview. While Branson delegates the day-to-day details to someone else high up in the company so that he can focus on the greater vision for Virgin, Jobs was the exact opposite in the way he ran Apple.
“He was very hands-on, to the extent that every little single detail of an advert he was second-guessing,” Branson says. “Somehow it worked. Sometimes my rules are meant to be broken.”
Jobs also was known for his brusque behavior with employees and for getting heavily involved in product development and design, something that would not be an effective leadership strategy in most other companies, according to Branson.
“He was brilliant himself at a whole variety of different things, but he was not the best delegator or the best motivator of people,” Branson says. “Personally, I think his approach for the vast majority of people running companies will not work.”
To hear more from Richard Branson about how his approach differs from that used by Steve Jobs, watch this video.