Richard Branson, the billionaire founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, was in New York City on Friday to promote his new documentary, “Don’t Look Down.”
As Branson writes in a blog post on Virgin’s site, only one person in the audience was in a suit and tie, and he ran after Branson after the talk, to catch him in the elevator. “He asked me to help him bring more joy and a relaxed culture to his office,” Branson wrote. “As Dr Yes, I was more than happy to say yes.”
Branson then pulled out a pair of scissors from his jacket pocket and snipped off the man’s tie. And yes, he usually has a pair of scissors on him specifically for this purpose.
Branson has made this gesture part of his repertoire for years now, and the Virgin Hotel in Chicago even has a wall of ties slashed from their owners.
“I don’t know why the tie was ever invented,” Branson told Bloomberg in 2012. It’s about one of the few things that Britain has exported successfully and it completely destroyed those lovely robes that the Japanese used to wear, and now everyone looks the same and dresses the same.”
He wrote in his blog post that he has always considered ties to be an uncomfortable imposition on employees by their bosses, and that he believes if you’re more comfortable, you’ll be more productive.
As he wrote in his 2014 book “The Virgin Way“: “Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.”
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