Richard Branson on the importance of taking notes

‘In my experience, 99 percent of people in leadership roles don’t take notes. What’s more, males are less likely to take notes than their female counterparts.’ - Richard Branson

Picture: Virgin

Richard Branson, the British founder of the Virgin Group, wrote a post on this seemingly trivial topic on his LinkedIn account and explained why it is actually a really important factor for success and personal development. He described how he met with 30 chief executives for a dinner-table conversation about closing the gender gap. “We discussed how men can counteract bias in the workplace by speaking up and championing their female colleagues,” he wrote. “It was a wonderfully eye-opening discussion, full of valuable insights; yet I was the only person who took notes the entire time – and boy did I take notes, I ran out of white space and had to write over my notes, my hotel notepad, my report and even my name tag!”

During the meeting people observed the note taking and commented that generally women were more likely to be note takers in meetings, because of the often common expectation on them to do support work. Branson explained how he thought that this was disadvantageous to men. By taking notes they would not only counteract gender bias in the work force, but would also gain a better understanding of what was going on within the business and what needed to be done to make things run more effectively.

“Mentoring, training and note taking – these are wonderful development areas, which everyone, men and women alike, can greatly benefit from.”

According to Branson note taking is one of his favourite pastimes and by writing down his own and other people’s ideas, some of Virgin’s most successful companies were born from such random moments.

“If you don’t write your ideas down, they could leave your head before you even leave the room.”

Read more atLinkedIn

Barbara Barkhausen