Friday 20 July 2018

Richard Branson and Conor McGregor 'square up' against each other on stage in Dublin

Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Virgin founder Richard Branson and MMA star Conor McGregor faced off on stage at the Pendulum Summit in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

At the end of Mr Branson's talk MMA star Conor McGregor stormed the stage.

The two took their tops off and began to mockingly square up to each other, to huge cheers from the audience.

McGregor said that key to his sporting success was working hard and remaining true to himself.

Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson

Earlier in a fireside chat talk with Alan Shortt, Mr Branson said that he started by using himself to put the Virgin brand on the map, because we didn’t have the advertising spend to take on British Airways or the record companies.”

The work has paid off for founder of the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies,

Sir Richard Branson speaking at the Pendulum Summit at the Convention Centre in Dublin.
Pic Steve Humphreys
Sir Richard Branson speaking at the Pendulum Summit at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Pic Steve Humphreys

“We are not a Google or a Facebook in wealth, but we are one of the ten most well-known brands I think.”

Asked to name his favourite brand launch he said that any time Virgin launch a new company he is destined to have some foolish thing put upon him.

Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson
Conor McGregor with Pendulum Summit 2018 keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson

“There are times when these things can go horribly wrong,” in Las Vegas Mr Branson jumped off a building into a party, however in that instance he hit the side of a building on the way down.

Mr Branson, who started his first business venture at the age of 16 with a magazine called Student, said that his advice to people looking to scale up their business is to “very quickly put themselves out of the business” by this Mr Branson means that “too many entrepreneurs get bogged down with all the tiny details, and a lot of a person’s day gets wasted… business leaders need to learn to delegate, which will free up their time to come up with the big ideas for the company.”

“People who have found someone as good as themselves to run the company on a day-to-day basis while they look after the bigger details are the people who are the most successful.”

Read More: 'This is your life, what are you going to do with it?' - renowned psychologist Bob Rotella on how to eliminate negative thinking

When asked what he looks for in a good chief executive, Mr Branson said that firstly he looks for people within the company to promote, “the deputy of anybody in a company should be good enough to step into their bosses shoes.”

“If you promote from within that person is not going to destroy the workforces love for their jobs, it is frightening how quickly the moral of a workforce can be destroyed if you have the wrong person at the top.”

On the subject of Millennials, Mr Branson said that you don’t need to manage any group of people different to others, “younger people have an infectious enthusiasm and you have to hope that that lasts.”

Continuing on the subject of employees Mr Branson warned that “if you don’t give your team of people the tools to do a good job they will become dissatisfied with the company.”

Sir Richard Branson with UFC Fighter Conor McGregor and MC Alan Shortt
Sir Richard Branson with UFC Fighter Conor McGregor and MC Alan Shortt

On the subject of success, Mr Branson, who said that he has always worked from home, said that “there is a very thin dividing line between success and failure and you have to fight tooth and nail to ensure that you are on the right side of the line.“

Read More: Ultimo founder Michelle Mone on how she went from 'having nothing' to creating €1bn of free PR and her new lingerie line

In 2004 Mr Branson founded spaceflight company Virgin Galactic regarding which he said, “these things are not easy, but we don’t give up.”

On a very different subject, Mr Branson, who has done considerable work trying to resolve global issues, talked about his work on drug addiction, where he said that “the way to treat people who have drug problems is to help them and not to criminalise them”.

In November last year Forbes estimated Mr Branson’s net wealth to be $5.1bn (€4.2bn).

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