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Winner revealed for the Enterprise summer reading task

Pupils in the Enterprise Department were given a summer reading task, which was to read an autobiography of a well-known entrepreneur, then write a review structured around their summary of the book, reflections and contrast on the early life of their chosen entrepreneur, their subsequent public life, their opinion about the book and the entrepreneur, and finally what they had most learnt from reading the book.

Entries included book reviews on “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”, “Business Stripped Bare” and one pupil reviewed a podcast on the fashion brand Balenciaga, the first time a podcast had been reviewed.

Entries were uniformly of a high standard, and the top 2 were near impossible to separate. However, the final section of the winning review was the difference, here is an extract:

 I thought this book was great, because Branson touches on all the key topics he feels an entrepreneur should have to succeed: People, Brand, Innovation, Leadership, Social Responsibility. In addition Branson provides great advice for budding entrepreneurs, such as his advice on people – “Find good people and set them free”. “Establish what you know and what you don’t know, understand what you can do and what you can’t do, then hire people who can do what you can’t, and who know what you don’t know.”

Or his thoughts on innovation; in the early days of Virgin Atlantic Branson challenged his crew with creating a travel experience that was different from anything else passengers had experienced before. This led to questions like “What if we got rid of check-in lines? How can we give control back to the passengers?”. These are the kinds of questions that came, not from Branson, but from his staff, who were just as dedicated to innovation as he, and felt empowered to put forward their ideas.

I felt I learnt a lot about what my own style of leadership might be from these ideas.

Congratulations to Jos Beauchamp, who gets a £20 Amazon voucher, and is the winner of the Enterprise Department Book review competition.