Richard Branson is a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to launching and running a company. In fact, he has written volumes on the subject. Recently, however, the Virgin founder distilled all he's learned into the single most important piece of advice he could give.

"Early on in your career, find someone better than yourself to run the business on a day-to-day basis. Remove yourself, maybe even from the building, and from the nitty-gritty. That way, you're going to be able to see the bigger picture and think of new areas to go into," Branson told Inc. president and editor in chief Eric Schurenberg. 

According to Branson, those words have hit a nerve with a lot of entrepreneurs, making it the one piece of advice he's most thanked for. Branson, himself, is grateful to have gotten it.

"In some ways it's easier today for me to oversee a few hundred companies than it was when I was hands-on running the business myself," Branson continued. "Learning the art of delegation is absolutely key."

Branson also pioneered the art of working remotely. He wasn't speaking facetiously when he encouraged entrepreneurs to remove themselves from the building. But can that strategy of limited face-time work for others running a company?

"People always want to see the top person in the office, but if you remain in the office, you'll never properly delegate," Branson said. "If you can give somebody a good title, they'll be happy to deal with it and [run the business] … and give you the time to spend doing the things that really, really matter."

To hear more from Richard Branson about his management style, watch the video below.

Published on: Oct 15, 2014