Meeting Stan Richards

When I was growing up, my dad told me that I didn't have to be the most popular kid in school or the best student.  All that mattered was that I tried my very best, was honest, and had fun.  I was reminded of these principles during our intern orientation the other day with The Richards Group's founder, Stan Richards.  I went into the orientation having researched a fair amount about Mr. Richards (I'm a planner- go figure)… enough to get me really excited about hopping on a plane to a different part of the country to be, at least temporarily, part of this growing legend he has built.  But even before coming to this intern orientation, I had observed a lot about him.  For instance, I couldn't believe how involved he is in things here.  I mean- I saw and heard the man before lunch on my first day!  I was also surprised as to how involved he his with all the current clients and in new business.  I hear his name mentioned at least 10 times every day by the people in my pod who somehow work with him or in connection to him.  I have a lot of respect for this.  It makes sense though.  The Richards group is an independent agency- meaning it never has been and never will be for sale.  Nobody here needs to enhance the wealth of any stockholders.  All we have to do is our very best work.  Period.  This is Stan's philosophy.  I feel I can take the liberty to refer to him as Stan on here, he seems like the kind of man who would want it that way.  In fact, everyone seems to refer to him as Stan.  But anyways, back to my point: someone of his stature and wealth could easily say, "I've done enough," "I've made my contribution," or "I've put in my time."  But a person who would say such things would be placing a lot of value on an end product as opposed to a continuous process, or a "legend" as I called it earlier.  If Stan was just about the money, he could sit back behind a closed door and basically pay people to run the agency.  He could pay people to come up with lengthy guides of how to do our jobs the "Richards way" and pay people to brand the agency in a way that it isn't.  He could have had somebody else come talk to us and train us.  These things might not be uncommon in today's competitive advertising world.  But these things would just flat out go against his principles.  I don't want to give away exactly what he said, but it basically comes down to honesty, dedication, and being realistic.  I felt really privileged and respected sitting in the room hearing him talk.  I was flat out blown away by his humbleness and openness.  He told us we should always tell the truth in advertising, and he did just that about his philosophies and how and why he runs the agency the way he does.  I left the orientation feeling not only really proud to be where I was, but feeling really proud of my coworkers, even though I still have so many people to meet.  I must say that as a college student, its a really refreshing and motivating feeling.  But it makes sense- if we're all worrying about things we shouldn't be or trying to be competitive with each other, we're wasting time we could have been putting towards doing our best work, which, in turn, would get us further ultimately.  I have a lot more to say about Stan, and I'm sure I'll write about him many more times to come.  But for now, I'll leave it at this, and that I plan on going to say hello personally very soon, and to say a quick but sincere thank-you for building such an awesome culture.  As a planner, I wouldn't normally make a statement about anything without delving deep into the competition, but I think it's safe to say that this is one of the most welcoming, open, and intern-friendly advertising agency in the country.  

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One Comment on “Meeting Stan Richards”

  1. Joe Says:

    Well it sounds like someone is enjoying their job…I’m so happy to hear this Brian 🙂

    I’ll be back in Dallas Sunday afternoon I think…I’ll give ya a call and see what up. I promise I won’t keep leaving the state for a while after this weekend, haha…


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