News from the Bush School

Advertising Icon Stan Richards Receives McLane Leadership Award

December 12, 2011

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at the Bush School honored Stan Richards, founder of The Richards Group, with the 2011 McLane Leadership in Business Award on December 1, 2011. The event is part of the McLane Lecture Series.

Dean Card opened the gathering with a welcome; and Mr. Richards was introduced by Dr. James Griffin, director of the Mosbacher Institute. He received the award from its namesake and sponsor, Mr. Drayton McLane, chairman and CEO of The McLane Group, assisted by Dean Card and Dr. Griffin. The award recognizes a prominent individual in the field of business for outstanding contributions to business, public service, or community service at the national level.

Richards is the creator of many of America’s most entertaining and successful ad campaigns for companies such as Chick-fil-A, Bridgestone, and Motel 6. He founded Dallas-based The Richards Group in 1953 after graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York.  The Richards Group became one of the nation’s premier creative resources and, by 1976, was a full-service advertising agency. Richards’ work has received numerous awards, beginning in 1986 when he was named Executive of the Year by Adweek magazine and one of the “Giants of Our Time” by the Wall Street Journal. In 1995, Richards was named an Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine; and in 1999, he was elected to the Art Directors Hall of Fame, joining such luminaries as Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol.

In his remarks, Richards did not emphasize his leadership of the company, focusing instead on the company’s culture and his employees.  It is his belief that leadership skills do not reside only with senior employees, but that leadership is an important characteristic for all employees in a company. He also described how The Richards Group has been able to help clients increase revenue and re-invent their companies.

Following Richards’ address, Dr. Dale Thompson, founder of the Dallas-based Leadership Worth Following, led the Conversations in Leadership during which the men discussed the company’s culture, looking at the ways a CEO can influence the employees’ environment.  A highlight of the conversation was a discussion of Richards’ unusual business style, which does not tolerate lateness or whining but encourages employees to leave their work at work and enjoy personal time after six.

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