Brave Enough To Share

Screen Magazine, in a profile of the nation’s largest independent agency, reveals one of the shop’s secrets for success.

The Richards Group has a unique method of organizing its different departments – it doesn’t. “Everybody’s thrown in together,” says David Hall, agency principal, noting that employees are not able to segregate themselves by job title. “That helps because we all overhear what everyone else does and says. You probably wouldn’t be surprised at the learning that can occur in that kind of environment.”

This is an interesting insight. So many people in this business hold tightly to their own little fiefdoms. We’re professional communicators, yet we often fail to communicate with one another. One of the underlying reasons for this is a vain attempt to wield power. The problem with this approach is people who practice it fundementally misunderstand what power is. Power is getting other people to join your team and do your bidding. Or as Lao Tzu said, “A leader is most effective when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, his troops will feel they did it themselves.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.