Presentation Review: Roy Spence on Purpose-based Leadership

Over lunch on Thursday, November 4th, the LBJ School of Public Affairs hosted Roy Spence, Co-Founder and Chairman of GSD&M Idea City, an advertising agency based in Austin. He spoke on puposed-based leadership, giving numerous examples of GSD&M clients throughout the years who have been successful precisely because their products/services have a greater purpose than the bottom line (making  money).Here are a few quotes I pulled from his presentation:

  • Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what’s right. -Lyndon B. Johnson
  • If you know what the right thing is, all you have to have is the courage to do it. -Roy Spence
  • Nothing is impossible if you believe everything you do is important. -Roy Spence
  • If you are not in the business of improving people’s lives, you won’t be in business very long. -Roy Spence
  • What we have in this country is a deficit of quality jobs and a surplus of work to do. -Roy Spence
  • “One’s purpose is knowing where your talents intersect with the needs of the world.” -Aristotle
  • My purpose is to help others fulfill theirs. -Roy Spence
  • We have a saying at the University of Texas – What starts here changes the world. “We don’t change the world – we change the people who change the world.” –Roy Spence
  • Having or knowing your purpose doesn’t make decisions easier, it makes them clearer. -Roy Spence
  • My old mentality was that “if I don’t know where I’m going I wouldn’t be considered lost”.My new mentality is that “if I don’t know where I’m going I’ll never be found”.-Roy Spence

Catch a video replay of the presentation here:



About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth.

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