I've had the
unbelievable honor of working for two incredible companies in my
career: GSD&M and Chili's. In one week, I got to listen to two of
my heroes speak: Doug Brooks and Roy
Spence. It's rare that in one day, two icons speak on one stage
and captivate an audience in such a way that no ones leaves the
room they way they came in.
The 2009 People Report Conference on Mixing Money &
Meaning is one of few places where these two icons can come
together. It was this conference that made me think differently
about my career, about my purpose and how the meaning behind what I
do is just as important as the money I make. It was listening to
Roy Spence that made it clear. At the end of the day, it was all
When it comes to Roy Spence, one thing is certain; he will make
you think. But he will also inspire you. He will challenge you. And
he will ask you - what do you stand for? What is your purpose? And
he means it - professionally and personally.
I remember that first time I saw Roy's company; GSD&M - Idea
City. I just knew I had to work there. I thought I was the
luckiest girl in the world when they offered me a job. Then I found
out what I was making. I still thought I was lucky, but lucky and
broke. Then I sat in my first employee meeting and heard the
Reverend speak. I was in awe. I knew then I was at a very special
place. And this was a very special leader.
What I learned in the six years at GSD&M was that Purpose is
everything. What you stand for as a person, as a GSD&M'er, and
as a brand is what matters the most.
I've tried to live that out since that day. Over the years, I've
realized that every company and brand that has been tied to
GSD&M and Roy Spence has stood for purpose. They've been about
something greater than themselves. Their cultures set themselves
apart from the competition and they have always stood for something
more than what they sell to the consumer.
Roy embodies that daily and not only encourages it, but expects it
from every employee and every brand he partners. He is an
inspiration to us all. It was such a pleasure and honor getting to
witness the Reverend again.
It was Roy at his best - motivating, encouraging and funny as
hell. And it all came down at one of the best conferences I've been
to - ever.
Thank you Reverend Roy. And thank you People Report. You both
continue to inspire.
Editor's Note: Kristen Jones is the Senior Marketing Manager
at Chili's and a Member of the Board of Directors for Limbs for
Life. Kristen's specialties include National Promotions,
Branding, Advertising, Marketing, Sports Marketing and Planning,
Music, Social Media, Cause, Event Activation and Production. Follow