And stay nice doing it
On July 1, 2007, this strange and happy thing known today as Risdall Advertising Agency begins its 36th year in business. Recently, the agency staff was encouraged—via a stash of copies ordered by John Risdall personally—to read The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, respectively CEO/chief creative officer and president of The Kaplan Thaler Group. These high-powered women make of point of treating everyone, from junior-level employees to senior-level clients, with kindness and respect.
The book was an inspiration and a validation. Like any organization, we have our share of frustrations, but there’s an overriding culture of niceness here. Not just passive-aggressive “Minnesota nice,” but a sense of people feeling at home professionally in a competitive, ever-changing business. Some employees, clients and vendors recognize this special quality immediately and naturally. Others have a striking moment of revelation. A new employee attending the agency’s holiday party a few years ago, for example, announced to anyone within earshot, “You people actually like each other!”