Roy Spence (everybody just calls him Roy) signs every letter and ends every speech with the words “Ride at dawn.” That’s not just a catchy mantra, it is his call to embrace Ralph Waldo Emerson’s same challenge, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Roy is on a journey to share lessons learned on the road to Purpose. To connect, inspire, excite, and most importantly, shine a light on the higher ideal that in business and in life, if you play to your strengths and champion the people around you to do the same, you can make a living, a life and a difference doing what you love to do.
His speaking engagements have inspired thousands to identify and live their calling, their true purpose in business and life.
Roy deeply believes that entrepreneurship is “the miracle of America,” and he has made sharing this passion his life’s work.
In 1971, Roy was one of four University of Texas graduates who didn’t know you couldn’t open a national ad agency in Austin, Texas — then a funky little college town known primarily for hippies and armadillos. GSD&M is now a global marketing communications and advertising powerhouse. And Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World and the City of Ideas. Both have come a long way, together.
Roy’s “Ride at Dawn” spirit and outlook on life ultimately led him to become a trusted advisor to legendary business leaders including Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines and Sam Walton. His counsel has been sought by U.S. Presidents and heads of state.
Roy is also Co-Founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute, a consultancy whose core competency is to help leaders and companies to discover or rediscover their Purpose and Values and then to bring to life and enculturate Purpose and Values throughout the entire Culture.
Along with Haley Rushing, Roy co-authored the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven by Purpose. And, most recently he authored The 10 Essential Hugs of Life, a collection of heartwarming reminders about the need for gratitude, love and goodness.
Roy is also a Gallup Senior Advisor and is Gallup’s Expert on Purpose. Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder Test here.
American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame
Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin
Austin Advertising Federation Lifetime Achievement Award
Named “Adman of the Century” by Texas Monthly magazine
University of Texas McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame