Early on in his career, Richard realised the importance of valuing and empowering the people he leads, and this principle has been the cornerstone of a successful business career that spans 40 years. Richard was born and raised in Dunedin, spent several years in Australia as a young man, then returned to New Zealand where he started two companies and took them public, before founding Richard Joseph and Associates in 1991.
Richard began his business career with the Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin, then made the move to Melbourne, Australia. Head-hunted by the Victorian Credit Bureau to be their new General Manager, Richard was given his first leadership role, and a difficult one it was. When Richard arrived, the company was in danger of going under and the culture was rotten. Within six months, the company was breaking even and within a year it was making a profit. Richard emphasises that this success had less to do with the actual management of the business and more to do with the way he, as leader, valued and empowered his staff. Because they knew they mattered to him and he respected them, they were prepared to give more of themselves to the business.
Returning to Dunedin in 1980 with his young family, Richard started Protocol Credit, a successful business which eventually merged into Credit Corp, a public company with 14 branches around New Zealand. However, Richard explains, differing management styles caused him to resign from the Board in 1991. "It was a hard decision but I knew I had to either stay quiet or be true to myself, so I resigned and decided to set up on my own again.”
His new venture, Richard Joseph & Associates, started by giving advice to businesses around the issues of credit management. Richard recalls, "As I visited the different companies, I became fascinated by the gap between what they wanted to do and what they actually achieved.”
Richard undertook extensive research into this phenomenon which, combined with his first-hand business management experience and the life -lessons from his formative years, led to the creation of the Turning Point programme. This programme has now run continuously for 24 years and has proved so successful that it has now been expanded to a suite of supportive, integrated development programmes harnessing employee potential and thereby creating productive, successful organisations.