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.
It was a transformative experience during his senior years at high school that Richard says changed the trajectory of his life. Up until this time, school was not an enjoyable or rewarding place to be.
“The school system didn’t support the development of my self-belief but I got some of that through sport,” recalls Richard, who excelled at rugby and athletics. One particularly unkind teacher in his early years left Richard with much anxiety and fear about the classroom. Fortunately, at the beginning of his fifth form year, Richard got to know the new sportsmaster, a wise and compassionate man, who believed that Richard had the ability to achieve well at school if he applied the same dedication, determination and persistence that he did on the sports field. As Richard explains, “This teacher was able to give me a glimpse of my potential and the self-belief I had in sport then broadened into other areas of my life.”
Beginning his business career with the Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin, Richard then moved to Australia to work for his uncle at College Mercantile in Melbourne. Richard witnessed his uncle’s humility and the respectful way he helped people less fortunate than himself, and determined to make these qualities part of his leadership style if he were to be given the opportunity to lead.