“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” Max de Pree
Who was Max De Pree?
Max De Pree (1924 – 2017) was an American businessman and writer. A son of D. J. De Pree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company, he and his brother Hugh De Pree assumed leadership of the company in the early 1960s, Hugh becoming CEO and president in 1962. Max succeeded his brother Hugh as CEO in 1980 and served in that capacity to 1987, and he was a member of the company’s Board of Directors until 1995.
He had planned to become a doctor. He studied at Wheaton College but was interrupted by World War II. He served in the Army Medical Corps in the European Theatre of Operations. Still in the Army, he studied at the University of Pittsburgh, Haverford College and the University of Paris. After his military service he attended Hope College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948.
He fostered the idea of an inclusive corporation, one in which all voices are heard. He was known for his efforts to combine a caring organization with business success. As opposed to the idea of a golden parachute, he proposed the idea of a silver parachute, in which terminated employees who had worked more than 2 years for a company would receive benefits according to the number of years served.
Text : Wikipedia contributors. “Max De Pree.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Aug. 2017. Web.