Leadership is an Art

Posted February 17, 2014

Max De Pree, CEO of Herman Miller from 1980 to 1987, reflects on his work.


Doubleday, 1989

Excerpt: “How you might ask could such radical design ideas come from a company headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, a frosty town with no bars, no pool halls, and no theaters? Don’t all top designers live in New York, Paris or Rome? They all came to Zeeland, Max says, because D. J. DePree and Max’s brother Hugh, who preceded Max as President, “had the strength to abandon themselves to the ideas of others.” D. J. talked many of the greatest designers of the century–Gilbert Rohde, Charles Eames, and Robert Propst–into visiting Zeeland, where he promised them a free hand in designing what Eames calls “good goods.”