After many years of losing money, Miller said he made the difficult decision to close it down — something he knew would not sit well with his father at the time.
“Once my dad got wind of that, he said, 'You know, Greg, I don’t appreciate you taking apart my life’s work.'”
He responded, “I can see how you feel that way, but the way I see it is that the minute we closed that operation, our profitability increased by $3.1 million a year, because that’s how much it was costing us.”
He said being able to make prudent yet challenging business decisions and see them pay off reinforced his belief he could lead the company effectively after his father died.
Miller said his workday typically begins around 8 a.m. and can run to as long as 11 p.m. on some Jazz game nights. He said he prefers working with people who have extensive knowledge and experience in their fields of expertise and have exceptional capacity to get work done.
“I’d like to play a meaningful role in helping us accomplish our objective, but I know I can’t do it all myself,” Miller said.
He said one of the biggest differences in management styles between him and his father is his willingness to allow the executive leadership team to handle the responsibilities of running their individual divisions rather trying to do it all, as his dad had a tendency to do.
“At some point, the organization grew to a size where (my father’s) entrepreneurial leadership style wasn’t the best for it,” he explained. “There is no question that I’m not the entrepreneur my dad was, but I have other skills that he didn’t have that are serving the organization very well today.”
He said his ability to be more collaborative, delegate responsibility, give direction and let others “do their job” has helped build a sense of confidence throughout the organization.
“I really think that is the reason we’re enjoying the success that we do today because we’re spreading the load out over such broad footings,” Miller said.
He described his mother, Gail, as “a saint” who has made a smooth transition from her involvement in the first — or “1.0” — generation of the family business under its founder to the current 2.0 generation led by her son. Today, there are also about a dozen third-generation, "3.0," family members working within the LHM Group.
“She seems to know instinctively when to chime in and offer her wisdom and when to just sit back and let things run their course,” he said. Miller considers his mother a savvy businesswoman who provides valuable input that has helped greatly in the success of the business.
Miller said he admired his dad in many ways but noted that his father’s dedication to building his business and resulting absence at home impacted their relationship and his development.
“The lack of time that I was able to spend with my dad in a personal setting had an impact on me,” he said. “I resented that for a long time. But, later in life, I realized that there were a lot of other blessings in the shortage of time I was able to spend with him.”
He said he knew, as a young father, he didn’t want his kids to feel the same way about him, so he made the decision to spend time every day with each of his six children. Miller and his wife, Heidi, also have four grandchildren.
“I determined that I was going to be a father that was engaged in their lives,” he said. Today, despite the fact that four of the kids are out of the house and have their own families, he still tries to connect with them several times a week.
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