Max DePree

Define Reality

Herman Miller is a world-class company located in Zealand, MI….they are in the office  systems business and considered the innovating leader in that industry. I did some consulting with Herman-Miller in the early 80’s. Also, during this period….Max De Pree was advocating his leadership principles….Herman Miller as a company was doing very well. De Pree’s ideas were just starting to gain attention.

Herman Miller at that time was quite different from the normal Michigan manufacturer….I knew it was doing unique things….just didn’t know why.


One of Max De Pree’s quotes:

“A leaders first responsibility is to define reality.”

I recently met with a new leader of an organization and….defined reality for this group which has a tenuous future. This organization and the larger group to which it belongs continues to pattern itself in the past. That’s the reality.

In situations like this….by first listening and planting a seed….the outcome depends on whether they are willing to take the next steps.

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