Larry H. Miller at the vSpring v|100 Lunch


Larry H. Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz, numerous car dealerships, and a member of the v|100 spoke at today's lunch. Here's a few note son what he said.

He starts with two words of advice: don't stampede. Moving too fast causes you to dilute yourself. It's good to branch out, but doing it too fast will cause you to be ineffective. You have to learn how to run one unit that you manage yourself and can control before you branch out. That will cause you to manage differently. You then have to sell them the vision. Develop the base, then grow.

There's a difference between management and leadership. Either can be both, but by no means are they. In any organization, you have managers who occasionally need to manifest leadership and they fail. Management is making decisions by the numbers. Leadership requires understanding the numbers, but entails selling the vision to others. Businesses with more than one person require that others catch the vision. People need leadership.

When you start a business, you should recognize what it is that you're a part of. We function in a system that provides us opportunity and support. The system has flaws, but the free enterprise system is a special and marvelous thing. The only way it can continue is to use it effectively and correctly, teach others how to use it, and finally give back. We can't ever assume that free enterprise is genetic. The next generation needs to understand that the system requires the rule of law & integrity.

You can tell he has a passion for starting businesses. He says that he frequently startles his wife of nearly 50 years by blurting out "business is really cook!" He quotes from a Ronald Reagan speech: We do all this "so that we will never be faced with a situation where we have to face our children and our grandchildren someday when they ask 'where were you and what were you doing on the day that freedom was lost?'" Business people have a responsibility to protect freedom.

Referencing the current economic situation Miller says "Opportunity comes along at times like this and while the system we live in isn't perfect, it beats the heck out of whatever comes in second."