Leadership is an art.


Part of the fun of working for Design Within Reach is discovering and falling in love with the products we sell, their designers and the companies that bring good design to the masses.  One of my great loves is Herman Miller, home to the iconic designs of Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson and Alexander Girard. They’re also the manufacturers of Chadwick and Stumpf’s Aeron chair and the new Leaf Light designed by SF-based Yves Béhar. Their catalog is a design-junkie’s dream.

What is equally impressive about Herman Miller is the culture that exists at their Michigan corporate headquarters.  After recently reading Max DePree’s wonderful book Leadership is an Art, I am even more impressed with HM.  DePree is one-time Herman Miller CEO (and son of its original visionary). The book was written in 1989, yet its lessons still resonate today. Not only has it helped me to become a more effective leader, but it has also allowed me a glimpse into the design of Herman Miller’s people, and they’re much more impressive than any piece of furniture. I even sent a copy to our CEO.  I suggest you grab your own.