SALT LAKE CITY — Greg Miller is the first person to tell you he isn't like his father — he rarely talks to the media and his management style is different from his father’s, to say the least.
“My dad was an enormous character. He was a figure, almost like a folk hero in this community,” Greg said. “I’m not the entrepreneur that my dad was.”
However, Greg Miller said that he’s interested in continuing his father's dream — albeit in his own way — which led to some tense moments between them when he first took over as CEO.
“I was trying to lead the company and he was trying to lead the company and that created for some interesting dynamics on a couple occasions,” Miller said. “We never fought over the business. We had some heated moments growing up, like I think a lot of fathers and sons have, but I think our relationship was a good one.”
Miller said that his father breathed life into his organization through sheer force of will. And that served the organization well for a long time. But at some point, the organization grew to a size where that entrepreneurial leadership style wasn't the best leadership style for it. That meant Greg Miller was forced to make some tough decisions.
“So we made an effort to get rid of the stores that we couldn’t turn around and make profitable,” Miller said.
Laying off workers and closing dealerships wasn't his father's style, so when Greg Miller shut down his father's prized restaurant, The Mayan, Greg heard about that too.
“He said, 'You know, Greg, I don't appreciate you taking apart my life's work.' And I said, ‘Well I can see how you feel that way, but the way I see it, the minute we close that operation, our profitability increases by $3.1 million per year.’ ”
Now Greg Miller is focused on the future, making sure “Miller 3.0” has the foundation to carry on the business and family name.
“Internally we refer to my mom and dad's generation as Miller 1.0, to my brothers and I as Miller 2.0, and to my children and nieces and nephews as Miller 3.0,” he said. “The purpose of inviting them is to help them understand what they're a part of and to share with them the responsibilities they have to be wise stewards. But also, and maybe more importantly, we want to make sure they have no sense of entitlement.”