Ken Melrose is well known for employing a model of servant leadership to turn around the Toro company when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Earlier this year, he returned to Princeton University, his alma mater, to talk to Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow David W. Miller about the circuitous path he took to becoming a servant leader himself.
Melrose told Miller’s Faith and Ethics in the Executive Suite audience that his dream was to make $50,000 a year as a marketing manager.
“If I could have done that, I would have been a happy clam for the rest of my life,” said Melrose.
He went to work for Pillsbury after earning an MBA at the University of Chicago. Then his boss talked him into starting a technology business together. The business went bankrupt.
“When the Toro job came along, I didn’t want to get into the lawn care business, but I took the job.”
Not exactly an auspicious start to a stellar career.
Miller places Melrose’s style of integrating faith and work in the Experience category of The Integration Box (TIB). In God at Work, Miller says these believers view work as a calling that has “both intrinsic and extrinsic meaning and purpose.” Thus it’s no surprise Melrose sometimes talked about his work in terms of his personal dissatisfaction with it.
Read the rest at The High Calling.