"Nice Guys Rise to the Top"
Brad Anderson of Best Buy is set to retire on June 24 after 36 years in the industry. It is fascinating to me that this pillar of the consumer electronics industry never intended to enter this line of work. In fact, Brad actually set out to be a minister. But after training for the ministry, he took a job with a small retailer, Sound of Music, and proved, in a different way, that nice guys rise to the top.
Sound of Music, the precursor to Best Buy, was a small chain of stereo stores in St. Paul, Minn., where Brad started as a salesperson in 1973.
By his own account, he wasn’t the best salesman—it took him two weeks to make his first sale. Owner, Richard Schulze, once asked him for some time early on, and Brad thought he would be fired! Instead he was shifted to management.