Executive View: Ideas Are All We Have

He looks like a schoolteacher, and he really wanted to become a political science instructor, but he drifted into Dad's Chevy dealership in Hopkins, Minn. So what can one expect from an auto salesman named Bud?

Maybe some snappy marketing ideas, but usually not many grand plans. Yet today Bud Grossman, neat and bland at 58, is the Minnesota Money Machine.

He started a company that ten years ago had revenues of $6.5 million; in fiscal 1979 they hit $445 million; next year after acquiring a firm that leases containers for ships, they...

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