Star City Six – Max D. Larsen
Max D. Larsen and Associates’ (www.maxdlarsen.com) approach to business involves listening, advising, and helping clients develop the capacity to have self-sustaining operating procedures. Max Larsen is the founder of Max D. Larsen and Associates.
Tell us a little about your business.
We help businesses and individuals improve performance through executive coaching, strategic planning, and leadership training, among other things. We focus on strengths and facilitate using those strengths to increase effectiveness and achieve goals.
How did you get started in the business?
I spent 25 years as managing partner at Gallup, helping organizations use data to improve business performance, increase customer satisfaction, and create high levels of employee engagement. In my own business now, I apply those same consulting skills to help businesses and organizations.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
At Gallup, I created their Government business and built it to $30 million annual revenue. As managing partner for that division, I was responsible for sales, operations, and leadership.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife Lillie is a well-known community leader, devoting 12 years to the Lincoln School Board and many years to the Lincoln Symphony. We have three sons: Michael, professor of statistics; Paul, associate counsel at PHRMA; and Charlie, director of pediatric dentistry at Stony Brook Dental School. We also have six lovely grandchildren. We are a close family and spend a lot of time together.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Being appointed as the Dean at UNL provided an opportunity for me to provide meaningful leadership where results could be seen. I realized that I have the talent to motivate others to achieve goals.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I do quite a bit of pro bono work with non-profit organizations. I also love working in the yard and experiencing the excitement of Nebraska’s seasons. Lillie and I really enjoy international travel—we’ve visited 66 different countries in the past 20 years!
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
The Rodney Atkins song that goes, “If you are going through Hell, just keep going.” Pretty sound advice for managers.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
I have always wished that I could operate heavy construction equipment. I’ve always liked to build things.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I respect the non-partisan work of Open Sky Institute and the balanced data they provide all of us on taxes and financing of government services. Along with that, I’ve been involved with and I’m passionate about Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Nebraska Appleseed, The Lincoln Symphony, and Westminster Presbyterian Church’s pre-school program.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I like mystery novels.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
The Oven. Lillie and I spent time in India and Bhutan and enjoy the food.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Jeff Raikes. He is a very thoughtful, future-looking businessman.
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