My Father's Business: The Small-Town Values That Built Dollar General into a Billion-Dollar Company

My Father's Business: The Small-Town Values That Built Dollar General into a Billion-Dollar Company

by Cal Turner Jr., Rob Simbeck (With)


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The first-person account of the family that changed the American retail landscape that Dave Ramsey calls a must-read.

Longtime Dollar General CEO Cal Turner, Jr. shares his extraordinary life as heir to the company founded by his father, Cal Turner, Sr., and his grandfather, a dirt farmer turned Depression-era entrepreneur. Cal's narrative is at its heart a father-son story, from his childhood in Scottsville, Kentucky, where business and family were one, to the triumph of reaching the Fortune 300 — at the cost of risking that very father/son relationship. Cal shares how the small-town values with which he was raised helped him guide Dollar General from family enterprise to national powerhouse.

Chronicling three generations of a successful family with very different leadership styles, Cal Jr. shares a wealth of wisdom from a lifetime on the entrepreneurial front lines. He shows how his grandfather turned a third-grade education into an asset for success. He reveals how his driven father hatched the game-changing dollar price point strategy and why it worked. And he explains how he found his own leadership style when he took his place at the helm — values-based, people-oriented, and pragmatic. Cal's story provides a riveting look at the family love and drama behind Dollar General's spectacular rise, pays homage to the working-class people whose no-frills needs helped determine its rock-bottom prices, and shares the life and lessons of one of America's most compelling business leaders.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478992967
Publisher: Center Street
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 448,233
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Cal Turner, Jr. grew up in a Scottsville, Kentucky, household where business and family were one. After graduating Vanderbilt University, he served for three years as an officer in the United States Navy before beginning his career at Dollar General. He served as CEO for thirty-seven years, and during his tenure, the number of DG stores rose from 150, with sales of $40 million, to more than 6,000, with sales in excess of $6 billion.

Turner has served on the boards of companies like Shoney's and First American, and of educational, civic and charitable organizations including Vanderbilt and Fisk universities, and has been president of the board of governors of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. His many awards include the Presidential Award for Private Sector Initiatives (presented by Ronald Reagan) and the Vanderbilt Distinguished Alumnus Award. A committed lifelong Methodist, Turner was inducted in 2001 into the Fellows of the Society of John Wesley by the Tennessee Conference of the UMC. He lives in Nashville, TN.

Rob Simbeck is a writer and editor of over twenty books. He was ghostwriter of Cal Turner's first book, co-written with Howard Olds, Led To Follow. He lives in Nashville, TN.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 Scottsville, Kentucky: "The Center of the Universe" 1

2 The Lessons of Adolescence 15

3 Business: The Key Turner Dynamic 27

4 "Every Day Is Dollar Day" 38

5 Academic and Leadership Testing: Vanderbilt and the Navy 54

6 Interning with The Real Cal Turner 73

7 Dealing with Entrepreneurial Chaos 84

8 Winging It with Wall Street 99

9 Filling the Suit 113

10 Scottsville Divided: The Teamsters Strike 121

11 Expansion: Breaking the Commandments 133

12 A Company Out of Control 156

13 The Toughest Decision of My Life 168

14 A Family and Company Divided 179

15 Serving Others: A Mission That Mattered 203

16 Selective Unscrewing 212

17 My Dad's Final Years: Still Thinking About the Customer 219

18 Exiting the Company: That Lonesome Valley 227

19 Retirement: Redefining Who I Am 237

Index 245

About the Authors 255

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