In the late 1980s, the telephone rang at the desk of Tandy Corp. then-chairman John Roach in Fort Worth. He picked up the handset. The resulting conversation from the then-head of this major corporation sounded very much as if he were giving directions to somewhere. Roach, whose company is best known for its Radio Shack stores, patiently gave those directions.

It’s not the usual view of a corporate executive and so, that image lingers after all the years. But other reporters told me that Roach customarily answered his own telephone when his secretary was not available. He also would visit Radio Shack stores and inform managers of any deficiencies.

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