After five continents and 40,000 miles (64,000 km), Miller considers himself fortunate for avoiding both vehicle damage and personal injury.

“When we started, I asked Scott if we were going to take guns and he said no, it would be unwise to be in a situation where you want to protect yourself with a gun,” he says. “The most dangerous thing we’ve encountered is exactly what Scott said it would be: driving the cars.”

Any adventure driving, by definition, comes with risks, and one only needs to watch crashes recorded by dash-cam videos to understand the perils.

“Russia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, simply because of the driving conditions there,” Brady says. “Very aggressive drivers operating at high rates of speed on very narrow roads. We had close calls.”

Miller adds: “We were flat-out lucky to have gotten out of there alive.”

For him, the rewards of E7 far outweigh anything else. “It became obvious to me very quickly that the best part of the adventure was going to be getting to know so many interesting and friendly people along the way.”

A favorite recollected encounter was with a single mom working as an Applebee’s server in Pennsylvania. She initially gave the group a skeptical look when they told her they were planning a trip to the South Pole.

“But every time she visited the table, the conversation progressed,” Miller says. “And when she brought the check, she pulled up a chair and told us that we had inspired her to take her daughter on a vacation.

“As simple as that sounds, it’s the magic of E7, because it inspires people to reach a little farther, to step out of their comfort zone and experience life.”

Miller says E7 benefits him in his role as CEO of the vast family business, even though it has taken him out of the office for 132 days.  

“The first time I was gone, I called my assistant expecting her to say, ‘I’m glad you finally checked in,’” he says. “But she said just the opposite: ‘Everything is rolling along nicely.” She teased him, saying, “We don’t want you to come back and screw things up.’

Kidding aside, that to him demonstrates the competence of the company’s leadership team “and the high levels at which our business units were performing while I was away,” he says.

“That means when I come back, if I’m going to involve myself in these businesses, I have to add something that will take them to an even higher level of performance. It’s forced me to think about how I can be the most effective.”

Miller regularly sits in on dealership sales meetings, but he doesn’t talk about cost reduction, inventory or other basic business matters. That’s the job of the general managers and Dean Fitzpatrick, president-automotive operations.

Instead, Miller thanks employees and discusses business culture and values. “I talk about how every one of our 10,000 employees is an extension of me or my mom (Gail Miller, company chairman), and as such they need to conduct themselves accordingly.

“I talk about why we’re in business; how it would be easy to cash it all in and go play. But that doesn’t validate us as a family or as individuals. Also, it wouldn’t leave us in a position to create opportunities for growth at personal and corporate levels.”   

Of the 55 LHM dealerships, 17 made the 2013 WardsAuto Dealer 500, a ranking of top stores in the U.S.    

“What I’ve seen on Expeditions 7 reflects the reason why Greg and his family have been so successful in the business world,” Brady says. “He knows when to push hard and when to take risks, and he also knows when it’s time to back off because the cost of a mistake may be too great.

“We’ve dealt with very intense experiences and foreign cultures, and the fact that Greg knows what to say, how to treat other people and be thankful and thoughtful toward them, it’s all a reflection of his business acumen.”