A Thought About Ross Perot

Today it’s hard to talk about business without someone interjecting how a business should be doing this political thing, or that political thing.

Usually this comes from someone new (i.e., last decade) out of the so-called “business schools,” where such recent graduates don’t understand what they’re really advocating is more along the lines of how “businesses” need to parade as businesses, and be more political in this current central banker enabled farce. Or said differently: business, customers, net profits, etc., etc. don’t matter. It’s all about their “share value.” But I digress.

Ross Perot was that individual for me, that made me interested in the goings-on when it came to business and politics. Sure, during my time there was Reagan who represented a complete sea-change in regards to the economy and other things political. But Perot was an entirely different matter.

I was 21 when Reagan took office, I was 30 when Perot was beginning to be a political force to be reckoned with. Both time periods were extraordinary.

If you were a kid of the 70’s like myself (and there were a lot of us) the future didn’t look all that promising. Then came that time period now known as the “Reagan Revolution” was truly amazing.

Computers were just bursting onto the scene and more. Regardless of what side of the political aisle one stands, whether you want to give credit or not (that’s your prerogative) – the time period and change was breathtaking when looked back upon in retrospect.

That is not open for interpretation – that is pure fact. The change was extremely dramatic in so many ways.

However, with that said, it wasn’t until the emergence of Mr. Perot did I become more, let’s say, politically curious, as well as being just as curious in regards to business leadership. And here’s why…

As I stated I was 21 when Reagan became president. That means I was old enough to vividly remember the entirety of sentiment, news and more as the Iranian Hostage standoff unfolded day, after day, after day totaling 444 (e.g., 1 year, 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days) until it finally ended with the swearing in of Reagan.

There have been books written (conspiracy theories mostly) how there was a secret deal with Reagan and more, blah, blah, blah. However, there was another book written in 1983 (which I read when it came out) called “On The Wings of Eagles” Ken Follett (Harper Collins™)

This was basically the tale of how Mr. Perot and others, using his own personal and company resources, refused to allow the proposition that two of his employees would remain in some Iranian jail and devised a plan, then personally traveled to Iran with his team – and got them out.

This was all at great risk to both Mr. Perot, his son which was with the team, and everyone else involved. And nobody ever knew. (i.e., it wasn’t some front page story type deal)

Mr. Perot didn’t brag, didn’t show-boat, didn’t really do anything more except for when ask replied in his characteristic Texan snappiness with something akin to “And what would you expect me to do for my people?” And the thing was: you knew he truly meant it.

If you’ve never read the book, you really should, especially in this day and age where we have corporate C-Suites falling over themselves and their marketing departments to shout just how far of a “virtue signalling” they can do over their peers.

If it means trashing the flag, the country, a politician, founding fathers, Constitution _____________(fill in the blank) so be it. After all, it’s just business, right?

Actually, in my book, it’s not – it’s utterly disgusting. But again, I digress.

Regardless of where one wants to put their political questioning of Mr. Perot, there is one thing that is above reproach: Mr. Perot, the businessman, as well as American, is one of the all time forces of business that acted and presented himself the way we should want any American business person to emulate.

Mr. Perot had a tenacity for competitiveness that was second to none; a firm believer and defender in the American experiment; and a true businessman where his employees were just as important to him as his family, and would go to the same lengths to help them where possible. Even if it might be at his own peril. And proved it.

No “sneakers” required.

Godspeed, Mr. Perot.

© 2019 Mark St.Cyr