Rich Habits Word of the Day
Pilotage – Leadership. Ross Perot’s pilotage in the face of the capture of two EDS employees in Iran was an example of great leadership.
Rich Habits Fact of the Day
Paul J. Chiapparone was a 39-year old technician and businessman working in Iran for EDS, a Texas computer company. He was installing computer systems for the government when the revolution hit. All company employees were taken out of the country but the Iranians would not give Chiapparone and fellow employee William Gaylord passports to leave. Chiapparone told several hundred listeners at Ursinus’s Wismer Hall that perhaps the Iranians wanted to keep them in the country to continue installing the computers after order was restored. When he and Gaylord went to negotiate for the passports, the revolutionaries arrested them and threw them in jail. Bail, or ransom, was set at $12.7 million. The Iranians insisted that the money be paid through Iranian banks. EDS was ready to pay the money but the banks were in turmoil and not able to assure the transfer of money, he said. The U.S. State Department and U.S. embassy in Tehran did not know what to do, said Chiapparone. But Perot, “the tough little Texan,” knew. He recruited a team of mercenaries from company employees who had war experience in Vietnam. He found retired Col. Arthur “Bull” Simmons to lead them in the rescue. Employee teams were also set up at company headquarters and in Turkey, the escape destination. It would be 46 days until the rescue was made, but it succeeded. Ross Perot exhibited true leadership when others in the government threw up their hands.
Rich Habits Lesson of the Day
Successful people don’t talk or think their way to success. They just take action. In fact, their actions speak so loud there is no need to talk. They lead by example, showing others the unlimited possibilities that lie in each one of us. Those fortunate enough to be close to them, such as family, friends and colleagues are the beneficiaries of seeing first hand success in motion. Their actions provide the opportunity for mentoring those around them.