The Backstory

The late Ross Perot is often characterized by his business acumen, a trait that secured him a place amongst the world’s business elite. Yet to many his most memorable skill was his servant leadership. Notably, Perot led the efforts to rescue two employees after they were imprisoned in Iran. This mission is detailed in the 1983 novel On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett.

Hillwood, a Perot Company, and their agency, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, sought to bring this narrative back to life at a Hillwood event in late 2019. They tapped into the unique video solutions offered by DHD Films to recount this historical event in front of an audience – evolving the tale from gripping story into ingenious recruiting tool.

The Narrative

In 1978, two executives employed by Electronic Data Systems (EDS), owned by Ross Perot, were arrested in Iran on suspicion of bribery. These two men, Paul Chiapparone and Bill Gaylord, were imprisoned with bail set to $13 million USD. Perot was intent on freeing his employees and fashioned a team led by retired Colonel Arthur D Simons. The mission was a success and the team escaped through Turkey in early 1979.

A teaser of the full panel sees Paul Chiapparone recount what led to his imprisonment in Iran.

The Reasoning

What is the point of recounting a story that has been novelized, televised, and out for public consumption for nearly 40 years?

In today’s tight labor market, companies look for a recruiting advantage that rises above the commonalities of profit shares, 401K contributions, and remote work opportunities. Missing from this list of bragging points is a perk that exhibits genuine loyalty.

On Wings of Eagles reveals a company culture that upholds loyalty above all else. It portrays this organization as the most steadfast supporter of its people. Perot himself exemplifies servant leadership by exhibiting what a great leader will do for his people. Recounting On Wings of Eagles in the modern day reflects a new approach to recruitment that fosters company morale using narrative storytelling.

The full panel can be viewed above for those who wish to get the full story.

The Follow Through

Recruitment requires more than enumerating benefits and bragging points about your organization. Paint a multi-dimensional picture of your organization’s culture using narrative storytelling. We invite you to engage DHD Films to help power that narrative.