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Mort Meyerson, who ran Perot Systems from 1992 to 1997, created a stir when he canceled the company’s annual Christmas party. He saw that the event (for 13,000 employees) was costing $360,000 and decided the money could be put to better use.

He said, "We’ll take the $360,000 and buy food and clothes and toys, and we will get our employees to take those things personally and deliver them to the inner city, to people who don’t have anything."

The first reaction to his decision was outrage, followed by depression, then recognition that they were doing something different, and finally elation on the part of the people who made the deliveries.

What did the event do for their employees?

Meyerson stated: "It made them more human. It made them more effective as employees. It made them better family members."

One employee told Meyerson, "This has changed my life."

(Source: Fortune Magazine 12-18-00)

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