For the 13th episode of the Inspirational Leadership with the Best in Home Building podcast, Zonda principal Mollie Carmichael talks with Ross Perot Jr., chairman of The Perot Group and Hillwood.

Perot Jr. is well known for a number of achievements, such as developing Alliance, Texas, and making the first circumnavigation around the world in a helicopter at the age of 23—just to name a couple. He is the eldest of five children, and the only son. While his mom and sisters spoiled him, his father took him under his wing, teaching him to ride horses, hunt, and fly.

Here are some highlights from the podcast.

On childhood
"[My father and I] were together all the time. We had a very close relationship. He started out as a salesman for IBM, and he became the top salesman in the country. I watched him build EDS in our living room. I remember the day my father came in and said he was taking the company public and that tomorrow they were going to talk about how successful it was. He looked at us and said, “Look, it doesn’t matter. Money is not important—it’s our family and loving each other and helping other people.”

On having a famous father
"When my father was running for president in 1992, a reporter comes in and she goes, ’It must be tough being Ross Perot’s son.’ I said, ’No, not really. It’s a pretty good gig, it’s a pretty good deal.’ My dad took me everywhere with him. I saw things and I did things that very few people can do and that’s one of the greatest blessings I’ve had."

On autonomy
"No. 1, we let each of [our executives] run their own business. There’s huge autonomy. And the joke is you can do anything you want—whatever you want—but if you need money, you gotta come see me. That’s how I kind of watch everything."

On the economy
"My father always said we gotta live on brains and wits, because money makes you stupid. Good lord, look at the last couple of years. You’ve got the meme stocks, the crypto stocks and we’d say this doesn’t feel right. Now you see the crash, but it was a hell of a party. We were there, but as I always tell everyone we were kind of dancing right next to the exits. We’ve seen the movie before. I think it’s during these challenging times that some of the best companies are formed and the best ideas come out."

On running for president
"That’s not in my game plan. My father said ’Never do this. It’s not productive.’ He said you could be so much more productive and get so many more things done in the private sector. Certain people are great at it, and they are wonderful. Lots of candidates come to see us, but it’s not anything I’d get into."

Tune in to Inspirational Leadership with the Best in Home Building to learn more about Perot Jr., his upbringing, who inspires him, and what he thinks are the most important leadership qualities. Thank you to American Ventures for underwriting this podcast episode.

Also, click back to hear from the leaders in the last five podcast episodes, which feature Ryan Marshall, president and CEO at PulteGroup; Sheryl Palmer, president and CEO of Taylor Morrison; Doug Bauer and Tom Mitchell from Tri Pointe Homes; Tommy Beadel, founder and CEO of Thomas James Homes; and Brent Herrington, president and CEO of DMB Development.