ood luck, Gavin, knock ’em dead!” wished my team as I walked out my office. This was the moment of truth. I was about to present to the senior executive committee (exco) of the bank where I used to work, and they were going to vote on whether or not to go ahead with a new product we had been working on for the past six months. I knew what this meant – either the opportunity to forge ahead with full support, or six months of wasted effort.
Just as I pressed the lift button, a piercing sound broke through the silence. It was the fire alarm. “Oh no,” I groaned, “This can’t be happening” I resigned myself to the unfortunate realisation that my presentation wasn’t going to happen, and made my way down the stairs.
As I stood in the open meeting area, contemplating how long the delay would be, my phone rang. It was my boss, who was one of the exco attendees. “Where are you, Gavin?” he barked.
“What do you mean?” I replied. “I’m outside the building along with the rest of the company. We’re in the middle of a fire drill.”
“Forget the stupid fire drill!” he yelled. “Everyone is waiting for you. Get up here now!”
I ran up the stairs, thinking how silly it was that I was the only one going into the building when everyone else was rushing out. Eventually, I burst into the executive boardroom, f lustered and out of breath. This didn’t bode well for my presentation, “I’m sorry I’m late, but as you’re probably aware there is a f ire drill going on as we speak,” I began. Then I added with a smile, “If I had known that you all had fire-proof superpowers I would have been up here