Chapter 12. It Takes Courage and Strength of Character to Be a Culture Leader

It was ten o'clock on a Friday night at the end of Corey's first full month in the CEO's office. Still shaken from the board meeting the night before, he stood at his window, looking at the city lights below. He'd known he had the votes to sustain his decision to sell the Desert Plum Casino, but he had never expected the meeting to be so contentious or the vote to be so close. Darby O'Keefe, who had been the most vocal proponent of getting into the casino business in the first place, made no bones of the fact that he thought Corey's emphasis on corporate culture was a waste of time and that his one and only responsibility was maximizing return to the shareholders. That was no surprise to Corey; what was a surprise was that O'Keefe had the support of a significant minority of board members.

Corey had been on the road almost nonstop since becoming CEO. He'd spoken with hundreds of Owatt employees, taking copious notes. And he felt like he had been beaten up pretty badly. He knew the previous CEO was not exactly a people-person but was still shocked at the level of antagonism and ill will he had created. "I should have insisted on combat pay when I negotiated for this job," he said to himself with a laugh.

"At least you've kept your sense of humor. The day you can no longer laugh at your troubles is the day that you really are in trouble." Corey turned around with a start and was astonished to see Walt Disney ...

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