Glen Peterson opened his eyes and instinctively brushed the back of his thumb across his lips in a quick search to track down any stray drool unbecoming of a well-mannered adult. A scan of the other snoozing passengers in the business-class cabin told him it would still be hours before his flight from Melbourne touched down at LAX.
“Now what?” he muttered to himself.
During his two decades of international travel, Glen had developed a habit of popping two Advil PMs shortly after takeoff, which usually knocked him out until the pilot announced the final descent. But this time was different. Glen had woken up just a few hours after falling asleep. He couldn't stop thinking about a comment that Priya—one of his most trusted team members and vice president of Davis Medical's Asia-Pacific region—had made during a team dinner in Melbourne the night before.
The dinner capped off a standard two-day meeting with key leaders from the Asia-Pacific team to check in on a number of key initiatives, and to discuss the rollout of the new strategy Glen's leadership team had put together a few weeks before. Glen had his assistant arrange for dinner plans at a family-style Italian restaurant, because he liked the low-key atmosphere and always felt that the simple act of dishing your food from common bowls was a solid, if not so subtle, way to reinforce the value he placed on cohesion and collegiality among his teams.
To Glen's dismay, the meal revealed ...