20The Game Plan

MICHAEL IS STILL IMPOSSIBLE, but I'm feeling a lot better about everything else. Vicky was in the same conference room where she first met her “motley crew” a month ago. She remembered being more scared than hopeful at the time. Now, she felt confident.

We're on the right track, and I think we're going to make it. That doesn't guarantee this meeting will work as well as I hope, but I'm ready. I think the team is, too. We all know the game plan.

Vicky looked at the wall clock. It was time to start. There was an air of excitement and friendly banter around the table. All present—except Michael. Michael never makes it easy, Vicky thought. Shows up when I don't expect him, but not when I do. Do we wait or start without him? Vicky took a deep breath and decided to begin.

“Good morning, everyone. Let's get started. Michael should be here soon. We've got a lot to do, so let's begin. We all know our agenda…”

Just then Michael burst in.

“Agenda?” he interjected. “You call this an agenda? I want numbers. What's this ‘Year of the Team’?”

Vicky smiled. She'd expected Michael to toss a grenade into the meeting, and this one could have been worse. This time she was ready for him.

“Michael, we're glad you're here,” Vicky responded calmly. “I figured the agenda might need some explanation and that's where we'll start.”

“Better be good.”

“We knew you wouldn't be satisfied with anything less,” Vicky said soothingly, taking control of the meeting agenda. “We've worked hard, and ...

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