Iwas once hired to speak at a conference with the specific brief of 'motivating the troops'. Nothing unusual there. I'm a professional speaker. I can be thought provoking, erudite, amusing and uplifting, tell a few well-chosen and relevant anecdotes and hopefully leave everyone with some simple techniques and beliefs to do more and be better.

However, this gig was a bit different. True, I had been warned that the audience of 100 or so senior managers would possibly be in the initial stages of being comatose following a 90-minute Death-by-PowerPoint session from their Big Chief. But what they failed to tell me was the exact content of his presentation and the size of the task ahead. Here, in précis ...

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