5 Commanding and Controlling

“So my point is, you all need to immediately get with the program and step up.” It was a little more than two hours after Chuck’s call, and Des was standing stiffly in the main conference room with his arms tightly folded, his team sitting silently around the table, staring at him. “I’m sick and tired of all of the excuses. I’m sick and tired of the delays. I’m sick and tired of all the bullshit that’s going on around here.” Des had deliberately decided to curse in this meeting, to let them all know how serious he was.

There was a long pause while they stared at him with surprised faces. Des had just gone further with them than ever before; he’d called them out big time on their infantile behavior and he was being more forceful than they’d ever seen. He hoped like hell it would work.

Finally, Matt spoke up, his usual slippery tone oddly missing: “So what exactly are you saying, Des?” He sounded worried, possibly even scared. Good, thought Des, I want them scared.

“I’m saying,” Des continued, certain he’d struck the right tone, “that you either step up or you’ll have to leave.”

Spec was the first to react. “You cannot be serious!” he shouted, standing up. “What the hell do you think I’ve been doing all this time?!”

Matt jumped in next, leaning forward. “Hold on a second, Des. I’m doing my job, you know that. I’m not the one holding up the Emperor project.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s all my fault!” Spec said acidly to Matt. Then he turned back to Des, “I have ...

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