It was the evening of the annual ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ awards dinner. A glittering black-tie affair held at The Dorchester hotel, London, attended by over 2000 employees gathered from Gant Foster's European offices. There were representatives from all levels of the business, including board members and non-executive directors, many of whom William Cleverley, the company's Operations Director, looked up to and whose admiration he sought.
William had been asked to present an award. It was his big chance, an opportunity to shine but the importance of the event was making him unusually nervous, as he adjusted his bow-tie for the umpteenth time. This was one of the most prestigious events in the Gant Foster annual calendar and until now William had simply been too busy to give it due attention. It was only yesterday that he'd so much as thought about what to say and had haphazardly drawn up his speech. He was now just moments away from being called to the stage.
William fidgeted in his seat, as Melissa Jacobs, the European Marketing Director, presented the award for the most Innovative Advertising Idea. His category for the Rising Star Award was up next. He sighed a long breath of desperation.
Watching Melissa, he marvelled at how clearly she spoke, concisely explaining the history of the award and acknowledging all the entrants for their brilliant ideas. ‘Well it's been an incredibly close call, but I am delighted to announce that tonight's winner ...