Chapter1The Emergency Board Meeting The voices were indistinguishable behind the two massive, ornately carved wooden doors. People were greeting one another and talking loudly in order to be heard. One voice boomed, and the room went quiet. After a while, the noise seemed to pick up again behind the closed doors. It was 9:15 a.m. Barry Smith, boardroom coach and consultant, had been asked by the assistant to the Chairman of the Board to meet the board members at 9:00 a.m. As usual, boards are never on time. The reception area was traditional dark paneled wood with a huge granite fireplace, intricate wood moldings, deep patterned carpets with walls covered with plaques and portraits of the Chairman and the CEO. Barry reached across the classic coffee table for his cup and saucer, stirring in the sugar with a silver spoon. Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Architecture magazine, Above Rome and an ancient, thick Bible were spread out neatly on the table.The receptionist, an attractive, gray-haired woman who obviously took charge of the room, was talking to the security guard/limo driver about travel schedules. Need more coffee she asked. Barry shook his head and said, No thanks, then started to fiddle with his Blackberry. He mumbled to himself, Maybe I should get a Twitter account, but even if people were following me, they wouldn t believe who my clients were. He put his Blackberry on silent mode and took one more sip of the warm coffee. He could be called in at any moment. As Barry sat in the large leather chair, he recalled the many times He had waited to meet and present to the dozens of boards of directors because their organizations were in trouble. He reminisced about past successes in keeping boards from going under. He felt confident in his ability to make positive changes, though this assignment would be different than the rest. The noise subsided in the boardroom. That powerful voice spoke again. Then one of the massive doors opened and the Chairman?'s assistant stepped out and said, The board is ready for you now.
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