3 Sep 2003


Bernard called me into his office today. He has started to wear a ‘hands-free’ earpiece so he can talk to people and work or wander in his office. “Terry. Terry. It’s Bernard. I have a few bits for you.” He was stabbing at his keyboard with two fingers as he spoke – no doubt it was some terse memo to us asking for increased sales – he raised his eyebrows as I entered.

“Where are you up to with the ‘best practise in practice’ work you were doing for me?” He barked. “I was expecting it yesterday.”

My heart sank. “I’m sorry.” I mumbled. “I can’t remember …”

He raised his hands and pointed to his ear. He started to rummage through a pile of books and files on his desk. They went tumbling over: “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing”, “I’m Ok Your OK”, “The One Minute Manager” and “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

He put one in front of me while he continued listening to Terry’s excuses in his left ear. He scrawled on a post-it “Read This!”

It was Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”.

He smiled and indicated I could go.

I knew he was developing ideas for expansion. I didn’t realise that it would include marching into Poland.