Claire, the receptionist was impeccably dressed, had the front office looking spickety- span, and greeted John, the MD, with a warm smile and a pleasant “Good Morning” greeting.

“I hope you don’t mind that I got your favourite blueberry muffin and heated it up for you to enjoy while meeting the GM today”, she said. John was thankful.

He headed into his office, that he noticed the cleaners had once again given a fresh polish, as sunlight gleamed through crystal clean windows onto healthy, and somewhat tall plants that showcased an impeccably tidy desk with but one piece of paper that read, “9:00 Agenda.”

He booted up his laptop that quickly sprang to life because he had extraordinary IT systems that were supported by a highly cost-effective external supplier that always sent his wife a delicious low fat pudding and a decent bottle of champagne for Christmas.

The in-box of his updated Outlook had only one email in it, all others were in their respectful folders and had been attended to.

The single email was from Lou, the National Sales Manager, and it was sent at 10:00 p.m. the night before.

It read, “Good Morning John, thinking of you and wanted to let you know that we are 200% above our sales target, Have a Great Day, Lou.”

John settled into his chair and read the AFR, careful not to get warm blueberry muffin crumbs on the portion of the paper that indicated his company shares had risen again.

Kevin, his GM, then dutifully arrived perfectly on time, with but one sheet of paper that read, “9:00 Agenda.”

Kevin and John affably, openly, and perfectly timed to the schedule went through the various items on the agenda by which Kevin confirmed that Lou was indeed correct. Sales were very healthy, as was the profit that he saw in yesterday’s Financial report produced by his ex-Big 4 Financial Controller.

Moreover, Kevin confided that all outstanding performance management issues had been resolved, all staff were meeting KPI’s and were getting stuck into their stretch goals, continuous improvement projects were resulting in key savings, and growth plans and further hiring was now being undertaken per his wishes.

The “Employer of Choice” reputation they enjoyed in their industry sector was making it easy to hand pick the best candidates in the market that they would then happily develop and progress and………..

……the annoying and repeated beep of the alarm clock went off at 6:15 a.m. sharp.

John awoke with a groggy moan. His wife gave a loving, but well placed elbow to his ribs. “Time to get up John, time to get ready”, she softly said.

John quickly remembered that this day was going to be brutal for a number of reasons.

He wanted to stay in bed.

He wanted to go back to his dream.