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Chapter 1. Who’s a Kingmaker?

Who or what is a kingmaker? You might remember this FedEx commercial that aired in the winter of 2001: A group of a dozen or so people is huddled around a conference room table. All the workers in the room are in open shirts and ties, but the person at the head of the table, the boss, is in a suit. We join the meeting as the manager says, “We’ve got to save money, people. Ideas.”

One member of the group contributes the idea that they open an online account with FedEx and save 10 percent on Express shipping immediately. Silence follows for a few beats, then the fellow at the head of the table looks straight ahead and repeats the exact words in authoritative tone with emphatic hand gestures to match.


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