After much cogitation, I believe I may have the inkling of an answer to these questions.
I'll start here: One day, when I was green as a fresh cucumber, I attended a high-level klatch of senior officers discussing the completion of a merger. There was a lot still to do. Road shows in support of federally mandated divestitures. New signage. Branding nightmares. My job was to sit and not talk. I did that.
My boss, Maria, was there to receive wisdom and say yes to whatever Jack wanted. People still smoked at meetings, and she lit up immediately. And then, while the big necks issued orders, she lit up one smoke after another, extruding a huge, bilious cloud of condescension, weariness, and most of all unwillingness to be insincere in the presence of senior management. After she left to get started on all the stuff she had to do and they didn't, I remained to, you know, clean up my papers. Jack and I had a nice chat then. Forged the beginning of a relationship that carried me until the next chairman. Maria "retired" less than a year later. I took her job. She did all the work on that front, I think, by undermining herself so nicely.
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