• Imagine going on a business trip and when you return, a new guy is sitting at your desk. Imagine being the prime minister of Thailand.

    He leaves the country on his own business trip to the U.S. and finds out his capitol's been taken over — likely a military coup, although we still don't know who's leading the charge.

    What we do know is it's happened before — in countries, in companies, in life.

    The cat's away, the mice play — sometimes with guns, more often with cunning. And always because the people doing the taking over suspect the guy they're taking over is out to lunch, never mind out of the country.

    And usually they're right. He "is" out to lunch. He assumes all is fine and all are happy. Coups happen in environments where all "are not" happy.

    Carly Fiorina thought her Hewlett Packard board was patient. It was, until it fired her. She was surprised. Then, she was gone.

    Word to the wise: Think like Ted Baxter.

    Remember the "Mary Tyler Moore" episode when pressure was building on old Ted to take a vacation, because he never did?

    Then boom, the one time he does, the biggest thing he feared happened: the guy who was doing his job "got" his job.

    Life, of course, isn't a situation comedy. Sadly, it just plays out that way for people who never saw the signs and just laughed and those who did and just pounced.

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