Maxwell was having a hard time adjusting to his new job. The Chosen Ones were a lot more regimented than he'd expected, and it took a while for Maxwell to get used to being in charge again. It wasn't easy being so high up when you knew there was a good chance you might fall off the ladder at any moment. To make matters worse, Maxwell had to start smoking again after living a clean and healthy lifestyle for over twenty years.
Maxwell's first day ended with a nasty coughing fit. Nuke had a distinct chemical smell that stuck to his clothes and gave him a headache. He felt miserable, but he told Miss Planner he would give the drug a chance, so he kept smoking it. Eventually, Maxwell learned the truth about Nuke. The drug gave its users psychic abilities, and Maxwell developed the ability to sense the emotions of others. He could feel everyone's pain, even when they tried to hide it. He realized exactly how miserable his employees were and vowed to improve things.
The Chosen Ones were very insular, and most of Maxwell's staff didn't know what to make of the newcomer. His background made him an unusual candidate to join their ranks, and Maxwell knew his staff resented him for it. He talked to Miss Planner and she said he should try to work on building a relationship with them.
"You're a valuable asset. Prove that to your employees, and they'll start to warm up to you. Don't worry too much about results until later. First, get to know your people and let them know you care."
Maxwell listened to Miss Planner and worked hard to earn everyone's trust. He tried to get everyone in his staff working together to accomplish what needed to get done and made a point of spending time with each individual employee to build rapport. Maxwell desperately needed people on his side if his project was going to be successful. His efforts to build relationships with his employees paid off when he spoke to a young psychic named Line.
Line was a young man with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Line had been a Chosen One for years, but he hadn't really done anything to distinguish himself. He wasn't particularly talented, and he lacked discipline. He was dissatisfied with his life, and he wanted to change it. He was thinking about quitting the Chosen Ones.
One day, Maxwell took Line out for lunch and explained that he was hired to give the organization a fresh perspective and improve the way things ran. Line told Maxwell how unhappy he was with his career, but Maxwell tried to convince him to keep trying.
"Line, I know it seems like nothing's working out for you right now, but I'm here to fix all that. If you quit, you're just going to end up back in the same place you started. This is your opportunity to do something great. All you have to do is follow my advice. But I can't promise you anything if you don't believe in me."
"I want to believe you, Mr. Maxwell. I want to be successful. It just seems like everything's against me lately."
Maxwell smiled and gave Line a pat on the back.
"After I got arrested, my former mentor went on live TV and told everyone in the world that I deserved to die for what I did. The man who I sold my first startup to called me a rat in a suit. I was completely defeated, and I felt hopeless about ever getting back up."
"Yeah, I thought so, too. But I had a lot of time to think about it when I was locked up, and I realized that no matter how bad life gets, you always have options. You can choose to stay down or you can try again. That's the way I approach things now. I always try to find out what my options are, and if they're limited then I make the best of them."
"Hmmm. Maybe I need to get better at identifying what my choices are."
"Exactly. It's never too late to change your perspective. I'm glad you told me about your problems, Line. The other Chosen Ones don't understand how important it is to speak your mind."
Maxwell spent a lot of time talking to Line over the next few weeks and learned a lot about the Chosen Ones. He was surprised to find out that people in the organization were often promoted solely based on the strength of their psychic powers, and not their level of performance. Maxwell talked to Miss Planner and she explained that the system was designed to promote loyalty, not talent.
"Do you remember what I said when I interviewed you? Our organization is struggling right now because we lack the ability to innovate. This is a new era, and it's time to put the old ways behind us. I want to create a culture where the people with great ideas and abilities thrive, and I need people like you to prove your worth and demonstrate your value so we can grow and adapt to this changing world."
Maxwell was starting to see that the Chosen Ones were stuck in a rut, and he wanted to help them break free. He knew there was a lot of work to be done if they were going to succeed and get ahead of the pack.