Finally, after everyone had their say, it was quiet for a few seconds. I thought how Ali must have felt the moment he realized he had succeeded in letting George Foreman punch himself out. At that moment, Ali saw his opening and went for it.
But it was different for me. I wasn’t going to counterpunch and go for a knockout. Unlike Ali and Foreman, we were all in this together. Instead, I said I’d heard all of their points. But, I said, more importantly I had heard their passion for the Care Bears and it was a passion I also felt. I said I loved what the Care Bears represented and did for children worldwide and I promised to respect and honor that.
I could feel the room temperature warming.
I explained each half-hour episode of the Care Bears television series had two eleven-minute stories, making it impossible to service every single Care Bear in every story. But I said I had a grid on my office wall that had every Care Bear listed on it and that I would, over the series’ arc, strive to make sure each Care Bear was equally represented in episodes.
This seemed to please them. I closed by saying I would always welcome all of their notes, “but please just send one set of notes that you all agree upon.” They laughed and we bonded.
When we left the conference room and headed outside for the black Lincoln Town Car, Andy said, “You did good in there.” It was brief but high praise from a man I would come to admire and respect over the years.