How did the second most powerful person in the world outsmart the most powerful person?

“You see, Frank, you might be the most powerful CEO in the world, but that means you aren’t the smartest.”

“Oh?  Enlighten me, please.” Said Frank, making sure his mic was off once they were offstage, and not bothering to hide his disdain for this banal conversation he was having with Cristina, the CEO of his lagging competitor.

“Because power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as the saying goes.  We don’t take our customers for granted, we don’t bribe regulators to win contracts or market share, we pay our taxes.  We will always remain second, but forever fight for first.”

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Cristina,” said Frank, smirking, “but that just sounds like sour grapes.  From someone who has lost.”

Frank turned and walked away, adjusting his cufflinks.

“Check the headlines, Frank.  We weren’t the ones investigated, you were. And look what they found…”

Frank stopped walking and stood with his back to Cristina.  They were alone, backstage now, as the conference continued after their terse keynotes.  Frank pulled his iPhone from his pocket and noticed thousands of notifications, tagging his company as well as #fraud, #corrupt and #criminal.  He scrolled quickly, absent-mindedly saying “Whatttt the…?”  Then, looked up to Cristina.  “How?”

“Second place has it’s benefits.”  Said Cristina, and walked away.