A while back, Donald Trump became the 2,327th person to get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Almost before the glue dried, but then his TV show was rather abruptly cancelled. Somebody at NBC called and said: “You’re Fired.”
Tom Monaghan once said he went from the World’s Wonder Boy to the Village Idiot almost overnight. Personally, I’ve never actually been fired, but there are plenty of times when I should be, but if I fire me, there’ll be nobody to do the work. I know what ignominy is. I’ve been in bankruptcy court, I’ve been thrown out of a trade association, I’ve been served divorce papers.
At some point, usually more than once, everybody who’s doing much of anything gets their teeth kicked in. Goes from being the most popular king to the outcast nobody admits knowing. Has a series of really, really, really bad days. Fortunes turn.
Michael Eisener led a renaissance at Disney and was then driven from the kingdom. He’s far from the first or last CEO to have that experience.
There’s little of interest in any of these many fall-from-grace stories, although the public and the press take so much delight in the embarrassing crashes off pedestals you can almost hear a collective snarling and chewing of bones.
Most of the fall from grace stories are maudlin and representative of remarkable stupidity and smallness and arrogance or greed or absence of control, and poking around in all that only leads to a need to shower.
What’s interesting and instructive is those who are unabashed, who are quickly resilient, who achieve redemption, who have a greater and grander next act. From those people, there are philosophical, attitudinal and methodical, operational object lessons. A comeback story is infinitely more instructive than a success story.
Over the long haul, this ‘resiliency’ may be the single most important of all personal characteristics.
How well you can take a punch.
How quickly you can recover.
How you can weather storms of criticism or humiliation. How adept you are at reinvention.
If you want to cultivate a characteristic, this is the one. And one way to do so is with the little stuff. The day to day.
A lot of people are easily de-railed. Easily put into a funk lasting hours or even days.
Easily compromise or sacrifice their agenda. The breeze from a missed punch is sufficient to send them to the canvas. They wonder why they don’t get a lot more accomplished. It’s their glass jaw.