Tag Archives: Ambition

Does phenomenal rise invariably rings in pathetic fall in max. of 4 years?

abcIndian iconic industrialist Ratan Tata retired at the age of 75 years from chairmanship of Tata group and appointed 46 years old Cyprus Mistry as his successor. This was indeed phenomenal rise of young Mistry. But recently, 4 years later, Cyprus Mistry has been sacked from chairmanship of the group for several reasons, one of the main being allegedly not following ethos of the group.

Is the fall of Cyprus Mistry attributable to his young age, inexperience or being a non-conformist?

John F. Kennedy rode to climax of his popularity and became US president at young age of about 44 years. But, less than 3 years later he was assassinated. Dark patches in his private life and assassination still remain a mystery. Bill Clinton became US president at the age of 46 years and rose to the crest of his popular appeal in about 4 years’ time and got reelected; but within 2 years thereafter, he was impeached by house of US representatives for a sex scandal. Barack Obama came to power as President at the age of 47 years and he seems to have sailed thru choppy waters during his 2 terms totaling 8 years but did not do anything phenomenal. Now, Donald Trump, despite a trail of scandals, has risen to peak of his popularity and been elected as US president at the age of 70 years. It remains to be seen how long he is able to sustain this peak.

Phenomenal boom of dot-com companies occurred in 1995 and lasted 4 years. Dot-com bubble started to bust from 1999 and it collapsed completely by 2001. US housing bubble peaked in 2004 and it busted in year 2007/2008, shattering financial markets worldwide. Iconic PC manufacturer Dell Inc. saw peak of its performance during period 1999 to 2003. From year 2004, Dell Inc. started its downward journey.

Do the above examples suggest that a rise, if phenomenal, has a limited period – perhaps a maximum of 4 years and then pathetic fall invariably follows?Non-conformist,

4 stages of phenomenal rise

Be it an individual, industry or institution, generally there are 4 stages of evolution of an exponential rise:

  1. Revolutionary idea or step
    It starts with a dramatically different but decent idea or step (like appointing or electing a very young person as leader) to address a formidable situation, crisis or an ambition.
    This can see a radical change at the top level in an organization, business model, product mix or disrupting existing practice/s.
    This stage brings lot of hopes and optimism at individual or collective level.
  2. Raising pitch
    In order to take all stake holders, customers or public in general together, an euphoria is generated by proponent/s of stage 1. Giving new vision, nice slogan/s or high sales pitches are very normal at this stage to sway the opinion of people.
  3. Razing partly or fully the old order
    Soon, realization comes that some or whole part of existing system is a stumbling block to implementation of stage 1 and only option is to dislodge it partly or fully.
    This is the stage that brings more pains than pleasure and gives birth to bête noire. Legacies and old ethos have to be bypassed.
  4. Rise
    Original idea now starts to show results. This stage also sows the seeds of greed for growth; but no one likes to look back until a climax comes.

Phenomenal rise would always prove to be premature!

Very idea of phenomenal rise is fraught with possibilities of pathetic fall.

At no stage of such speedy rise, there is enough time to broaden the base and strengthen qualities or support structure.

When you drive for height, you lose breadth in proportion. If you are young, you have energy but lack experience; you may be tough in your targets but slip on tenacity; you have to manage conflicts but with missing maturity.

During upwards journey, you are oblivious of fact that velocity and virtues, quantity and quality are mutually exclusive.

Sharp rise is only a short cut to growth and works for a short time – may be a max. of 4 years.

So, put your faith in something steady and solid in forward direction.

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Why most Leaders and Legends fall!

Today, we need to ask and answer 2 questions:

  1. Is it a nature’s law that leaders and legends would fall in any case?
  2. If one has to fall in any case, is it worth going up the ladder of leadership and legendary?

It is a stark reality that what goes up, comes down; excellence brings adversity; when going is good, greed would take the grip and so on! There are countless examples in your home, neighborhood, company and countries world over. Some famous examples for the fall are musical genius Michael Jackson, soccer supremo Diego Maradona, cyclist legend Lance Armstrong, Citibank’s CEO until recently & leader Vikram Pandit and so on.

What drives you up and what drags you down

There are remarkable characteristics of individuals, which make them different, distinct and dazzle; help them to ascend to great height and status. However, during such upward journey, a stage comes when these very characteristics reach extreme end of their scale, put them in retrograde mode and reverse the direction of their rise!

See below some of such characteristics, which are cause of rise as well as fall!

  1. UpTalent & Traits –> Confidence –> Achievements –> High confidence –>
    Down – Over confidence –> Arrogance
  2. UpFocus –> Attention to details –> Good results –> Fervor –>
    Down – Finicky –> Fanaticism
  3. UpEmpathy –> People friendly –> Popularity –>
    Down – Excessively extrovert –> People weakness & vulnerability
  4. UpPassion –> Ambition –> Accomplishments –> Raising bar –> Perfection –>
    Down – Impatience –> Toxic
  5. UpInspiration –> Success –> Aspiration –> Appetite for more success –>
    DownGreed becoming greater than God!
  6. UpIdeals –> Credibility –> Creating impact –> Transforming into Idol –>
    Down – Image blues –> Maneuver or Manipulation –> Malice

Above clearly shows how the very qualities, which are highly admirable, can turn into adversity. You can now relate how several Celebrities and Charismatic personalities climbed up in their performance and popularity, and then came down.

Above also unveils an important fact – every characteristic or quality has a range from “plus” to “minus” and is like Inverse V. Its apex is the climax of positive part of a characteristic. On one arm of this V, degree of positivity of given quality increases on way up to the apex point and on 2nd arm, negativity increases on its way down! It is also very interesting that each journey, way up or down, is One Way Road!! That means you cannot come down from the road you climbed up!!!

Is the Fall inevitable?

No, it is not; but at apex, it is highly imminent, unless you play it very cautiously. Normally, people get hooked on to success, popularity, performance, publicity or power at climax and they refuse to see the reality of vulnerability! This is the precise reason of their getting pulled down.

Best choices available:

  • Quit at Climax gracefully.
  • Allow and accept a climb down to a certain point, which would preserve your credibility and courage. Swing between this level and apex.
    This happens to many successful people and organizations unconsciously. They race to the top, only to lose later to lower positions and then again race to top thru new strategies or renewed strengths!
  • Stay at climax consciously and carefully, discover another peak and start to race up higher. This is a tough option; but not impossible.

Is it worth going-up, only to come down?

In this question are important lessons to learn!

  • If you remain static or stagnant, you are sure to degenerate or degrade. So, without you having to do anything, you are surely going to go down.
    If you are complacent or comfortable wherever you are, then at one stage you would start to get hurt, when your peers, neighbors or bête noires start to go past you in status or position.
  • As time passes, you would always need more resources. Remaining dormant would only damage your sleep and security.
  • Life is lively and worth living, only when you crave and craft for “Change n Challenge”!

Therefore, do not be under any illusion that nature would allow you to remain stagnant in true sense – either you can go up or go down!!

Going-up is a Glory and consciously quitting or coming down is a Grace!!!

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