Indian 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.