“GO ON BE A TIGER” proclaimed the tagline of Accenture - said to be the largest consulting firm in the world with more than 1,86,000 employees and branches in 52 countries, with 96 of the Fortune Global 100 companies as its clients. The advertising campaign was seen as a perfect fit between the celebrity (Woods) and the client (Accenture). Tiger Woods was known world over for his strength, mastery, discipline and relentless focus on winning – much similar to Accenture and its business performance. This was 2003. Last month the tagline took on a whole new meaning when the world came to know about Tiger Woods’ frolic with porn stars. On the night of 13th December 2009, Accenture become the first company to drop Tiger Woods from its multi million dollar endorsement deal. For a company that for years had built its whole advertising campaign around this one man – the move was a strong indicator of how Wood’s popularity had sunk.

Tiger Woods surely knows what it feels like to hit rock-bottom. From being a cynosure of all eyes, the perfect celebrity endorser has become a toxic taboo subject overnight. So has Woods outlived his utility for the brands which he endorses? Moreover, is it time to rethink the celebrity endorsement industry as a whole? Well, the correct answers to these questions are still not clear. What is clearly emerging however is the impermanence of it all. Someone whom the media (and the rest of the world) called the epitome of success was labeled a “loser” in a jiffy. Herein lies the secret of real success. As Winston Churchill once said “success in not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” The world will be watching Woods and how he continues after his fall.

The road to success is long and difficult, but if you are determined to succeed and if every part of your being longs for that, then there is no one who can stop you from succeeding. If you have the courage to follow your heart and know what you truly want to become, everything else becomes secondary and every step you take will bring you closer to success. However, with success come great responsibilities and with success also comes undisputed failure. A truly successful company or individual is one who knows how to manage his success and failures equally well. There is no law of nature that states that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Almost everybody faces a fall. But then success is what Nelson Mandela said: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” It is true for individuals, for corporations and even for kingdoms and empires.

Look at some of the greatest companies. Apart from their ‘greatness’ as a common denominator, they also have one more thing in common – each one of them have taken at least one tremendous fall at some point in time, but found a way to recover. Be it IBM, Disney, Boeing or Xerox, each of them have stumbled but have refused to give up. Each crisis has only taught them some new lessons in leadership.     Read More....

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