Sometimes being remembered for standing out above the noise is not such a good thing.
Baseball great Bill Buckner died on Monday. Buckner had a long 22-season career in the Major Leagues, but he is known mainly for the error he made fielding a ball in the 1986 World series against the New York Mets–the error that cost the Boston Red Sox the championship.
Is it fair to judge Buckner strictly on that one error? Definitely not. But it’s human nature to base judgments on one or two shining moments–whether they represent success or failure.
How do you comeback from this kind of incident? Certainly doing your job well for years, as Buckner did, doesn’t work. Instead, you need to do something else as outstanding and public as the original incident–but something that bathes you in a positive light. And you need to take control of your own narrative, rather than letting the story control you.
Otherwise you risk becoming an ongoing icon for failure, like the poor skier whose image of a total wipeout appeared on television sets every week for years representing “the agony of defeat” as the lead in to ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Ouch.
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