Well, we wonder if the real-life once powerful Jack Welch also recognizes, at least some of the time, that he isn't on his game. (Here is FORTUNE's Alan Sloan on that). Maybe the fear of that is what triggered his strange behavior last weekend and well into this week (think THE WALL STREET JOURNAL op-ed).
Both in fiction and in real life we have the painful theme of those who don't know when it's time to end being a public presence. There must be something so powerful about being in the spotlight that the spell can't be broken.