Even in America, the land of constant comebacks, the odds are against Richard Nanula's return to business leadership. Recently his golden boy status abruptly ended, reports Patricia Sellers in CNN MONEY, when his side career in porn was outed. Among his extracurricular activities was posting explicit photos of himself on thedirty.com. His last job was with private equity fund Colony Capital. Previously he had been a leader at Walt Disney, Starwood, and Amgen.
This saga of crashing is so familiar that one wonders if wise winners should make it their business to maintan a low profile. In my line of work - ghostwriters/speechwriters - there seems to be a correlation between sustained success and the lack of a mainstream brandname. The DNA of the winners in executive communications seems to be programmed not to blossom. We move from job to job or assignment to assignment without becoming golden.
Had Nanula been invisible in his career the internal forces inside him might not have ever bubbled up to provide the momentum for bizarre activities. He could have discouraged media coverage, deflecting attention to the company or his team. He could have made his work the focus, not himself.
Once the term "golden" is applied to a business leader, there seems to emerge a kind of Greek Chorus warning about hubris. That's just the way it is. Low profile might become the new strategy for ensuring one's own and one's organization's success.