Then he retired. Now, his primary identity in the media is that of Santa Claus.
That's because of his signature beard. And, he's not happy about that. David Letterman wants to return to being David Letterman.
In this speech he recounts the pain of not being recognized at a state dinner at the White House. In short, retirement chewed through, then spit out his self-esteem.
President Obama hasn't even retired yet from his current job. But just because it looms on the horizon he's a lame duck. Less and less he is taken seriously. Retirement is how personal branding gets disappeared.
The only way the Lettermans and Obamas of the world can become entities again is to rebrand.
Letterman can become a serious thought leader on the psychological impacts of retirement and how to reduce them.
Obama can become an organizer to halt the current push toward protectionism. Incidentally, in his speech at the New York Stern School of Business, GE head Jeff Immelt showed how to maintain a global imprint while going local. His stance is anti-protectionistic. Obama and Immelt can join forces on that campaign.
On my syndicated blog Over-50, I provide tips on how not to come across as "old." Once we are perceived as "old," the dynamic goes into play to force us to, well, retire. Retirement is not the space we want to be in.
Please contact Jane Genova (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a complimentary consultation on presenting yourself as an influential player in your professional niche. No pressure.