If you ever occupy a figurehead position for an organization, you will find yourself being judged unfairly for things that are outside the scope of your direct and even indirect control. Sometimes this unfairness will harm your general reputation. If you are an operating officer at Alcoa, you will often be criticized for things that are endemic to the slumping global business model which you cannot singlehandedly change. And sometimes the unfairness will help your general reputation. If you are the head of a sales department at Nike, you will be praised for lofty growth that really got set in motion by the marketing decisions of past generations that did things like hire Michael Jordan to build up the brand–your main contribution was not messing it up.
These patterns are even clearer in sports, where pitchers, quarterbacks, goalies, and coaches receive disproportionate praise during the good times and disproportionate blame … Read the rest of this article!