During a press conference, soccer super star Ronaldo visibly put aside two bottles of Coca-Cola-one of the main sponsors of the soccer event-and replaced them with water bottles.
Many in the press reported a Coca-Cola stock price decline as a result of this action.
As it turns out, the stock price decline was driven by normal market movements because of dividend payments.
This episode tells us two things:
First, we see what we believe, not the other way around: Humans only acknowledge data and recognize patterns which confirm their worldview. Actively seeking out different perspectives is therefore essential in high-performance decision making. This avoids breathing your own exhaust fumes.
Second, it’s very risky to attach your brand and reputation to a contemporary idea, movement, or person. You simply lose control if the idea becomes controversial, the movement becomes a racket, or the person becomes toxic.
Think of Jared Fogle, the former prominent spokesman for Subway, who is now in prison serving a 13 year sentence because of criminal activities. He has done significant damage to the Subway brand.
Your beliefs and associations determine your future. Choose them wisely.