A Tale of Two Bottles

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.

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