Success Blinds

Success blinds, failure reveals.

Everyone is shocked, simply shocked, when highly successful people or organizations are revealed to be less than perfect. Even assholes or hellholes.

A friend told me: Success covers a lot of sins, but when success fades, it reveals like a receding tide.

It’s most common in people. Fading stars both in media and in business are revealed to be real jerks. Some are obvious from the start, some are revealed only as their fortunes fade. History with either burnish or dismantle their reputations with time.

Similar revelations also happen with organizations. When at the top of the game, people laud them as utopias. They appear on the “best places to work” lists. They seem to do no wrong.

But as their fortunes fade, out comes the truth. Stories flood out about abuse, mistreatment, or worse. Their culture was rotten but that was overlooked as the money rolled in.

With organizations and people, success blinds, failure reveals.