From Brand Crisis to Post-Scandal Comebacks: Three Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Lance Armstrong

Learn how to undertake a successful personal and professional brand comeback.

2. Renew your platform by sharing painful lessons learned.

It may not be possible to move on from a scandal immediately, but you can utilize painful lessons to help others. Every tragedy has its purpose that extends further than the person(s) directly involved. Let your story serve as a cautionary tale, share lessons you have learned from the experience and deliver authenticity at every engagement.

There’s nothing worse than an arrogant, detached, clueless, and wholly unrepentant response to the public’s outcry for justice. You remember the BP oil spill, of course?

3. Embrace adversity and never allow short-term thinking to destroy your long-term value.

In the midst of the emotion and confusion of a brand crisis it is often easy to take steps you will regret later. Therefore, it’s essential to take a long-term view.

 “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

A devastating series of events has the potential to force clarity, responsibility and introspection into your personal and professional ethics.

A recent Wharton and University of Chicago study highlights how being behind is often an advantage. “Being significantly behind doesn’t help performance much – it’s the hope that springs from a slight disadvantage that spurs people and teams to greatness. Feedback helps improvement, as does acknowledging the situation,” according to a Freakonomics post.

Career coach Roy Cohen asserts that, “Career scandals can be devastating, but with humility and hard work, it is possible to get back on your feet.”

During the interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong stated, “I’d say, I understand your anger, your sense of betrayal,” Armstrong said. “You supported me forever through all this, and you believed. And I lied to you. And I’m sorry. I will spend, I will spend and be committed to spending as long as I have to to make amends.”

Ultimately, let your brand crisis and personal (or professional) failings serve as a cautionary tale, humbling lessons learned and most importantly a gauge to which you set a new standard for yourself and your business.

Post-scandal comebacks play a pivotal role in restoring public confidence. Furthermore, if history is any indicator, Armstrong’s transparency and public show of remorse could eventually appease his critics and set the stage for his future success. After all, that’s what the perfect comeback is all about right?

What practices should entrepreneurs and leaders engage in to stay humble and grounded — and prevent a brand crisis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.

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Photo: Lance Armstrong by Liz Kreutz and Graham Watson


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