“Victory belongs to the most persevering” (Napoleon Bonaparte)
What would really interest me, if Napoleon coin this phrase before or after his invasion of Russia ended in a completed desaster and half a million french soldiers losing their life.
One should always be cautious with the egocentric and arrogant reflections of great man AND woman, in particular when they have just reached the climax of success, usually before they have to deal with the first strokes of fate. I don’t know if , on average, men are more prone to this. But there are also “successful woman” who think that they have to teach the whole world how to do it right. Usually it is just a matter of time before the house of cards start to deteriorate. Have a look to the short period of fame around the THERANOS company and its over-hyped founder Elizabeth Holmes. Still in 2014, Homes was profiled in Fortune and subsequently featured in Forbes as “the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world.” In reality, however, the company’s technology was dangerously flawed and produced erroneous results, although that did not stop Ms Holmes from launching a service that carried out tens of thousands of tests.
Read the story by John Carreyrou in the Financial Times and follow a reading at YouTube
And I think I should soon write about some fellow scientists I know myself, who were once placed on a pedestal, only to take a plunge. I would not say, however, that they experienced a sort of great misfortune. This might also happen, but usually people can recover. What is more characteristic is that people with an initial phase of success start to lose their own self-control, ignore warnings by others, and in particular in science they develop the attitude of “Fake it until you make it”. This way, they become so much convinced that they are destinies darlings, that whatever they do, it must be their next big victory.