Engaging, Participating, Interacting, Creating – Fulfillment, Leadership, Organization, Wisdom

Lessons from the Alexander Vinokourov and Astana: Reputation precedes performance but character outlasts the results

Posted by Herman Najoli on July 24, 2007

The cycling world was rocked today (again) by news that one of the most popular riders at the Tour de France has tested positive of banned substances. As a result of this, the entire team was asked to leave the Tour de France, with two key riders in the top ten who had great chances of winning the entire race. This particular rider, Alexandre Vinokourov, and the entire team had already built quit a reputation for themselves at this year’s tour. He won saturday’s time trial and Monday’s stage 15. The team was leading in the team standings. Sadly, all their hard work and reputation has amounted to nothing due to the doping discovery.

Reputation is simply what people think about a thing or person. Character is what the thing or person really is. When it comes to human performance therefore, character is the bedrock of achievement. Reputation is what precedes a person or thing while character is what outlasts the person or thing. Astana and Vinokourov had a great opportunity to stamp a positive mark on the Tour this year but instead they have left in disgrace. Had they focused on developing character more than reputation, things might have been very different now. Reputation changes but character does not. Reputation is like the shadow of a building. It moves in different directions throughout the day. Character on the other hand is like the building itself. It forever stays the same. 

Today, I’d like to encourage you to be more focused on your character rather than your reputation. Your character will outlast your reputation. 


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