When news broke of Ann Curry's immiment replacement as co-host of NBC's Today show, Forbes asked me how she could preserve her personal brand after the "demotion." Given Curry's stellar career and solid reputation as a news reporter, not to mention her good standing at NBC, I don't think her career will suffer significantly. That is, if she departs gracefully and discreetly and draws as little attention as possible to the role change. When it comes to set-backs in the public eye, less is always more.
Curry's "failure" as a morning show host isn't something she should take personally; in fact, it might be for the best. Just as Katie Couric realized she was better suited to talk shows than the evening news when she left CBS, Curry should recognize that she has the opposite skill set. Failure is part of the game for risk-takers, and it's the risk-takers who achieve the greatest success. The most accomplished people are the ones who best understand their strengths and how to use them--a lesson they often learn from a loss. Steve Jobs, after all, was fired from Apple before he returned to make it the world's #1 brand. The day after Michael Bloomberg was let go as a partner of Salamon brothers, he started his own company.
Perhaps the best role model for Curry as she goes through this transition is Hillary Clinton. Losing the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama was a crushing defeat. Clinton was strategically reticent, though, and before we knew it, she was back as Secretary of State--a position that's probably ultimately a better fit for her talents. Like Clinton, Curry should neither burn bridges nor sell out for a lesser position. She has the talent, momentum, and connections to reinvigorate her already outstanding career.
Check out the full Forbes article here.
About the Author
Barbara Apple Sullivan is Managing Partner of Sullivan, a brand engagement firm she founded in 1990.
Barbara holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Follow Barbara on Twitter @bapplesullivan