It wasn't as if John Kerry and Mitt Romney showed up as Cicero or Lincoln on the stage, but their dominant performances in those first debates in 2004 and 2012 made Bush and Obama perform badly and lose track of what they wanted to say and who they were. Just like what happened to other golfers around Tiger Woods before 2009. Both Bush and Obama came back to perform better and ultimately win, but they had to reconstitute their strategy and debate presence so they didn't under perform.
The same happens in the market place where dominant brands make other brands make mistakes or be off their game. It happens in interviews on television by super star anchors or correspondents who can at times make normally star folks look off their game and slip up. Over and over in life, the "Tiger Woods Effect" takes place and winning is as much about star performance as it is about competitors falling behind and not playing to their normal level.
This is all an important dynamic to keep in mind as each of us is on the road to succeed in life. While playing at our best and practice is incredibly important, it is also crucial to not be intimidated by someone in the room. We need to clearly see each others as the flawed human beings we all are, and not lose sight of our own unique qualities and extraordinary abilities because we perceive someone else as "bigger". And this is as true in the market place, the political arena, as well as in the personal relationships in our own life. We should never allow someone else to make us lose track of who we are.
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