The pursuit of popularity is futile. If you set out with the sole purpose of becoming popular, whatever that takes, you’ll disappoint yourself, for sure — either by failing to get there or by hating the person you had to become. If you win by not being who you are, get ready for a lonely life as the most popular fraud in the room. It must take unbearable vigilance to pretend every day. That’s not power, that’s prison.

It used to be that evidence of the action preceded the identity of the individual. We first watched sports, saw buildings go up, saw the products of effort and the results of actions that defined and separated the winning teams, strategies and companies, then we made choices. How was that new Lions player that scored the two tries in the dying minutes of the game?! What’s-his-name — they’ll come looking for him soon enough...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now