How the Mighty Have Fallen

How many times have I said it's better to stay humble than haughty?

As if you needed any reminders, consider these four:





They were once market darlings. Stocks you had to own. Led by executives you just had to admire. The companies were great. The guys who ran them were greater still.

And don't you think those guys knew it. Many were as cocky as their press clippings were praising.

But a word to the wise, keep your feet on the ground and your head out of your...

I digress.

Now each and all are hurting.

Once Lucent could do no wrong. Now it's having trouble meeting drastically reduced sales estimates.

Once Nokia was the standard for 21st century telecom. Now it's almost the laughing stock.

Once Worldcom's Bernie Ebbers was the corporate cowboy who could lasso in anyone. Now he's the one getting lassoed.

And once Joe Nacchio's Qwest Communications was the player in the post AT&T world. Now it's looking like old Qwest might not be long for this world.

So, what happened?

Well, lots of stuff. Stuff some of these CEOs could control. Other stuff they couldn't.

Some have come and gone. Replacements who themselves were replaced.

Reminders, as if we needed them, that life is fickle. Fame, even more so.

That's why it's good to enjoy the good times, but wise not to gloat over them.

Good times have a way of changing. People's memories over how you handled them do not.

What do you think?  Send your comments to:

Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.