A man shoots his girlfriend multiple times. He doesn’t immediately call an ambulance or the police, and he later claims it was accident. Oh, and there are allegations of previous domestic abuse.

This sounds like a sadly very familiar tale. Except the man is Oscar Pistorius, so everyone is shocked.

We need to be wary of the hero’s narrative.

I have no idea what happened that night. What I do know is that all the talking heads talking about how “out of character” this is are mistaking the athlete’s tale for the flesh-and-blood man.

Oscar Pistorius, blade runner, is an awesome story. I’d followed his fight to race in the Olympics for years.  But I don’t pretend to know anything about the man.

We need to stop turning men into myths.

All the branding in the world is only as good as the product at its core. Just ask BP, company of the green sun logo, the “beyond petroleum” tagline, and the giant oil spill.

Without a solid foundation, cracks become chasms–and no amount of marketing and PR is going to patch your business back up.

What’s your brand? Is it based on who you are or just a story you are selling?

Photo by The Photography Muse (Flickr).