Many executives have crashed and burned after many years of success. Many individuals have successfully spearheaded initiatives delegated to them only to find themselves out of a job.
This is a great article in HBR, by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky, that discusses how to survive "the high-stake risks you face whenever you try to lead an organization through difficult but necessary change. The risks during such times are especially high because change that truly transforms an organization, demands that people give up things they hold dear: daily habits, loyalties, ways of thinking. In return for these sacrifices, they may be offered nothing more than the possibility of a better future".
This kind of wrenching organizational transformation is called “adaptive change”.