This is a phrase used to describe the process by which a person is thought to be vastly superior to the rest of a group or society in general. This person can often be thought of as a person who is invincible, infallible or without fault. While the foundations for such a label may be real, the substance for such apparent greatness is generally misplaced and the real reasons are never known, either for the successful run or the apparent collapse.
Examples include sports people who go on long winning streaks, politicians who win many consecutive elections and business people who appear to have a Midas touch. The reasons for these good runs may be due to decisions made by the individual in question but may also be due to other uncontrollable factors, although the individual may be heaped in praise. This difficult situation requires the individual possessing a level of honesty by which they themselves are accountable for their actions and not reliant on external auditing.
The danger of course is when the artificial attributes which others create replace the inherent attributes which define you. Falling off the pedestal can then mean undesirable personal repercussions.
Once a person occupies the “pedestal”, it is certain that they will fall off. The manner of this falling is either initiated by the individual in question through disclosure of unknown facts or forced by external factors whereby they are painted in a negative (but probably fairer) light then what was originally thought.
The conclusion is to be aware of how other people perceive you (even if you are not 100% correct in your analysis), that way pedestalism can be avoided or at least managed through failure.