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Learning From Tiger's Tantrum

April 9, 2012
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I’ve had the pleasure of attending The Masters on multiple occasions, and I can tell you firsthand that there is nothing like being in Augusta, GA on a warm day in April. Television doesn't begin to tell the story of how great this annual sporting event is - it’s a competition like no other. The Masters is truly amazing!

When role models like Tiger Woods step up to the tee box, people pay attention. His audience is global, and his brand is huge. And for his adoring fans, especially the kids who aspire to be a good golfer one day, watching his poor behavior this past week was… well,  just not what you want to see. Especially at The Masters. Woods showed us a side of himself that we’ve seen glimpses of in the past, but this time his emotions were totally out of control and got the best of him. He finally exploded with a temper tantrum that included cursing and tossing his clubs. But wait, there’s more. He put the icing on his performance by kicking his club after a shot on the 16th tee landed in the sand trap. Nice work, Tiger. We were all watching.

The media frenzy set high expectations that he would be a major contender in Augusta, and after he won at Bay Hill a couple of weeks ago, even Las Vegas odds were on Woods winning. Tiger was back after almost 2 ½ years without a PGA Tour victory. The whole world was watching as he stepped up to the 1st tee on Thursday – many of us hoping for a comeback. Fans - the same fans who've watched this great golfer own the sport for more than a decade - wanted to see a new, improved Woods this week in Augusta. For a decade he dominated most of the PGA golf tournaments he played in and everyone knew how great he was (including his opponents). He intimidated other golfers with his skill and track record, not to mention his legendary red and black Sunday attire. He was golf. Period.  

There are lots of people who were glad to see the close of that ugly chapter a couple of years ago. Now it looks like we are seeing a whole new chapter, and it’s not pretty. Leaders in business and sports will always have an audience watching and emulating their every move. Most of the time we don’t even notice, but they are watching. They want to learn from you, mimic your style, and deep down, many of them want to be like you! After all, you are a leader! 

Just make sure they don’t see you lose your temper, or kicking or throwing your golf clubs while you mouth expletives. They may choose to find a new role model.