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ignored, threaten to leave, and in the final analysis, if the counsel is continually rejected, quit. No one around Tiger Woods did him any favours by allowing his adolescent in- dulgence to ruin his life. Powerful people get to where they are by making choic- es that are risky. They are the people who write their own stories. A powerful leader doesn’t inspire people because they take the middle road, a successful businessperson doesn’t attain success because they only play it safe and the wealthiest athlete in the world didn’t get that way without taking risks. People who rise to prominence usually do so because they take big risks, play big stakes and win. It can become addictive. And the risk taking can move from the golf course or the boardroom to the motel bedroom. “Easy for you to say!”, the agent/lawyer/consultant/ staffer who gets much of his or her income from one, or a few, high-maintenance, self-indulgent clients, might pro- test. “Playing parent with my client will just get me fired.” To which one can only ask, “Who would every place their reputation in the hands of the people who turned Tiger Woods from the billion-dollar man to a late-night punchline?” Of course, there is a very real potential of souring pro- fessional relationships and losing friends when you shout “Stop!” But the price of doing nothing can be not only the destruction of star at the centre of the crisis but the reputation of all of those who stood silent and blind when it could have been prevented. For those advisors who are concerned that their advice

isn’t being heeded there is another option. As Accenture, Gatorade and Gillette have learned, Tiger wasn’t the only victim of his own mismanagement. Sponsors, party lead- ership or boards of directors have vested interests in the success of certain individuals. If clear warnings and threats from a close advisor don’t work, use some other avail- able leverage. This does not tattling to a sponsor or spouse. Rather, it means reminding the self-destructive athlete, politician or business leader that others have a lot invested in them and that he will inflict pain, reputational damage and often huge financial penalties across a wide swath of friends and supporters. Even in the improbable circumstance that Tiger was that unique philanderer whose nighttime gambols were genuine secrets, his advisers should have prepared a ‘stan- dard’ crisis management response, the kind used by ev- ery major corporation for natural disasters, kidnappings, sudden death, etc. Assembling teams and all their contact data, sketching key messages, setting notification priori- ties, assigning responsibilities for internal communications and public spokespersons, creating a phone tree for fol- lowup and feedback, establishing monitoring systems, etc. are all part of this plan. You can buy manuals on Amazon for $4.95 that would have guided a less ham-fisted crisis management than that Tiger Woods suffered. Clausewitz’s ‘fog of war’ has a civil parallel, it’s ‘the fog of crisis.’ Crisis, like war (or even a game of golf), always has intangibles,

12 Politics | Canadian Edition

but you still plan and prepare. Crisis preparation for as high profile a target as Tiger

Woods should have been far less plain vanilla. It is hard to think of a single risk one should not have prepared for, given his iconic status: blackmail, impersonation, kidnap- ping, extortion, threats to family, etc. And all of those are before one gets to the conventional celebrity management challenges of sex, drugs, and alcohol. It would not have been complicated to repurpose a blackmail crisis plan, to an “infidelity crisis plan”; key messages need to be adapted to the particulars of a circumstance, media needs to be contacted and a message needs to be delivered, most im- portantly the story needs to be addressed confidently. There are only two conclusions as to why his team

permitted such an avoidable crisis as this to explode: they did not prepare, and/or Tiger refused to listen to their warnings. His behaviour after the explosion was so un- professional, that it is tempting to believe that his advisers were simply ignored. When he first responded, two days late, he addressed the wrong issues. He admitted nothing, apologized to no one, thanked his wife for getting him out of the car [!] and then demanded privacy. Two weeks later, he released a statement admitting marital infidelity, apologizing publicly and announcing he was putting his career on hold. Allowing the media frenzy to continue for weeks with no input or direction from him probably per- manently damaged his career for no good reason. Finally in February 2010 Tiger delivered his most widely ranging apology, and stated that he would return to golf. It was the first good first step after his 3 month descent into infamy. When Gordon Campbell was caught he admitted ev-

erything almost immediately, apologized publically and moved on with the business of governing British Columbia. Campbell was operating in the same 24-hour news cycle that Woods was. By addressing the issue head-on he insured that his story filled the media space rather than ceding col- umn inches to speculation and hearsay. His quick action eliminated uncertainty, a key factor in any crisis. Mark San- ford, on the other hand, lied, admitted to his affair only in the face of evidence, tried to hide details about who paid for trips to Argentina, and ended his career. It is important to remember that even from a serious cri-

sis, recovery is often possible. A crisis can feel like a free fall. The temptation is to give up fighting. Tiger’s crisis was his own creation but the provocative nature of his behaviour in the final months of his spiral might lead one to conclude that the disaster was in part deliberate. Those are issues for his therapist. Professional career managers and communica- tions consultants know that whatever the driver, no matter how awful the story, recovery is almost always worth the effort. Premiers Campbell and Levesque were not defined by their crises. They managed them and got back to the business of leading their provinces. A key element in those successes was their early return to doing those things which made them successful public figures in the first place. Tiger Woods, like most athletes, is popular because he is Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69
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