Is it finally Time to Forgive Tiger Woods?

The final round of the 92nd PGA Championship is being played as I begin to write this. Tiger Woods started the day tied for 31st place. Unless you've been living under a rock you probably know more than you want to know about Tiger's fall from grace. We all learned about Tiger's personal life, his wife, his two children, and a succession of other women. We've watched his performance on the golf course. Clearly, right now, he isn't the player he once was. Frankly, given what he has gone through I'd be amazed if he were. So what does all this have to do with corporate recruitment and the human resources space? It turns out that there are some lessons to learn here. Let's see what we can take away from Tiger's experience that may benefit us personally and the organizations where we work.

How things appear is not necessarily how they really are.

Things certainly looked great for Tiger. Beautiful wife and children, crazy amounts of income, playing a game he loves at the highest level, and everything that anyone could want. But behind all that was another life. Now consider the people you work with and especially consider the leaders of the organization. You think you know those people but do you really? Sometimes things are revealed about the people you work with that shock you. Mostly things are not revealed but that doesn't mean they aren't still there. Consider if what you think you know is how things really are?

Things are going to go wrong. It's how you deal with it that counts.

We all mess up occasionally. Some of us mess up more often than others and some of us more spectacularly than others. Tiger messed up on the world stage and it has cost him personally, professionally, and financially. He said that he had gotten away from his spiritual roots and that he plans to return to them. Have you ever done something that you knew was completely wrong? What action did you take? Did you attempt to sweep it under the rug, forget that it happened, or just stop interacting with the people who knew what you did? None of that truly works. At some point you will have to make amends with all the people you affected. Or you could just quit your job and find somewhere else to work where they don't know what you did. How well does that work?

Personal Life is Personal Life

So what's next for Tiger appears to be to work on getting his game back in order. His personal life is again private and he isn't sharing anything about that. If Tiger worked in corporate America he could do more or less whatever he wanted to do in his personal time as long as it didn't affect his ability to perform at work. Let's say your CEO had a torrid affair with their assistant. I'm not making any judgments here but in many cases corporations fire the CEO and start looking for a new one. How about a line manager who goes out for too many drinks with their staff? They will probably be written up for that and told never to do that again or face being fired. In corporate America the way these types of situations are handled has a lot to do with avoiding potential litigation. There is a formalized process of verbal and written warnings. The PGA Tour, the organization of which Tiger is a member, has codes of conduct and they sometimes suspend or withdraw a player's right to play. Not really that different to the rest of corporate America.

To forgive is Wise

At some point it's just prudent or wise to forgive someone for their transgressions. The alternative is to, at best, continue to hold a grudge. At worst there is veiled or unveiled hostility. That isn't going to foster any kind of workable relationship. Many times there can be forgiveness but the parties involved separate and choose not to work or be together. Other times there can be forgiveness and the relationship can continue. Consider the case of the CEO's affair. If the CEO apologizes to their spouse, the other person involved in the affair, their staff, and everyone who was affected then isn't it possible to get back to work? Perhaps it was a one-time transgression and the CEO has learned their lesson? In Tiger's case it appears that his wife has chosen to end the relationship. That can happen too. In any case like this it's mostly up to the parties involved to work out what is best for them. Isn't it really all their own business?

By the way, Tiger finished tied for 28th place.

Views: 31

Tags: appear, forgive, life, personal, things, tiger, time, wise, woods, wrong

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on August 17, 2010 at 8:48am
Why did you waste time writing this, you could have called 5 more candidates for one of your clients....
Comment by Simon Meth on August 17, 2010 at 9:14am
Hi C. B., Since I don't know you I can't tell if you're joking or serious. If you're joking then maybe I get it. If you're serious then I think your comment is at best inappropriate in this forum. I considered just deleting your comment but that didn't seem the right thing to do. Please clarify. Thanks!
Comment by Martin H.Snyder on August 17, 2010 at 10:07am
"If Tiger worked in corporate America he could do more or less whatever he wanted to do in his personal time as long as it didn't affect his ability to perform at work"

Sure, as long as his blood, urine, credit record, driving record, and any political activities were in-line with expectations. Plus Wood's game was slipping before the bimbo eruptions. The problem was that his personal life was part of the product he was selling. Most non-famous people won't have that complication.

The real problem is even worse: his vaunted smarts and communication skills were proven to be hollow, and whats more, even worse in his choice of consorts, because he could have had women of quality, but he chose trash because he liked it, or needed it, or felt connected to it.

He has no style, no grace, no cool in the way he conducts himself anymore. He joined Mel Gibson on the freak parade, and that's why it's not a matter of forgiveness- I think he will just fade away - maybe try a comeback one day, but the career of Mike Tyson may be illustrative.....
Comment by Simon Meth on August 18, 2010 at 12:19am
Hi Martin, That was harsh! Sounds like you're not ready to forgive Tiger. Cheers! Simon
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on August 23, 2010 at 8:42am
Feel free to delete if you like. You asked for our thoughts and if they do not agree with yours that is the beauty of the USA.
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on August 23, 2010 at 8:43am
One more this,, the fact that only 2 people replied should tell you something, back to recruiting.
Comment by Simon Meth on August 23, 2010 at 10:47pm
Not sure that expressing that you think this blog was a waste of time is in the spirit of our community. However, I support your right to express your view. One thing I've learned in the years I've blogged is that the number of comments doesn't tell me anything. I can easily write something controversial such as "agency recruiters all are a waste of space" or "corporate recruiters don't know how to recruit" and get lots of comments. I could jump on the current band wagon and be sure that comments will follow. My choice is to blog about things that interest me. Sometimes I get comments and sometimes I don't. I often receive emails from readers saying that they appreciate my blogs, this particular one included. Cheers!
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on August 25, 2010 at 1:06pm
I just think that writing about tiger woods on a recruiting site is kind of funny. I come here to learn. The blog was interesting but to me i do not think I want to give tiger and more time. The guy was dumb....why get married if you want to play.....

Keep blogging i may like the next one...
Comment by Simon Meth on August 26, 2010 at 7:52am
Great C. B.! I look forward to your comments on future blogs. Cheers!

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