Management lessons from recent headlines on Tiger Woods

I think the recent brouhaha on Tiger Woods’ private matters is a good test of leadership and management for sponsors and organisations involved with the Tiger Woods franchise. Indeed this is a good test of society’s celebrity culture and its many shortcomings. I was going to ignore all the noise, but I felt a short take on leadership and management lessons can be drawn from it.

Whatever might or might not have happened, the point here is that the involved managers should be asking themselves one simple question: did we hire Tiger Woods for his mastery of private affairs and gossip control, or did we hire him for his legendary golfing abilities? If the answer is the former, then by all means you have a case to sack him. If the answer is the latter, and that you’re concerned about the potential impact on your brand then clearly you haven’t done your homework.

If Tiger Woods’ brand is such an equity for a business, why aren’t such business around when Tiger’s brand comes under attack and needs support? This might not be a standard practice, but that would have been a show of good team stewardship. That’s the point I want to make here: people put up a team for a mission, but they are not around when team members need support.

So what is the management lesson take away from this saga?

Anything that contribute to your business should concern you all the time. This means that you should take care of it throughout, not simply leave things to chance and expect to milk rewards.

How does this apply to Enterprise Architecture?

It is more to do with leadership and team stewardship. When you lead a team, it is also your duty to support and protect your team members. In Enterprise Architecture endeavours, this amounts to embracing other (non-technical) stakeholders success as one’s own. If and when you do that, you increase the odds of successful outcome for everybody. If however, you only consider ensuring that there would be no flaws on your personal outputs, that might not be enough and you could be letting everybody (including yourself) down.

This will be an interesting test, we will see what happens in the end. If the big sponsors start deserting Woods because of his recent alleged personal problems, everyone could draw his/her own conclusions. I read a non-sense that Woods attacking celebrity culture was misguided as apparently they made him. I think that’s untrue. What made Tiger is his golfing prowess, many took advantage of it as they saw fit. Now some are eagerly calling for his head, I suspect because it sells their paper. No wonder some form of papers are under pressure with the advent of social media, if they can’t communicate properly then nobody would be listening. It is that simple. Like Peter Drucker put it, it’s the challenge of getting communication out of information.

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