Not that Tiger Woods needs any more pressure or criticism, but I want to take a moment of reflection. There’s something I think I can learn from this rather disappointing glimpse of a darker side of Tiger’s life. And that’s where I want to start. One of my heroes has fallen. I took a bit of pride in the fact that Tiger was such an accomplished golfer and a consistently upright citizen who displayed gentlemanly self-control. I have to say I have experienced a rather dampening disappointment. Not Tiger! If Tiger has fallen then who can possibly stand?
So this brings me to the lesson I can learn. The higher I go in success and leadership the more weight of responsibility I have for my personal life and integrity! It is not just about my choices for me, but my success leads me to a level of influence that makes me responsible to many others for my choices, even in my private life. No, they may not be paying my salary. No, they won’t vote me on or off of a board. But they have entrusted me with the power to influence how they live their lives! I can lead them onto a higher standard of self-control and kindness through my lifestyle, conversations, and consistency; or I can lead them down a road of skepticism, self-centeredness, or compromise through my own private choices. I do have a choice to utilize my freedoms, no question. But at a higher level my choices have to take into consideration those I influence, those who have come to honor and respect me.
While Tiger attempted to keep his private life and choices secret, his darker side was exposed in the end. There really is no separation of private and public at any level. I write rather soberly as I consider the weight of responsibility I have in my daily choices. May I live a life worthy of my Father and a life worthy of those I influence.