Merry Christmas from Florida!!!

Just a quick note on Christmas Day to wish all our family, friends, colleagues, clients and everyone a stress-free, enjoyable and fulfilling Christmas from sunny (well not exactly today, but hey that's okay) Florida!! For the first time in my life I celebrated the Big Day by taking a dip in an OUTSIDE pool. Just to do it, right?

Then what do I get Blackberried to me, but an 'ice storm' warning for Ottawa on Boxing Day. Was my immediate reaction, 'oh no, isn't that terrible?! Uh....no not really I confess. I had that certain Schadenfreuden feeling about it. But now I'm over that, and I do feel badly for anybody caught in it - especially since the famous Ice Storm of ten years ago still clings to my memory....long after the images of me trying to warm a cup of coffee in our sun room on a tiny camping stove thingy have drifted away, thankfully.

Anyway, no more Tiger...let's leave him in peace and hopefully he finds it. No more partisan slashing and burning on the political landscape (although that is so not going to happen).

So last night we went to St. Anthony of Padua Church  in a small town, San Antonio, nearby where they had a beautiful Midnight Mass at  at 10 pm (my favorite kind of midnight). But on the way home we stopped into St. Leo's Benedictine Church and attended the first half of the real midnight service with beautiful choral singing from the monks and a packed, amazing church. So that was a great way to kick start Christmas in the Clark Gris- uh McLoughlin household.

I hope your Christmas is beautiful!


Tiger does the right thing...at last!

We're getting nearer to Christmas and....I've actually bought a few gifts! I'm shocked at myself as I usually begin around noon on Christmas Eve. But as you can see by this Ottawa Citizen story today, Laura and I have at least got the house decorated:

Doing the Right Thing.....Finally

Well here I am back blogging about Tiger's crisis management efforts. However when somebody finally does the right thing (in response to having done the wrong thing) it's worthy of comment.

Earlier today, Tiger announced he is leaving the tour indefinitely to concentrate on getting his personal life together. Now where did I hear that advice before? Oh yeah...in my previous blog below this post.

Now I'm sure that's just a coincidence right? Although everyone fired off opinions on camera and in the blogosphere from the moment the story came out, strangely not one of them mentioned this possibility - at least that I could find.

Why do people have to keep learning the same (crisis management lessons) over and over again?

1. Part of the reason is that people tend to think only inside the box.
2.They rely also on old bromides to guide them in their thinking: "it's nobody's business"; "just go back to playing golf" blah blah.
3. Quite a number of so-called crisis management specialists and media consultants were filling the airwaves with sadly ludicrous advice that was definitely not objective. When a crisis happens, the crisis advisor must be the most objective person in the room.
4. A lot of people (especially the truly gifted in my experience) tend to think that the rules don't apply to them. That, of course, is why they got into trouble in the first place.

Check out his message below. It had the right tone of humility, vocabulary (he moved from 'transgressions' to 'infidelity') and his apology seemed very real:


How did this compare to my suggested message? You be the judge (see below)

Tiger finally has good advisors or perhaps he's now listening to them. They are now giving him realistic and solid advice. In this media circus, if he tries to go on with business as usual it would be total, frenzied chaos. No one - not even a man of such prodigious talents as Tiger - could honestly concentrate at the level required to be at the top of his game. All the mistresses will have used up their fifteen minutes of fame, while he takes the time to put his personal house in order.

Forgiveness and Redemption

Tiger, you did wrong and you have admitted it - without equivocation or excuse. You are a flawed human being. We all are.

Everyone who has done wrong should be given a chance to change his heart, make things right as much as possible, and should be forgiven. Through that process can come redemption. Here's hoping you find it.


Recovering from a Crisis

Welcome back!
Well here I am in St. John's Newfoundland. A truly beautiful city by the sea with some of the warmest and most generous people I know. Laura and I are here to do a seminar. We arrived just on the tail of the first major snowstorm of the winter and head back tomorrow night into the eye of the storm in Ottawa.

Of course we are saturated with the Tiger Woods 24 hour 'all-news-all-the-time' world. You think the Copenhagen Summit is important? That Afghanistan troop levels matter? That governments are up to their eye-balls in debt? What are you crazy? Didn't you hear? Tiger's a 'cheetah' and that's the biggest story of the year, right? Time Magazine will probably name him Man of the Year. However, as we know, "news" is not necessarily what's 'important' but what's 'urgent'. If it happens to athletes and celebrities; if you throw in sex and strange 'accidents' you have the perfect brew!

The way Tiger has handled it was obviously not the right way - it was begrudging, vague, and too little, too late to get into the driver's seat (no pun intended). So what should he do and say now that: (i) the mistress count is at nine and growing; (ii) his mother-in-law had to be taken to the hospital in the middle of the night, (iii) his long-suffering wife has likely already left him, (iv) the police suspect he had over-dosed on prescription medications. The spiral downward is picking up momentum.

Tiger Needs to Take Hold of this Situation

The two key questions that one is asked in managing a crisis are: 'what do we do and what do we say'?

Let's start with what he should do

1. Announce that he is taking a long leave of absence to focus on his family and marital troubles. This will serve to cool out the situation and build anticipation of his re-entry - refreshed and rarin' to go.
2. After about three months (in time for the Masters) he should return to his game with some semblance of stability in his personal life. If it's to be a divorce, then so be it. Uncertainty is what will kill him.
3. Find an opportunity before he returns to do a television interview with a respected broadcaster. Perhaps Matt Lauer? Anderson Cooper? Oprah?  Diane Sawyer? Larry King? In the interview, he answers as many questions as he can to clear the air. Then he does what he does best -  by getting back to work.
4. Once he returns he has to pick up where he left off, and win tournaments. When he does, his sponsors will be relieved and the controversy will fade into the background.

What should he say?
"I am deeply sorry for the pain I caused my wife and my family. This was entirely my fault, and there are no excuses or explanations to justify what I did. My wife is a wonderful person, and a great mother.
I don't blame her for leaving. She had to do what she thought was right. I hope that one day I can make this right and have my children proud of their dad.

I want to reiterate my apology to you, my fans. Your words of support have helped me more than you can know. I know I have let you down and I will do my best to make up for this by redoubling my efforts on the golf course and to live my life in a way that can justify your faith in me.

Finally I just want to say a few words to the many young people here and around the world who have looked up to me as a role model. I have always felt honored by that and I am sorry that I have not lived up to that. I do not want you to repeat my mistakes. I have learned some very important lessons in this terrible situation.  The most important lesson is to be true to your values. I wasn't always true to mine and I deeply regret that."

Tiger has to remember that even though things look bleak, almost all of these situations are ultimately recoverable. But he must move boldly now, if he wants to recover from this personal crisis.

Until next time, let's all drop the stones and get back to our glass houses.