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Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke is Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Ernst & Young and is a member of the firm’s Global Management Group and a member of its Americas Executive Board.

Arrogance defined

Tiger Woods' behavior would seem to suggest he is a celebrity trying to protect his personal brand -- it does not suggest he is a husband trying to protect his family. I hope I am wrong.

Stiff arming the public that has respected him, admired him, and granted him his celebrity status reveals something about his character. In a word, arrogance. He lacks an understanding that being the greatest golfer in the world is indeed about performance -- singular performance. But being a celebrity and a role model for people of all ages is a two-party contract. There must be a second party that respects and admires you enough to grant you the status of role model and celebrity. He had that. And he traded on that brand.

Going forward there may be many in that two-party contract who will walk away from him. Don't get me wrong, they will still watch him for the performer and competitor on the course that he is, and maybe that is why the brands that he endorses have decided to stand by him. But many will not respect his character and look to him as a role model. No amount of good deeds overcomes that, at least for now.

This circumstance isn't that different from so many others. It is just that Tiger presented such a different facade. And to hear it reported that "his behavior was well known" is even more tragic.

What I have found so interesting and stunning is that Tiger Woods doesn't seem to care. His stiff-arming behavior and his condescending written statement told me that he could care less about being a role model and seems only self-interested. A leader or a "CEO of Golf" would have engaged his public -- the fans and admirers who bought into the two-party contract -- acknowledged the facts and the depth of the issues, did a mea culpa, and asked with humility for understanding. We would have been saddened, but many would have eventually found understanding.

He did none of that. He made clear that he isn't a leader. He isn't the CEO of Golf. He is not a role model. He is simply one of the finest golfers in the world, albeit an arrogant one. I guess he's OK with that. And others will have to decide how they feel about it.

I heard a commentator say that once Tiger wins the Masters this all will be forgotten. I don't think so. At least not for by me. I am tired of seeing women humiliated and disrespected. Compare and contrast "Sully," the pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River. I saw him this weekend on a TV commercial for St Jude's, talking about their great work with cancer research. I donated.

By Beth A. Brooke

 |  December 7, 2009; 1:27 PM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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