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Marty Linsky
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Marty Linsky

Co-founder of the leadership-focused consulting firm, Cambridge Leadership Associates, Marty Linsky teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School, co-authors the advice column, Leadership House Call and blogs at Linsky on Leadership .

Caddying for us

Under great stress, Tiger Woods, not surprisingly but disappointingly, chose to try to protecting himself rather than the game of golf, which has given him so much personally to protect.

Golf is distinctive as the only sport in which players are expected to call penalties on themselves. The purpose of that norm is to put the integrity of the game ahead of the self-interest of any one individual. It is always a challenge, and a leadership moment, for CEOs and other Big Feet to put their self-interest aside in the interest of the community or organization as a whole.

For better or worse, Tiger carries a big bag wherever he goes. He is more than just a golfer. He represents interest way beyond his own personal aggrandizement. Whether he is stepping onto the first tee or into a Vegas nightclub, Tiger is caddying for the whole game of golf.

Easy for me to say, but for Tiger Woods to have done that, he would first, have been faithful to his wife and, second, have been honest with the public as soon as possible after the accident.

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest competitors golf or any other sport has ever seen. No one can take that away from him. But we often do not understand the real character of famous people, or our friends for that matter, until we see them operate under duress. What Tiger revealed was not a pretty picture, and certainly not leadership.

By Marty Linsky

 |  December 7, 2009; 1:51 PM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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