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Like women leaders

Believe it or not Tiger Woods is in a place very much like women find themselves when we are in leadership positions: breeches of integrity by women (of whom so much more in this area is expected) are not easily tolerated, by women or men. We are held to a higher standard as Woods will be. And though his endorsements are still largely intact, the popularity behind the Tiger Woods brand will likely continue to falter, as news about his alleged dalliances builds.

Every field and sector has a legacy, and golf is the "good guy" sport. It's individual, but also friendly and communal, not prone to violence. It is a sport characterized by mastery over ones spirit: body and mind. Look at the men who have been golf champs, by and large they are respected--mostly "family guys" or they appear to be, and they are sold to the American public as such.

Tiger Woods brought a skill-level to the game that was unprecedented. The fact that Woods not only looked different than Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and the rest just added to the expectations from fans. And fans are the people who made him the CEO of Golf. Like any leader who, because of his skill and demeanor, deserves to be a CEO, Tiger Woods was revered by his followers, golfers and non-golfers, for expanding the possibilities of the sport. This makes his "fall" all the more difficult to accept.

Women have to wear the mantle of integrity in whatever place they are. We are expected to behave "better" than the men in our field in order to prove ourselves worthy of participating in "the game." That's why Woods now finds himself in a position familiar to many women leaders. As the CEO of Golf, he is held to a higher standard. While these expectations may not interfere with his drive or his putt, they will always be standing there beside him as he tees off. The disappointment we feel when he fails to meet our expectations takes away from his heroic stance as the CEO of Golf.

By Marie Wilson

 |  December 10, 2009; 6:39 AM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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