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Bob Schoultz
Naval/Academic leader

Bob Schoultz

Captain Bob Schoultz (U.S. Navy, Ret.) directs the Master of Science in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration.

No option but one

Tiger Woods the CEO of Golf? Is Peyton Manning or Tom Brady the CEO of the NFL? Woods is professional golf's most prominent super star, whose ability on the golf course has helped promote the sport of golf throughout the world. His squeaky-clean and professional image off the course has helped to promote his personal fortune and the fortunes of his sponsors as well. Is he really the image of golf?

While Tiger Woods' golf is clearly genuine - you can't fake the way he plays -- there is now a sense that his image has been a fraud. And while the credibility of his golf game will be tested every time he enters a tournament and posts a score, the credibility of who he claims to be off the course will now be under enormous scrutiny. This is particularly true for someone who has profited to such a degree from an idealized image, and who has so jealously guarded his personal life from the public. Now the public knows why.

I'm sure Tiger is getting a lot of advice from people more qualified than I, but my advice would be to strive to make his public image as close as possible to the reality of who he is. If that person is a great and disciplined athlete in competition and a carousing womanizer in his private life -- well, then he has a number of role models he can look to who have done both of those things very well. At least then he'd be genuine.

In that role, he could "be himself," deliver on the ideals of his fans, and continue to create profits for himself, the PGA, and his sponsors, while also supporting his favorite charities. But if he decides to be the repentant sinner, and tries to rebuild his image as the "golden boy" American middle class ideal, and gets outed again for "transgressions" that are likely to occur -his personal image and brand managers will have no credibility, and he'll not be taken seriously anywhere except on the golf course.

By Bob Schoultz

 |  December 9, 2009; 3:58 PM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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