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Ken Adelman
Political advisor

Ken Adelman

A Reagan-era Ambassador and Arms Control Director, Ken Adelman is co-founder and vice-president of Movers and Shakespeares, which offers executive training and leadership development.

Surprisingly clueless

Golf is hard. Reacting to revelations of personal failure isn't. So how come such a brilliant guy as Tiger Woods is so clueless on how to handle this crisis?

It's simple to conceive, though admittedly painful to do: Come clean, tell a bunch -- but nothing lurid -- and, if you can, pull an Oprah. The overall crisis-management approach is clear: Get it out. Get it right. Get it emotional. And get it over with.

This entails getting accurate information out fast. Never let lawyers dictate what to say, as they're the antidote to sound public relations and good image. Make sure that the initial information is both truthful and touching, somehow connected with personal feelings.

In Tiger's case, that means admitting he's been unfaithful to his wife (duh!) and let her and the family down - etc. etc.. He needs to show that he really does care and promise to reform (or at least, have the intention to), then say he will take time for the family to heal and will be back in public after that's begun (which means: "That's all folks! No more information coming from here, move on to other stories.")

This is the best way for Tiger protect his "brand," which is that he's a decent guy extraordinarily gifted in one realm of life. Adopting this approach would show that he's a decent guy, in all but one realm of life.

By Ken Adelman

 |  December 7, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"He needs to show that he really does care and promise to reform (or at least, have the intention to)"

I'd say he needs to actually care. Since he only came clean when he was already found out, he obviously does not. Likewise obviously, he couldn't very well come out stating he had 8 (or 10, or 75) lovers and now suddenly he discovered it was all wrong.

He disrespected his wife and all the women he bedded, and now he's supposed to manufacture an artificial "I'm so sorry" and we are supposed to eat it up and believe him? Not likely. He's not a decent guy, it's as simple as that, and he never will be, because he is too dumb and too immature to get it.

To follow your textbook suggestions would just be condescending to the audience. Furthermore, I doubt very much a Swedish wife will stand by his side American style (how humiliating) while he says his nonsense into the microphones.

Posted by: asoders22 | December 8, 2009 1:18 PM
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