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As part of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, these 12 Southern California fellows are engaged in a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level leadership training program that prepares individuals for public-affairs leadership.

Survival of the sorriest

Q: As the de facto leader of Golf Inc., how did Tiger Wood perform at Monday's pre-Master's press conference? What did he need to accomplish to resuscitate his brand? What lessons could other embattled leaders, such as the Pope and GOP chairman Michael Steele, draw from Tiger's handling of the press?

Seated, slightly hunched over, and emotionally self-possessed, Tiger Woods aced his Masters Tournament press conference. Handling a 35-minute conference with great poise, a difficult task following five months of tawdry headlines and public humiliation, it seemed like Tiger had little to hide.

Though he might have avoided going into details about the car crash -- which may have been motivated by a desire to protect his wife -- Tiger acknowledged his "incredibly" poor decisions, and his sincerity shone throughout the conference, most notably when discussing his father's death and missing his son's first birthday.

Beyond that, Tiger laid out basic, observable ways people would be able to see his change, including interacting more with fans and tempering his reactions--good and bad--on the course. Tiger nailed the conference because he let his honest, repentant, and reflective self shine through.

It's nearly impossible to imagine other recently embattled leaders like Chairman Steele, Pope Benedict, Congressman Massa, or Governor Paterson approaching a press conference similarly. Instead of 35 minutes it would more likely last three. Instead of speaking from the heart they would have spoken from prepared notes. Instead of taking questions they would likely rushed out of the room as reporters screamed for answers. Defensive spin would replace honest reflection.

Tiger made his first face-the-press-conference work. It seems that he may well survive one of recent history's more lurid sex scandals by getting out of egocentric self-preservation mode and instead opting for open dialogue. --Sean Holiday

By Coro Fellows

 |  April 6, 2010; 6:15 AM ET
Category:  Wrong-Doing Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: 'The most dreaded knowledge' | Next: Pope Benedict, take note


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Yeah, Tiger really NAILED IT! HUH? 5 months after the crash, he holds a press conference and answers only the questions he wanted to.He DIDN'T give a suffucient answer to the HGH doctor who treated him. Many doctors could have administered his therapy but, he chose a crook. Also, his therapy is going so well that his wife is NOT going to be there. What a phony. He wants his SPONSORS back, not his wife!

Posted by: hughsie48 | April 7, 2010 5:49 AM
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Perhaps Sean Holiday would let his imagination run wild and suggest something that Tiger Woods could possibly be trying to protect his wife from by keeping silent about the details of his car crash? What might his wife have been trying to do to him that night that he didn't deserve? Could it be that Tiger has been making up the story about all of the mistresses to protect his wife from charges that she came after him with a golf club that night for no reason at all?

Posted by: jpbill1 | April 7, 2010 2:09 AM
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Tiger "nailed it" and "aced it." It wasn't a golf shot, and it wasn't his audition for American Idol.

When you use language that treats these events exclusively as performances you further reduce them to nothing more than spectacle. That's not leadership.

Posted by: jcindy | April 6, 2010 11:09 PM
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That settles that. Good night and be well.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 6, 2010 9:59 PM
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Like His Emminence the Pope, the RNC Chairman, and Congressman Massa, Tiger has many transgressions and will, like them, keep on being himself. High Dollar pro athletes = groupies, world without end, amen.
What is amazing is that WaPo and others are complicit in defining a press conference as a point where one of these moral criminals can "put it behind him".
Never in a million years. These guys reach a powerful point by manipulating their world as they need to manipulate it.

And all of the folks mentioned have spin doctors in their entourages who coach the moment of contriteness.
All theater. All jive. All vanity.

Posted by: roboturkey | April 6, 2010 8:07 PM
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Some of these things have to do with age. Lot of politicians in their late 40 and in their 50's have been caught cheating with a long time marriage to one women and now the women admit since their man has been caught that he has cheated before.
How dumb are these women who stay with a cheating man and have children and raise children with him. What do you call that. Mommie. So his wife becomes mommie while he has his women on the side. This is teaching children to repeat the same pattern.

Women in America need to wake up. Borrow Tigers golf club like his wife did.

Posted by: mac7 | April 6, 2010 8:06 PM
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As the de facto leader of Media Inc., how did Washington Post owners and mouthpieces perform at Virginia's declaration of Confederate Month ceremony? What did YOU need to accomplish to resuscitate the Confederate Month brand? What lessons could other embattled leaders, such as the Pope and GOP chairman Michael Steele, draw from YOUR handling of the press?

Confederate supporters are more acceptable to the media than tiger's use of his own wood - tiger's putzing around is more arousing to white male media than is the declaration of an annual monthly celebration of white supremacism...

allow me to join the media in the fun - holding Tiger to high christian standards while remembering the good ol' days of the Confederacy: my suggested draft of the declaration media doesn't solicit comment upon.

WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia’s white supremacist history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all white supremacist Virginians, both in the context of the white supremacist time in which it took place, but also in the context of the religious extremist and racist time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the rest of the nation and the world (i.e., including Africans, Indians, Asian, Islamic, and other non-whites...) to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our white supremacist history can benefit all white supremacist

Posted by: stephendavid2002 | April 6, 2010 4:52 PM
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I could have remained at "couldn't care less" about this fellow for the remainder of my time, but thanks to media overexposure and my not being able to avoid seemingly thousands of references to him I have now reached the state within which I feel loathing even at the mention of his NAME, both for the man (someone I've never met and will never meet and will never want to meet) and for those who make endless use of his celebrity.

Posted by: terrybakee1 | April 6, 2010 4:01 PM
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One of these things is not like the others: Chairman Steele, Pope Benedict, Congressman Massa, Governor Paterson, and Tiger Woods. You are talking apples and oranges here. Tiger Woods is not a political or religious leader, he is a famous athlete/celebrity. It's a different world with a different set of rules.

Posted by: mcshumway | April 6, 2010 3:39 PM
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The only lesson to be taken from Tiger Woods press conference is that Americans are gullible, eager to be lied to and mistaken, almost always, in their initial opinions of observation.

Thus, the Pope and the US Congress and the President himself can learn only one thing from Tiger Woods; lie repeatedly and repentively, stick to your lie forever, position your lie as truth with strings attached to demonize non-believers and those who lack compassion for your circumstance, and finally, always blame someone else and take no responsiblity for any indiscretion or crime.

...wait, that's what politics is...lying or distorting truth in order to formulate skewed perceptions of support among the largest possible mass of population...and, carefully formulated remarks which invoke certain feelings of remorse or empathy among the audience and which are carefully crafted with marketing research that classifies intended targets based on the relevant criterion to the issue at hand.

To conclude, the Pope, the current President, past Presidents and the entire Congress have crafted the technique and approach which Tiger Woods and so many other have utilized to extricate themselves from blatant and obvious wrongdoing. Thus, once again, those who are paid to be "journalists" fail to understand even the most simple details of their alleged "area of expertise."

...Or, they are simply carrying water for someone or something, attempting to utilize the same flanking maneuvers and fraudulent misdirection tactics as those discussed, in order to achieve their intended goal of skewing the perception of reality.

Posted by: TheFreeMan | April 6, 2010 3:38 PM
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From looking at him yesterday and listening to an addiction specialist say that he, like many others, is returning way too soon, may I suggest that the maids at his lodging be provided with armed escorts.

Posted by: tmkelley | April 6, 2010 2:38 PM
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