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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Earl and Tiger


Leadership Means Acting as a Role Model

‘AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Scandal-hit Tiger Woods has failed to live up to expectations as a role model, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne said on Wednesday.

In an unexpected departure from the southern reserve Payne usually displays at his pre-U.S. Masters news conferences, he said one of the world's most marketable sportsmen would be judged in the future by the sincerity of his efforts to change.

"Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children," said Payne.

"It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here, it is the fact he disappointed all of us and more importantly our kids and our grand kids."

The disgraced Woods is returning to professional golf this week after a break of nearly five months, following startling revelations he had had a string of extra-marital affairs.

"Is there a way forward? I hope yes," Payne said. "I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change.

"I hope he now realises that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing but would settle for his smile."

World number one Woods, whose golfing dominance has placed him in the pantheon of sporting greats since he turned professional in 1996, had his squeaky-clean image ripped apart after he crashed his car in the middle of the night in November.

In a highly anticipated news conference at Augusta on Monday, he took full responsibility for the marital infidelities which led to his fall from grace and he pledged to be more respectful of the game.

"He forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility," Payne said. "I hope he can come to understand that life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people.

"We at Augusta hope and pray our great champion will begin his new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner but this time with a significant difference from the past."

Woods, a four-times champion at Augusta, is scheduled to tee off in the penultimate group in Thursday's opening round with fellow American Matt Kuchar and South Korean KJ Choi.’ 


Leadership is the Ability to Excel Under Pressure

Two years after being hailed a hero for successfully landing his stricken Boeing 777 at London’s Heathrow Airport, former British Airways Capt. Peter Burkill discusses in this new book and in this recent TV interview, the crash and the impact it had on his family.

This is a story which highlights why great leaders are those who are able to excel under pressure; the ultimate value in the Positive Leadership model.


The Perils of Leadership

It was October, 1937, and President Roosevelt was trying to convince Americans to focus on the frightening events in Europe and Asia, to understand that the United States could not wall itself off from the world and to recognise that the march of totalitarianism abroad was a mounting threat at home.

The nation, however, was not ready to hear it. After Roosevelt made his case in a high-profile speech in Chicago, a hotbed of isolationism, the public reacted harshly. Americans were far more concerned about the economy’s return to recession, and most believed the nation’s top foreign policy goal should be to avoid war.

“It’s a terrible thing,” FDR reflected a few days later, “to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead and find no one there.”

Leadership, of course, does not operate in a vacuum. It is, as FDR and other presidents have learned, the flip side of what you might call “followership.” When it comes to unpopular causes, a president must not just pontificate but try to change minds, to convince a sceptical public to see things in a different light. Then, with or without the public behind him, a president must decide. It is what makes the job so lonely, yet so compelling.

Nor do Americans necessarily empathise with a president’s plight, for they seem to have a love-hate relationship with “leadership.” Conceptually, they seek the attribute in their elected officials.  But, when a president bucks public opinion, they often chastise him for obstinacy rather than praise him for courage.

President George W. Bush sought to build a case for victory in Iraq but, when support sank, he ignored public opinion and sent more troops to Baghdad. He left office highly unpopular for lots of good reasons, but history may treat him more kindly on Iraq (especially if that nation continues making progress).

Bush’s father never got to serve two terms, his re-election sunk by, among other things, his decision to break his promise and support tax increases for the greater good of federal deficit cutting. Nor did Jimmy Carter, who had lots of valuable insights to offer in his infamous “malaise” speech but lacked a public willing to hear them as well as the skills to change public opinion over time.

The lack of willingness on the part of British political leaders to be explicit about how they plan to reduce Britain's national debt is in sharp contrast to the posture which President Obama was prepared to adopt in pushing for healthcare reform in the USA.



Competence is one of the values of Positive Leadership.

‘I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.’ Ayrton Senna

Here are some reference materials which speak to this value: