A lot of people, blogs, tabloids and talk shows have been lambasting Tiger over his indiscretions. Although I don’t agree with what he did, I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon, and instead am calling for grace. How many of us have messed up our own lives? Interestingly, with the divorce rate somewhere between 40-50%, I think Tiger has a lot of good company in messing up lives. Of the 50% that don’t get divorced, I wonder how many have stayed faithful? How many adults don’t have relationships with their parents or worse, with their children? How about drug use or alcohol abuse? Is Tiger really “worse” than the rest of us?
I know, he makes a lot of money. I’m tired of watching people who make a lot of money become bad role models for the rest of us. But guess what? We put them there. When Tiger goes out on his next tournament, do you think there will be absolutely no one there to watch? Of course not. The course will be packed. Sold out.
How about all the other celebrities that have transgressed in some way? Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Jack Walsh, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Brad Pitt, President Clinton, Governor Sanford, Martha Stewart, David Letterman, Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Williams, Carrie Prejean, Bernie Madoff, Prince Charles, Vanessa Hudgens, Marion Jones, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens (never proven… I think) and the list goes on and on and on.
I wish we could say that money and fame make people smarter… but, I don’t think that’s the case.
My point? We all mess up. Instead of focusing on others, let’s consider how we can regain our own integrity? More importantly, how do YOU regain your integrity? To regain your integrity there are four things you have to do…
- Admit you were wrong or made a mistake. Face up to and own your weaknesses.
- Say you’re sorry… AND… ask for forgiveness. It is easy to say “I’m sorry” but a lot harder to say, “Will you forgive me?” While you might hope that someone will forgive you, don’t expect them to forget. You have to accept the fact that you can’t erase what you did. If your mistakes involve a loss of property or money, ensure you take steps to make retribution if warranted.
- If habitual – get help. You cannot regain your integrity if you are going to continue down whatever course of self-destruction you are on. You can’t say I’m sorry, and not do anything to prevent yourself from doing whatever you did again. This doesn’t necessarily have to be something traumatic, it can be something as simple as not leading meetings effectively, or not knowing how to counsel bad performance.
- Forgive yourself. You’re human. You made a mistake. Get over it. I know this is easier said than done for some of you. If you can’t forgive yourself, go get some counseling. You don’t want to ruin your entire life because of a single mistake you made. (For those of you who are Christians, remember what Christ told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”).
That’s really it. Nothing complicated – it’s just hard to humble yourself and actually DO these things. But… a true leader will work on regaining their integrity – and I know that includes you.
All the best!
All the time!