Tiger Woods spent about 14 minutes doing what he should have done nearly three months ago: he took his head out of the sand trap and decided to address his crisis head-on, albeit in a tightly controlled environment.
Better late than never, and we can spend hours rehashing the premise of acting quickly to manage a crisis (hundreds did it when news broke last fall, myself included, and more will berate him for waiting too long). What Tiger did accomplish today was take that critical first step down the longest fairway of his life. Rather than jump on the bandwagon and dissect everything he did wrong in his “no-questions-asked press conference,” here’s a look at what did well:
- Pulling his head out of the sand. Crisis management is pure hell loaded with fear and uncertainty for any organization, let alone one individual, unaccustomed to dealing with panic.
- Acknowledging it was his own behavior and actions that led to his tarnished image and brand. He didn’t make excuses and took accountability.
- Pointing out he veered from his personal set of values. Very few in a crisis situation get this, that reputations and brands are built and will fall based on values.
- Admitting the impact of his actions on others, particularly his wife and kids; additionally, his fans – children in particular, topping it off with acknowledging he failed as a role model (Charles Barkley be damned).
- Asking to believe in him, not right away, but over time. Tiger knows he needs to regain trust, from his family, from the corporate sponsorship world, from his peers and from his fans – and he also knows that’s a feat that won’t happen simply in the days and weeks ahead. It will be his actions over a longer period of time – off the course.