Tiger Woods and his family are experiencing a nightmare. The jury is out on how the dust will settle, and how or if the marriage will survive. What about his endorsements, his career, the way kids and adults admired him as an example? The situation is sad and disappointing. Undoubtedly, more details of the story will unfold over the next few days.
Why do these private matters come into public view? The mistakes that are made, i.e., the text messages, recorded telephone conversations, and more details of behind-closed-doors experiences will surface. This tragic news will develop a life of its own. My heart goes out to this family.
How and why does this kind of thing happen? When looking at the lives of countless leaders of our generation and exploring the details of people who fell in the Bible, several conclusions become apparent. In my book, Success Kills, I give detailed answers to the “how” and “why” questions.
Here are some thoughts that can protect us from making decisions that we would regret:
- Whether we like it or not, we are public. There are people who want what leaders have (confidence, ability, stability, talent, prestige, power, money, etc.) and leaders are like magnets. Leaders (or sports heroes) are often the targets of attraction, of jealous people, and of people who would like to get into your life. Others can be attracted to leaders because of what they represent, not “who” they really are.
- Leaders, popular athletes and political figures can develop a sense of entitlement…they can risk too much because of who they are, what they own, and what they think they deserve…i.e., they begin writing their own rules.
- Arrogance can become so subtle a person actually thinks they will never get caught…they begin thinking they are smarter, more clever, wiser, etc…and in all of that, they make mistakes. In sending a text message, an email, or a phone conversation (that is recorded), they begin to be less cautious. And – almost always – the other person will talk with someone else.
So what do we do? How do we protect ourselves?
- We need people in our lives who will ask us the hard questions. People who we trust enough to tell us of any indiscretion, temptation, or emotional weaknesses they see…people who will ask us about our real issues.
- We need to build boundaries in our lives that will keep us from taking too much risk and compromise in areas we thought were not possible. Knowing that money, sex and power are often issues that can tempt anyone to bend the rules can help you find the right people to be accountable to…people of integrity, wisdom and a history of good decisions.
Most of all, there is One who can keep anyone from falling, or if one has fallen, He will help the leader get it right.
“The steps of the good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV).
[Today’s post is by Dr. Wayde Goodall, author of Success Kills. Goodall and his wife, Rosalyn, are authors, speakers, life coaches, ministry consultants and pastors traveling extensively around the globe holding family events and seminars. Success Kills, published by New Leaf Press, is Goodall’s 14th book.]