Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Once he was burning bright.
Now Tiger Woods can’t even put his back into it, as it’s just been operated on for the second time in a few months.
Woods was a phenomenon, a huge business.
In some ways, he still is. Even when he plays badly, he gets plenty of TV time, partly because everyone wants to view the king on his knees. Some, of course, want to laugh. Some merely want to pity. Some still believe (as he claims to) that he will come back.
His admitted marital indiscretions damaged his brand. His bulking-up didn’t seem to help his game. Hank Haney, one of his former coaches wrote a less than flattering book about him.
Now, his longtime caddie Steve Williams has written his own book. It’s called Out Of The Rough and it’s full of excellent (if not entirely intended) tips for executives. Especially those who might think a little too much of themselves.
1. Don’t Treat Your Employees Like Dirt.
This might seem obvious. It still happens a lot in business. Williams describes how he felt Woods treated him with disdain. He says, according to the Guardian: “One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave.” It’s never a good idea to enslave your staff. Even the arrogance thing isn’t too advisable. One day, something will come up: your comeuppance.
2. Acting Big Has Its Limits.
Some might feel this refers more to male managers than to female. They spend their days spitting blood, fire, guts, oh anything they’ve seen in a nasty video game recently. They believe this is war and they’re going to demonstrate a wide-legged stance and make like John Wayne, cursing and threatening and just generally talking bigger than they are or than is necessary. As Williams puts it: “The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt.” So big. But only as long as you’re winning. Indeed, how sad that so many tolerated this because Woods was winning.
3. When You Personally Make A Mess, Think About Your Staff.
Williams describes how after Woods’s double life was exposed, some thought Williams was a co-conspirator. After all, many assumed their relationship was extremely close as well as extremely successful. His caddie must have known what was going on, the story went. However, the New Zealander claims that he didn’t. Moreover, neither Woods nor his staff allegedly bothered to think about how he was being affected. Williams says he was “furious I was at being dragged through the wringer over a scandal I had nothing to do with. He needed to know how difficult that was for me and my family.” So Williams says he told him. I wonder if Woods was surprised.
4. On Your Way Down, Your Staff Will Remember The Bad Stuff First.
The basic of respect is one that often gets tossed aside. Disrespect might be expressed by some managers in passive-aggressive rather than loud tones, but employees know when the boss just doesn’t care. So when things go wrong for you, please don’t be silly enough to expect sympathy. As Williams writes: “I believe you’re in charge of your own actions and I have no sympathy for people who get addicted to drugs or gambling or sex. People make choices in their lives and he had chosen to do this.” And this was from someone Woods had been close to and had won 13 of his 14 majors with. Williams admits that it was sad to see Woods having to face the consequences in the public eye. However, he didn’t have quite enough sympathy not to write a book mentioning some of Woods’s biggest failings in his eyes.
Of course, there’s one difference between Williams and Woods. Since 2008, Woods hasn’t won a major. Williams — caddying for somewhat milder Australian Adam Scott — has.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.