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By Wayde I. Goodall
Tiger Woods and his family are experiencing a nightmare … the jury is out on how the dust will settle, how or if the marriage will survive. What about his endorsements, the 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 out into the public? The mistakes that are made, i.e., the text mails, recorded telephone conversations, and more details of behind closed door 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 can become apparent. In my books; Why Great Men Fall, and Success Kills, I give detailed answers to the “how” and “why” questions.
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 the leaders have (confidence, ability, stability, talent, prestige, power, money, etc.) and the leader is like a magnet. Leaders (or sports hero’s) are often the target of attraction, jealous people, and people who would like to get into your life. Others can be attracted to the leader because of what they represent, not “who” they really are.
Leaders, popular athletes, 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 that a person actually thinks that they will never get caught … they begin to think that they are smarter, more cleaver, wiser … and in all of that, they make mistakes. In sending a text mail, email, or a phone conversation (that is recorded), they begin to be less cautious. And – almost always, the other person will talk to someone else.
What do we do?
We need people in our lives that will ask us the hard questions. People that we trust enough to tell us of any indiscretion, temptation, emotional weakness they see … people that will ask us about our real issues.
Building boundaries in our lives that will keep us from taking too much risk and compromising in areas that we thought were not possible. Knowing that money, sex and power are often issues that can tempt anyone to bend the rules can help us find the right people to be accountable to … people of integrity, wisdom and a history of good decisions.
Most of all, there is one that 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).
I have a written a book called "Why Great Men Fail." http://bit.ly/71MskB
Here are some pages where I talk specifically about these issues
The Sex Issue, a Magnet for Women, p 55-64
Entitlement, p 17-24
Expectation of Silence, p 45-54
Dr. Wayde Goodall