When I was growing up the tiger brand belonged to a gasoline. You knew with that gas in your car you were going to tear up the road. Oh, it also belonged to Tony the Tiger; your cereal was going to make you feel GGGRRREEEEAAAAT! Then, there was the scary "Eye of the Tiger" song, part of that frightening swath of bad movie soundtracks that I hope will never be resurrected.
Anyway, today, the “brand of tiger” belongs to the man, Tiger Woods. But is his brand out of the woods? Will it ever be fully reconciled with its former self? Of course not. It will never go back to its elusive, excellent former position. But, the brand just might emerge better than ever. Here are 2 scenarios...
1) Tiger comes clean and owns up...
In this scenario we meet Tiger the REAL man. This is Tiger the humble, the guy who slipped off his pedestal (it's darned hard to live under child star scrutiny). This is Tiger who did what a lot of guys do but did it married (a really BAD idea, guys). Tiger, what WERE you thinking... Anyway, he can say sorry, he may never get his wife back, but a humbled, chastened Tiger could be good for his brand and others. For instance, the American car industry, “We were too big for our britches, give us a chance, we're ready to do it right...”
2) Tiger, bad to the bone and loving it!
In this scenario Tiger owns up to being an undercover bad guy. Yep, that's right. I was wrong, but being wrong can feel so right. And not only that, I'm good. Actually, the best in the biz, so get out of my way, let me get back in action. I'll show you guys how it's done. A fast food chain my be a good brand partner here. Yes, this is totally bad for you, but that crazy saturated fat tastes good doesn't it, so WHO CARES!
Tiger most likely you'll have to do a bit of both.
My recco? Just play good golf buddy.
People have said I’m competitive. I think they’re right. But if I had it my way, EVERYONE would win all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works out there. So, if you want certain things in life you’re going to have to go to the mat.
I’ve understood competition mainly in relation to business. For our company it’s all about the pitch. This is the place where we do our best to get in there and win. But honestly, no matter how much you think you know about your potential client and what they want, after all these years of doing this I realize you can’t really be sure of anything. What may have seemed like an important goal for them or an unassailable strategy turns out to be all wrong. It is what it is. You just have to keep going when you misfire. Just keep swinging the bat, as my friend used to say.
I had a little brush with a new kind of competition last week. I tried out for our golf club championship (A-Flight, way under qualified for this given my experience). I crumbled like a cheap deck of cards. BUT what an amazing opportunity to learn! I’ll tell you something – I think competing in business is a heck of a lot easier than competing in sports. Talk about focus and not letting your head play with your head… I have no problem presenting a new business concept to the president of one of the largest beauty brands in the world, but put a driver in my hand and set me up against some club ladies and WOW, scary! Gives you a new respect for focus and not losing your cool under pressure. After that experience, getting out there and competing for some of the INCREDIBLE new business we have on the docket seems like a cinch. And it helped me think about preparing for next year—because no matter how intimidating it was out there on the first hole, I’m not a quitter. I may not have the competitive spirit of Tiger Woods, but I know you have to keep trying. And that goes for business too.