The EMTs arrived at the house in the wee hours of the morning to find Tiger lying on the ground bleeding, and his wife standing over him with a golf club. As the story goes, he attempted to leave his home, and wound up crashing his car into a tree. His wife told officials she had used the golf club to break into the car and free him.
Hmm…many thought. And, rumors began to circulate.
– Why was he driving off in the middle of the night?
– Was he having an affair?
– Were he and his wife having an “altercation” over the issue?
Police, the press, and Tiger’s many fans wanted answers – and boy, did we find out.
What possible lesson can Tiger Woods teach job seekers about their brands?
In a blog post, I talked about brand transference, or what I also call the bleeding brand. No doubt, Tiger’s brand certainly bled as he tried [both silently and after speaking out] to control public opinion and perception about the incident with his wife. Unfortunate for Tiger, plenty of negative commentary has poured into blogs and articles — inadvertently turning him into a poster child and one to watch for responding to what some experts call digital dirt. He has plenty to overcome, no doubt!
Job seekers focused on building their online brands also face controlling negative publicity attracted by others. True, job seekers aren’t typically worried about press junkets being pushed back/canceled or multimillion-dollar endorsement deals going sour. But, job seekers need to worry about second interviews being canceled or job offers being retracted after employers uncover damaging online information that negatively effects their images and brands in the eyes of those who hire.
What should job seekers, and Tiger Woods, be doing to build and preserve their personal brand?
First, always have a steady flow of positive coverage (i.e. blog posts, tweets), which helps push any negative comments about you into the “back 40,” where it’s less noticeable. Definitely more difficult for Tiger to achieve, sure, but I guarantee his “people” are working on generating positive press coverage as I’m typing these words.
Second, don’t let people rent space in your head. Terrific advice my brother gave me once, while I was going through a difficult time. Negativity causes a loss of confidence; making us sometimes second-guess our next moves…and in some extreme cases, become immobile. Don’t let it happen. Stay the course, remain positive, and go hug your kids for their benefit as well as yours.
Third, there’s always something to be learned, more so when we or our brands become tarnished. Always look for the silver lining. I read a great quote today…solidifying my point, actually: “Thinking creates an image. Images control feelings. Feelings cause actions and actions create results.” — Spoken by Bob Proctor. Although I’m not a fan of Tiger’s actions, nor any man that partakes in infidelity, I do believe something good will come out of the mess Tiger is in.
Fourth, keep yourself moving and mining. One characteristic I love about Oprah is her dedication to reading, asking questions, and looking for alternate views — seemingly before she forms her own. Intelligence comes in part by identifying one’s own weaknesses, and by moving (learning) and mining (researching) to deflate those weaknesses. No doubt, continuing to learn and excel on a personal and professional level helps build and preserve your personal brand.
Teena Rose is a Personal Branding Strategist, Career Coach, and Professional 10-Year Resume Writer. She is highly endorsed and recommended, making her your best choice for job-search and career success. She has been helping professionals grow, excel, and succeed since 1999. Contact Teena at [email protected], via LinkedIn and/or follow her on Twitter.