Watching and reading about the apologies from serial cheaters Jesse James and Tiger Woods, I was struck by several similarities. Those public announcements reminded me that although stars are not just like us, despite what US Weekly would like common people to believe, we can still learn a lesson from them that can be translated to our everyday personal and work lives. Basically, don’t be like Tiger or Jesse.
Own up to your mistakes before you get caught. The No. 1 thing that infuriates me the most about these celebrity scandals is that Jesse James and Tiger Woods did not confess to their transgressions on their own – rather, they got caught, and that’s when the truth started to seep out. Despite the apologies from both men, you have to question their sincerity when more and more allegations are cropping up about other women. Would they have continued cheating if they hadn’t been caught? Lesson No. 1: If you make a mistake at work, don’t think no one will notice. After all, it’s a mistake. Acknowledge your error immediately – alert the proper people and see about fixing it. Everyone lapses in judgment from time to time, so correcting the situation will spotlight your proactive nature and troubleshooting skills. Don’t shoot the messenger. Sandra Bullock and Elin Nordegren were betrayed by their husbands, yet during Tiger’s and Jesse’s apologies, they spread the blame among the media as well as the pressures of being famous. Rather than seeming truly humbled by the errors of their ways, Tiger and Jesse came across as whiny and self-absorbed. Lesson No. 2: Don’t blame IT, the receptionist or your dog for losing a file or not returning a phone call – even if it’s not entirely your fault. When you throw another colleague under the bus, it will be remembered – by that person and everyone else. You’ll be seen as a traitor and a baby. Worry about your own situation and fix it as best you can. Be available. Technically, celebrities don’t owe us an explanation for anything. The marital woes of Tiger and Jesse are none of our business and having their dirty laundry aired to zillions of people has to double the pain of Elin and Sandra. BUT. On the advisement of their PR handlers, I’m sure, Tiger and Jesse made public statements. Unfortunately, those statements sounded rehearsed, curt and staged. In avoiding answering to the press, Tiger and Jesse appear to be nervous about further allegations and tough questions. They probably should be. Lesson No. 3: When you make a mistake, be open and available about it. Work with your colleagues about rectifying it. Even if you’re embarrassed and want to cower at home, stick around to answer questions. Your co-workers will appreciate and remember that when the going got tough, you didn’t run away.