According to John Maxwell, effective leadership is based on maximising influence. The moment a leader loses credibility, his influence starts to diminish. There has been a lot of furore in the British football scene over John Terry. In the last 2 weeks, the papers have been busy with allegations about his adultery. He has been accused of having an affair with one of his English team mates’ girlfriend. This has not gone down well with the general public and Terry has been repeatedly booed by opposition club supporters. His football club, Chelsea, has however given their full support and backing to their embattled captain. His credibility as England’s national captain has been tarnished and his refusal to resign has led to his sacking as the captain of the national team.
The golf world is still reeling from the damaging news of Tiger Woods’ adultery a few months ago and he has taken time away from the sport to salvage his marriage and escape the media scrutiny. Woods’ credibility, just like Terry’s, as an ideal role model has been tarnished and several of his sponsors have severed their links with him. His tarnished credibility is not something that they want to be associated with. It is uncertain whether Tiger Woods’ great form on the golf course will fully recover from his scandal.
There is a pressure on leaders to live a life of integrity in both their public and private lives. Any disparity has consequences which can destroy the leader’s credibility. Perry Noble, the Senior Pastor of New Spring Church in North Carolina, recently twittered that “when a leader loses his integrity he will eventually lose his influence”. These two leaders have lost their credibility with their peers and the public, therefore compromising their integrity. It is shame that no matter what they do, they can’t regain some of their lost influence.