My 16-year-old son came home from a soccer match yesterday evening with a knee swollen to the size of a football. This is at least injury number 15 for him, between rugby, GAA and soccer. At one stage I brought him for an X-Ray in the local hospital and the radiographer knew him by name and said ‘welcome back’! That probably wasn’t a good sign.

He’s usually the youngest on any team he plays for, given that his birthday is very late in the year. He’s also for a long time been the smallest or one of the smallest on his various teams. I have to admire him though – he’s never let his lack of physical size put him off. In fact, if anything, he has taken this weakness and turned it into a strength. He has worked on his agility and his acceleration. He has tried to be the hardest worker on the team and make up for lack of physicality through industry and effort.

The thing that I admire most about him though (and this is a trait that I wish I had more of myself) is that he has also refused to be scared of failure – for him it seems that life is full of tests; and success or failure is not judged by winning, but by the extent to which he has tried his best. There is an integrity in this.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why others always want him on their team.


Leadership is not limited to a select few. Everyone can become a leader in their own way. LIFT Ireland wants to create a nation of leaders by first teaching positive leadership values and then encouraging participants to adopt those values in their daily lives. LIFT Ireland believes that the more people ‘living LIFT’, the better it is for our country’s future.

Learn more about LIFT’s leadership learning process below. 

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