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Major New National Initiative – LIFT – Launched in Ireland to audience of over 300 leaders from business, sports, arts, and voluntary sectors

  • Less than half of the people in Ireland believe they provide good leadership
  • Honesty & Integrity are Most Important Values for Leadership in Ireland

Tuesday, May 8, 2018: A major new national initiative that addresses leadership in Ireland was launched today. LIFTLeading Ireland’s Future Together – aims to raise the quality of life for the people of Ireland, through a focus on values and their role in leadership.

Founded by Joanne Hession, CEO of the Entrepreneurs Academy, Sonya Lennon, fashion designer, broadcaster and businesswoman and David Hession, solicitor and international accreditation expert, with several like-minded people across society, LIFT recognises good leadership as vital, at home, school, work and in Government and politics and has set strategic goals to create better leaders in Ireland over the next ten years.

To mark the launch of LIFT, over 300 leaders of all ages from businesses, education, community, media, the arts and sports organisations across Irish society and their teams are attending a conference today to discuss leadership.  Speakers at the event include Dr John Maxwell, internationally renowned expert in Leadership and leadership author. Organisations attending range from businesses such as AIB; Digicom; the ESB; Musgrave Group and RTÉ, to voluntary and social organisations such as The Peter McVerry Trust; The GAA; The Irish Girl Guides Association and The Teaching Council.

In creating the initiative, LIFT surveyed a nationally representative sample of the people of Ireland to ask what values they believe are most important in good leaders. The survey found that over half

of respondents (52%) chose Honesty and Integrity as one of the top three attributes of good leadership, with Respect (26%) and Empathy & Understanding (25%) after that. The survey also showed that Home and Family are the most positive influences in our lives in terms of leadership.*

Identifying eight key leadership values from this research – Honesty & Integrity; Respect; Empathy & Understanding; Accountability; Competence; Positive Attitude; Listening; Dedication & Determination; LIFT plans to equip the country with better leadership skills by bringing people from across the country together to talk about these  values that the people of Ireland have chosen as being most important and to develop their self-awareness to help ensure their values inform decision making in leadership.

Speaking at the launch of LIFT to an audience of over 300 people at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin, Founder, Joanne Hession, said: “LIFT is calling on the people of Ireland to join with this initiative and to individually focus on how we lead in our own lives.  We have 24 Founding Partners* and a network of Friends already on board representing over 1.2million people.  They are the engine that will make LIFT a success, by starting volunteer peer learning roundtable discussions – in their businesses, at home, in schools, sports clubs and community groups.”

Commenting on the launch, Anne Heraty of CPL said. “CPL is proud to be a Founding Partner of LIFT. At the core of LIFT is the aim to build Ireland’s next generation of leaders, based on a commitment to meaningful shared values. I believe that through supporting LIFT we can make a real difference both in business and in our wider communities.”

Ms Hession added: “LIFT is about raising awareness and giving people the tools to enhance their own leadership and abilities.  By involving as many people as possible, our goal is to strengthen the culture of leadership for the benefit of all on our island.  That’s why we are delighted to be starting this journey with the support and commitment from so many businesses, voluntary and community organisations, educational bodies and recognised leaders.”

Already, LIFT has a network of over 200 volunteers who will meet with colleagues and peers: across companies, community organisations or with family and friends about how to bring those values to the fore in everyday life and decision-making.  Implementation and rollout of the LIFT process will start first with the 24 inaugural founding partners, many of whom will next month begin the process of running roundtables among their colleagues or communities.  Each roundtable has between four to six participants, one of whom is a trained LIFT roundtable facilitator and participants will be provided with LIFT materials designed to encourage personal reflection on the eight key leadership values.  

LIFT has set a goal to double this network of volunteers by the end of 2018 and to continue to grow, so that over the ten year period between 2018 and 2028, almost half a million people will have taken part in this initiative.