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I’ve been in the Gold Coast this week.

I know…right 😉

Ahhh, the Gold Coast….. sun, fun, warm weather, theme parks, swimming, outlet shopping….

…what’s not to love?

And apart from some quality bonding with my kids during a rollercoaster thrill fest at ‘Dreamworld’ I’m here for another reason.

My son’s U12s team has been representing South Australia at an International Soccer Competition and I get to be a full-fledged ‘Soccer Mom’. I’m having a particularly proud mummy week.

When he first started playing I wondered how long I could keep him interested in the sport. I really wanted him to have an interest outside of school and home. I particularly wanted him (and my daughter) to have a sporting interest. So I thought long and hard about ways to keep him interested.

Turned out I didn’t have to do much at all. Like any good people leader I did nothing accept stay out of his way and create an environment where he could succeed. He loved the sport immediately. Now it’s his whole life. He knows every soccer score from all the comps around the world. He can tell me what player has signed with what club anywhere on the planet. And he can recite the statistics of the top 10 players in the world without blinking.

I never have to tell him to practice. I don’t have to remind him about his training.   He is passionate about his sport and therefore he learns, loves and lives it.

After each game he asks me for feedback. “Where do you think I went well today and is there anything I could work on?” <Swelling pride>

Some People Wait There Whole Life To Meet Their Favourite Player. I Raised Mine 🙂

Of course being the son of a performance and leadership coach he knows that feedback is essential for life and success. But he is also totally committed to his passion and genuinely wants to get better so he puts himself on the line and asks.

This is personal leadership in action.

He is not waiting for someone to give him a jersey to Manchester United before he takes his job and passion seriously. He wants to be the best and he wants to be proud of his performance and achievements. Therefore he does what he needs to do to be the best version of him that he can.

This is living and leading without permission in action.

Yesterday morning our team got knocked out of the competition by the top team <big ‘unhappy face’>. But not before they gave them a damn good run for their money. It was a cracker of a game!

The boys absolutely turned up …every single one of them… they played hard, they played as a team, and they put their hearts and souls into that game. Sadly the score did not represent the game that was played.

They were devastated at the loss. There were tears of sorrow. They hugged each other. They told each other what a good job they did. What didn’t happen was a loss of temper or blaming of anyone else. They recognised that they had played really well and they were disappointed with the outcome.

I was so amazed and proud of the behaviour demonstrated by the boys. They were more mature than many of the ‘grown ups’ that I’ve worked with in the past.

The boys are 12.   They have so much growing and learning to do. They still will make mistakes. They will loose their temper over a bad game. They will kick the ball at another player. They will do all the things that happen in the heat of the moment. And they will do this because they are human.

They will not do it every game or every day…because these boys are leaders.

I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year.


Michelle is a success and leadership coach who works with professionals and future focused leaders who want to get real results and live & lead with purpose…and without permission. You can join Michelle’s tribe of awesome future focused leaders at and stay up to date with what’s trending in leadership and the future of work.

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