'It's a hopeless cause," he said to me with a sigh as he commented on the rise in obesity among children.
To tackle this massive challenge we need real leaders. That is to say people who will organise games, runs, walks, cycles, tennis matches, boxing training, swims or hurling, camogie, hockey, football, soccer, or rugby matches and get as many young people as possible involved, enthusiastic and fit as well.
Many of these leaders are already out there serving their communities in the local sports clubs.
A person can serve without leading but a 'Green Platform' leader cannot lead without serving. There's a huge difference between a negative self-serving Red Platform leader and a serving Green Platform leader. We can ban fast-food outlets near schools, but every step to combat this obesity in young people will depend on local leadership. So how do you serve as a Green Platform leader?
See the future. See the vision. Be the vision. See who you can be, what you can do and who you can help in the community.
Engage and develop others. Green Platform leaders are learners. They continue to grow and develop as people. Their passion is to enable engagement, not compliance.
Reinvent continuously. Green Platform leaders have a passion for improvement and innovation.
Value results and relationships. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Results matter, but ultimately we get tasks accomplished, teams motivated and goals exceeded by having great relationships.
Living with passion, their burning desire determines their destiny. Look at the passion of great leaders: Gandhi for human rights, Mandela and Martin Luther King for equality, and Bill Gates or Steve Jobs for technology. This passion has more influence than their personality. Green Platform leaders know an army of sheep led by a lion will always prevail against an army of lions led by a sheep. A Green Platform leader with great passion and few skills will always outperform a leader with great skills and no passion.
Many years ago in China Lau Tsu nailed the heart of Green Platform leadership:
"Go to the people, Live with them, Love them Start with what they know, Build with what they have. But with the best of leaders, When the work is done, The task accomplished, The people will say, We have done this ourselves!"
Health & Living