Gareth Southgate's Redemption
By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
"A tendency that’s run through your family for generations can stop with you. You’re a transition person – a link between past and future. And your own change can affect many, many lives downstream."
- Stephen R. Covey
You might well have seen this striking picture above, of Gareth Southgate the England football manager, consoling his younger self, after he missed a penalty in the Euro '96 shootout against Germany. For those of you who aren't familiar with it - or if you feel like seeing the highlights again, here's the shootout itself...
"There's a certain romance in football - the human element people can relate to. With Southgate, there was a circularity. He was traumatised after that penalty but then he returned to win a penalty shootout. Even if you're not into sport, you can appreciate the journey."
- Reuben Dangoor, artist
For years after 1996, Gareth Southgate was deeply troubled. He felt like he had let his country down... can you imagine that pressure?
This is a man who has been clearly working on himself, developing himself over the years, not just in his professional skills, but his confidence, his leadership and resolve, to now having led the new England team through first-ever penalty shootout win in a World Cup over Columbia.
The poignant message of Mr Dangoor's picture is, we go through hard, painful times where we feel deeply ashamed of our mistakes.
But we can become more.
We can become wiser, more humble, more disciplined, more caring, as Mr Southgate has clearly shown us all.
This takes a lot of effort. They say time heals wounds, but it's the self-discipline, the willingness to grow and take responsibility, the willingness to see that we can change, and crucially, the love and support of good people around us, to make lasting, real changes that define our character. It's never ever about the mistakes we make - it's about how we respond and what we learn from those trips...