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My Inspiration: Niall Phelan


Niall Phelan worked at his family restaurant at a young age

Niall Phelan worked at his family restaurant at a young age

Niall Phelan worked at his family restaurant at a young age

The country manager of Molson Coors Ireland believes that the hard work instilled by his family at a young age was the real inspiration behind his drive and dedication at his jobs

From 10 years old, I helped my dad in his restaurant at weekends; peeling carrots and shelling bags of prawns (the latter ensured a distinct lack of girlfriends at the time).

I was paid £1 for a weekend's work — good money for a child in the mid 1980s. About six years ago I was at a leadership seminar.

One of the most memorable things the guest speaker said was the premise that ‘you are who you are when you are six-years-old — you only ever tweak your core after that'. That notion provoked a deep look at my own childhood to understand what shaped me.

I had extremely hard-working parents, running their own restaurant business and doing a great job in an economy that was arguably worse than our current one.

They were proof that nothing comes without hard work and persistence.

In my early 20s I thought confidence was enough to mean success, but I soon realised where I had to look to for inspiration.

I recalled those days working in the restaurant.

I remembered how my dad interacted with his team and the deep respect he held for them.

I also remembered lots of laughter (as well as the odd frying pan flying when things got heated) and the resulting sense of team satisfaction at the end of a day's work.

I honestly believe that ever since, my approach to business has been drawn from the inspiration of a simple family business.

A major global family brewer, I'm delighted to be part of a company which has a strong family ethos.

I am responsible for driving the Molson Coors drinks portfolio across Ireland and in such a busy role, what I learned in the family restaurant is more important than ever — the ingredients for success will always be — hard work, persistence, dedication and respect.