How winners are made

 Photos: Rena Nelson

Photos: Rena Nelson

What is it that makes us a winner? That drive to succeed, the need to be the best, the thrill of the chase? Chances are if you embrace competitive sport you will have that edge over others in the boardroom. I’ve decided to challenges some of Jersey’s professional high-flyers to new sporting highs in Jersey to find out just what it is that makes them tick.

Chris Stephens is not averse to taking on a challenge, so when his ten-year-old daughter Siena asked him why he hadn’t yet done a triathlon, the gauntlet was well and truly thrown. Two Olympic triathlons and a half-Ironman later and Chris has well and truly caught the bug. It seems more than just coincidence then, that in striving for success at a new sport Chris also finds himself looking for a greater challenge at work, as he takes on a new role as Private Banker at Citibank. It’s easy to see why he jumped at the chance to talk, over a friendly session of Kettlebells, about success and what it is that can make you a winner.

A sportsman since a very young age, Chris has always embraced competitive sport, representing Jersey at a junior level in athletics, football and rugby. With age he settled into cycling with local club Equipe Flamme Rogue before finding a passion for triathlon that now keeps him on his toes. He not only competes at the regular local meets and events off Island, but assists with coaching the triathlon juniors in which his daughter is also becoming a rising star.  

Back on dry land, Chris has just taken on another adventure taking on a role at Citi Private Bank after ten years at UBS where he was responsible for shaping their book of private banking business. The new role at Citi will include more business development responsibilities for Chris as well as relationship management, looking to expand the private bank’s book of business whilst raising their profile in the local community. “We’ve been regarded as operating under the radar up until recently, but networking, recommendation and offering a superior service is finally starting to pay off.”

Chris remains grateful to his daughter, Siena, for introducing him to triathlon. “The tests that triathlon and the half-Ironman have put me through have served me well at work,” Chris confirms. “I’ve learnt a lot about resilience through those times when the pain is such that I’ve wanted to quit. You realise that if you can conquer challenges of this magnitude, then you can handle anything that is thrown at you in work.” He confesses to adopting a calm demeanour under pressure thanks to his sport and has developed a tri-anything attitude in all aspects of his life. “I could barely swim when I started training, but after lessons, some practice and competition it is now pretty good. It goes to show that anything is achievable if you’re willing to try.”  

Taking part in any type of competitive sport has opened a lot of doors in the business world for Chris. He believes there are more and more professionals embracing sporting pursuits and that important networking has moved from the pub to the training ground. “The social network through sports on the Island is impressive and even more so in the triathlon club, which has significantly grown over the last few years. I’ve heard it referred to more than once as the new ‘golf’ in industry circles!” 

One of the most important lessons that Chris takes from his sport to the business world is an ability to control his adrenalin. Sport teaches you not to be consumed by this or your emotions and now he applies this when delivering speeches or in social situations that may usually make him nervous. Sport can build confidence, teach you self-worth and help you develop important social skills.  

Being a triathlete isn’t only helping him to become a star in the office, but has given him that cool edge at home as a husband and father. “Doing the sport with my daughter has given us a shared bond, one that I hope will make me a cool Dad in her eyes well into her teens and beyond.” Who knew you could be a rock star in skin tight lycra! 

To find out more about taking part in Kettlecise contact Adele Prince on adele@ultimatefitnessjersey.com or check out their Facebook page here.