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Name: Roberto Rudie
Title: Founder / CEO
Organisation: Roberto Rudie Group
Starting off in the music and entertainment industry, I then moved into financial services, which led me to help founding and leading one of the UK’s fastest growing black-run financial businesses, a privately-owned hedge fund based in central London. After 3 years in the position of Investment Director. I then moved on to establish my own group of investment, asset management and commodities companies. Whilst still running and owning a sports focused digital media, commercialisation and sponsorship agency.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging thing for me as a leader in the finance industry is the immediate perceptions of others in the industry due to the way I look and my non finance industry background. But I have learned to overcome this with action and successful outcomes.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was born into a lineage of leadership within my Ghanaian heritage and family. The most prominent people in my life were my father and uncles. Who established and owned one of Ghana’s largest transportation companies , King of Kings. Following their example from an early age i was taught leadership and people skills alongside the importance of education. I used this knowledge and skills to start my own successful business in his 20s and never looked back.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start my days with 1-2 hours in the gym, and have done this on a regular basis since my teens. I love the routine and discipline it gives me. Once I finish my gym routine, I start my working day with calls and replying to emails. This continues along with meetings throughout the day and evening and sometimes into the night, as I do business in several time zones. I tend to sleep once my final meeting or call has been completed.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
A recent leadership lesson I have learnt comes directly from my interactions with African leaders. It is that having power is not enough, without subtlety in dealing with those who work with you and those who are your competitors. You must learn the things that people need and want and cater for that without losing your morals.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
There are two biographies that have truly affected my life and leadership. Those two are the biographies of Malcolm X and of Nelson Mandela.
They impacted on me by reminding me that wherever you start and through whatever trials and tribulations you face, you can make a difference, both to your own life and the lives of others, but you should never give up.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
You are not what your situation is but what you make it. Make everyday count.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I came from a situation where a lot of young black men are right today, but recently I was in Parliament having a meeting with members of the Shadow Cabinet and I regularly attend meetings at various embassies with ambassadors and political leaders. I believe that if I can do this and change my life to the point I can leave a positive legacy it is possible for anyone to do the same.