Belfast Telegraph

'Be sure to understand what energises you'

Spurred on: Stephen Kelly is a big fan of Tottenham Hotspur
Spurred on: Stephen Kelly is a big fan of Tottenham Hotspur

Q&A: Stephen Kelly

Q: What's the best advice you've ever been given?

A: Understand your purpose and what energises you.

Q: What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?

A: Be brave, allow people the space to make their own success and say what needs to be said.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: Joining the Junior Chamber organisation. I learnt a huge amount about leading, putting together and managing teams, compromising and representing a collective will at a local, national and international level.

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Q: If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?

A: I still don't know what this career is. I've never wanted any particular job but instead ran towards challenges and experiences. I didn't lay out a plan to get here so I've no idea where it will take me next.

Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A: We travel a lot, but we love Portugal for family holidays. I was there just before Easter playing golf and we go back as a family, celebrating my mum's 70th, in July and August.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: Golf mostly - playing and watching. I play in Donegal off a 10 handicap.

Q: What is your favourite sport and team?

A: I'm a big Tottenham Hotspur fan and already nervous about the Champions League final on June 1. I keenly follow Derry City and the fortunes of a local amateur team my father helped set up, Don Bosco's.

Q: And have you ever played any sports?

A: As a younger man I was a not very good footballer and since taken up the more suitable golf.

Q: If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A: Mostly Brexit stuff this past couple of years. Outside of that, there's a book by a couple of Norwegian academics called Funky Business which, whilst a little dated now, I pick up regularly.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: A very happy one mostly spent kicking a football on my own behind the nets as my father played usually twice on a Saturday and once on a Sunday.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: If the last few years tell us anything, then it is the only predicable thing about the future is its unpredictability!

Q: How would you assess your time in business with Manufacturing NI?

A: I've really enjoyed it, despite the challenges. I have a great volunteer board who are very wise and committed; great support in Mary our deputy CEO, Wendy who looks after the finances and Connor who looks after membership engagement, and a strong a wide group of supporters with a wealth of knowledge and experience who I can call on for specialist advice.

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