Studying at the Shaolin temple has taught Roger to pay sharp attention to his clients' needs. All while helping his team stay positive and focused.
Roger is a Wealth Management desk head at our headquarters in the heart of Zurich. He uses his kung fu skills to remain calm, and to support his team in working well together too. He's been practicing the martial art for 23 years and has even been inducted as a 34th generation student at the prestigious Shaolin Temple.
For Roger, kung fu is more than physical. It requires patience, energy and time to reach excellence. Beyond a sport or a form of defense, it's a process of slow and deliberate practice over a long period of time to strengthen body, spirit and mind. "A healthy mind in a healthy body leads to healthier interactions with clients and colleagues" he says.
How did you get into kung fu?
I was a very impatient kid and I always wanted to be better, so I was looking for ways to help myself improve not just physically but also mentally. I bumped into kung fu by chance. I was very into Bruce Lee books and then saw an ad in the newspaper for training. So I got a job delivering the newspapers to be able to pay for my first course!
So, what are the ways it helps your work?
Training has given me laser focus and helped me transfer that to my team too. For example, we have targets that need to be achieved and every client advisor has different opinions on how to do it. I support and engage them, so that together we can achieve our targets in the best way.
How do you keep it positive?
I make an effort to look at things from a different angle. The glass is always full. I see any barriers as an opportunity and not as an obstacle to overcome.
Working with clients means that every day is different. It can get stressful, so I try to see everything positively - especially when managing my team. Sometimes client advisors are under time pressure and are constantly juggling meetings, phone calls and paperwork. I recommend for them to take a step back and relax for a few minutes. Then I remind them to concentrate on solving the root of the problem rather than on the problem itself.
Did it help you develop a good work-life balance?
Kung fu helped me find structure and focus for all aspects of my life. Next to my full time job, I also find time for my two kids and for my Kung Fu school, which now has more than 100 students. But I don't consider myself a master, rather a student. When you follow this philosophy, you never stop learning.
And how about with achieving goals and managing pressure?
It helps with my clients too. Because of the nature of our job, we deal with a fair amount of pressure, and sometimes it's easy to lose sight of what's important. Kung fu practice helps me to keep the focus, deliver my goals and not get hung up on the little things.
To quote Bruce Lee “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” After all, we're what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. This too is a quote from another inspiring kung fu-role model, Aristoteles.