Exclusive Interview: Featuring Allen Chetty | Advice Enablement Specialist at FNB

Estimated read time 5 min read

South Africans are displaying their expertise in many sectors, and Allen Chetty is part of the few brilliant Individuals ready to inspire the next generation.

Allen, who is an Advice Enablement Specialist at FNB, was willing to share his incredibly humble upbringing, talked on the different methods of dealing with stress and how hard work and commitment are essential for job advancement. “Success to me is being the best version of myself” Says Allen, Read more below:

Tell us more about who you are and how you grew up?

“I grew up in KZN in Phoenix; I was the middle child in a family of 6 so hand me downs and sharing were non-negotiable. My dad passed away when I was 10 so I completely understand how the absence of a male figure can shape your formative years but luckily for me I had a strong circle of friends and even stronger mother; brother and sister.  Phoenix was a challenging place to grow up in but you learn a lot from its hard working residents. I think you are taught to be resourceful and extremely creative with the limited resources you have. I went to public school and later qualified in journalism from ML Sultan Technikon ( now DUT). I moved to Johannesburg soon after I qualified in search of fame and fortune and I found myself squarely in an entry level job; contributing to our nations GDP. I couldn’t have been happier.”

Growing up, who was your role model?

“I cant remember ever subscribing to the theory of a single role model per se. I don’t think I whole heartedly believed in the concept because I think you could learn a myriad of skills from different people. I have always been an avid reader so I drew on my literary adventures to seek out skills and personality traits I admired. I loved the vision of Steve Jobs; the technical ability of Paul Allen (co founder of Microsoft); the creativity of Stephen King and the sales prowess of Jim Rohn.”

Why this Role Model?

“I remember one of my journalism classmates having a very unpopular opinion when asked who he admired; he stated that he looked up to Adolf Hitler. This contentious statement was even more controversial since this was uttered by a young black man from Kwa Mashu. He went on to explain that he did not agree with everything Hitler did but he looked up to his (Hitler’s) achievements. In the same way I didn’t agree with all the aspects of Steve Jobs personality but his achievements are undeniable. I don’t mean to compare Jobs to Hitler but I think you understand the juxtaposition I was attempting to highlight.”

What has been the hardest part of your journey to becoming who you are now?

“I was called a few weeks after my graduation by one of my favourite professors who lambasted (in her warm way) me for not attending my graduation ceremony. I explained to her that I hadn’t attended because I was embarrassed that I hadn’t secured permanent employment in my chosen profession of journalism. She laughed and explained that probably 95% of my classmates were in the same boat. It didn’t make my plight any easier. I don’t believe I have achieved as much as I would have liked to and I also believe that my greatest achievements are ahead of me and not in my review mirror. For me self development and achievement in all its forms is a journey rather than a destination and that is what I hold sacrosanct.”

How do you deal with stress?

“I try to reduce stress in my busy lifestyle by reading; spending time with my wife and kids and trying to keep a steady workout routine at the gym; I would love to fish more because its one of my favourite pastimes when I am at the coast but I never fish as much as I would like too.  I think that stress is one of the biggest risks in our modern lives and we need to be cognisant of the tell tale signs of how we react when stressed. Stress is the antithesis of a balanced, productive life.”

What does success mean to you?

“Success to me is being the best version of myself. Michael Jordan was asked one day who is his biggest competitor; who pushes him to achieve more accolades; his response was simple; I compete against myself; I always try to beat my last performance. This is how I view success; I need to be a better father than I was yesterday. I need to be a better husband; co-worker and friend than I was yesterday. This may sound quasi philosophical and somewhat disingenuous but it is the school of thought I subscribe too; completely.”

Find Allen Chetty on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allen-chetty

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