LDC Top 50 2021
“I have only had one interview in my life,” says Christian Bleakley. The telecoms veteran was offered a job in telesales back in 1992, and rose through the ranks, leaving to set up his own telecoms firm in 2009. That company, Telesis, was acquired by Firstcom Europe and Christian became CEO last year.
Since then, Christian has pursued an ambitious expansion across Europe: “We’re seeing traction in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. The important players in this industry are sitting up and taking notice now,” he says. The former professional rugby league player credits his love of sport for his focus and drive.
I ask myself, ‘Have you done the best job possible today?’ And if I haven’t, I promise I’ll do better tomorrow.”
How important has sport been in your professional life?
Sport means everything to me, even now. I am a former Rugby League player and boxer. Now I’m 47 and I can still deadlift twice my bodyweight. I love competition and, although I may not be the best at everything, I try harder than most people.
How do you motivate yourself?
I’m the most self-critical person you’ll ever meet. When I clean my teeth in the evening, I look in the mirror and ask myself, ‘Have you done the best job possible today?’ And if I haven’t, I promise I’ll do better tomorrow.
What’s been your smartest move in business?
I’m a man with a plan. With Telesis, I always planned ahead. I knew that four years in, I’d have to borrow money so I formed a relationship with a bank in year one, and sent the management accounts every month saying, these are the numbers I’ll hit next. For three years, I sent over my plan and accounts to build credibility and put pressure on myself to hit my targets. By the time I needed the money, my bank manager truly understood the business.