Steven Roberts, as a young person and now.


Steven Roberts ‘Letter to My Younger Self’

What message would you send to your younger self? In the latest in a series of letters from Barclays leaders, Head of Culture and Transformation and Chief Scientific Advisor, Steven Roberts tells his 18-year-old self to repay the kindness colleagues show in times of uncertainty – and to appreciate each day’s new experiences.

Hello, you!

Being older has its good and bad sides. You see your parents age, then leave you with precious memories. Then you’ll get older yourself and understand what it’s like not having the endless energy and optimism of your youth. But what you lose, you also gain in wisdom, thoughtfulness and kindness – at least, those are qualities I hope I have developed!

You’ll get to share your life with so many fabulous people. You will meet an amazing wife who will be your best friend and confidante, and have four (yes, four!) incredible sons. You’ll also provide a home for a few cats and several rabbits, all of whom will have long and happy lives – apart from two rabbits that, sadly, some Wimbledon foxes will get.

You will be amazed to find yourself still at Barclays after more than 35 years, even though it will feel like only a short time since you joined after finishing your geophysics PhD on earthquakes.  

You might wonder why you’ll end up staying at the bank for so many years. Your kids will have worked for at least three or four companies early in their careers, despite still being so young. It’s because Barclays will allow you to be yourself and let your creativity flourish. You don’t get that everywhere, so it’s something to cherish.

Steven Roberts as a boy.

Steven describes having “endless energy and optimism” in his youth.

Steven Roberts as a child.

Steven hopes that he’s developed “wisdom, thoughtfulness and kindness” as he’s grown older.

The time will fly by. You will discover that the organisation is a genuine force for good in many communities. You will love being a part of that through your work with Digital Eagles and Eagle Labs.

No day will be the same – another thing you’ll come to appreciate. The variety and endless learning, combined with the frantic activity of bringing up four children, will be tough but energy-giving.

You will also be very lucky in some of the colleagues you meet, who will support you and encourage you in times of uncertainty and doubt. Always remember to repay that kindness, both within and outside the bank.

But, most of all, try and enjoy it. You have a lot to look forward to.


Need to know

Steven Roberts is Head of Culture and Transformation and Chief Scientific Advisor at Barclays UK. Having joined the bank more than 35 years ago, he is the Founder of Barclays Digital Eagles, a group of dedicated colleagues helping “everyone get the most out of digital”, and Eagle Labs, which supports UK startups through coworking spaces, mentors and more. Currently Non-Executive Director at tech programme Conception X, he also serves in various positions outside of the bank – including as Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield. 

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