Unlearn

Unlearn

The way to think differently is to act differently and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. For business leaders, entrepreneurs, managers and anyone who wants to improve how they work and live: Welcome to the Unlearn Podcast. Host Barry O’Reilly, author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise seeks to synthesize the superpowers of extraordinary individuals into actionable strategies you can use—to Think BIG, start small and learn fast, and find your edge with excellence. ... Show More

Joe Norena is the Managing Director at HSBC and the Global Markets Americas COO. From corporations to startups to corporate digital, his experience has run the gamut of organization. Joe has led a life of unlearning, and every new thing he learned he has applied to the next situation. In this episode, Joe and Barry talk about the pivotal moments in his career that brought him where he is today. Unlearning Starts Early... From the beginning of his life, Joe has been surrounded by people who modeled the type of behavior that would shape his success. His father, an immigrant who didn’t speak the language, began work in the mailroom of Citibank and retired as the Vice President. His mother always encouraged him to ‘just go and try it.’ Joe shares a funny story about nearly drowning when he tried out for the swim team in grade school. ...And Continues Through Life During his time at Citibank, Joe continued to have powerful role models. First among them was Michael, a senior trade manager. Michael was willing to sit down with the most junior of employees - even graduates - and open his mind to new ways of thinking, doing things, and techniques. He was a true ‘unlearner’ who modeled that behavior for everyone around him. Joe’s time at Bridgewater taught him another very important lesson: having a voice based on principles rather than the desire to be right. Understanding that success might be revealed through another lens, or way of thinking, helps a company grow and remain sustainable. The debate then becomes about what the real issue or problem is, and what is the right thing to do. Unlearning Moments You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; it’s the hallmark of a life-long unlearner. Joe experienced this several times during his career. First among those was the huge mind-shift he had to make when moving from being a trader to a COO. A trader knows whether he was an asset to the company at the end of the day; he only needed to look at profit/loss. But when Joe became COO, it wasn’t that obvious. It took 3-6 months before he knew if he was succeeding or not. The second unlearning experience for Joe was at the hedge fund startup. Every day he had to deal with and make decisions about situations he had no experience in. He was also used to having many people to help him, but in the startup, he only had himself. In the end, they had to close the startup, but Joe brought all the new learning with him. Joe’s time at the startup taught him about the need for lean startup principles, and he was able to apply that learning at HSBC. In effect, while leading a team of 30 people on a limited budget Joe looked at an experiment as being successful if it failed because he learned something. From those ‘failures’ came some of the greatest successes. Organizational Learning Learning comes from the bottom up, but if you don’t have support from the top, it becomes very difficult. The message from the top should be ‘we want to change, we want to try this out, and it’s okay.’ This doesn’t mean that C Suite managers need to know exactly how the change will occur or be a daily part of it; the tone they set will be the change maker or breaker. A Principle for Business In any decision that you make, it has to be about building a sustainable business model, which means it goes far beyond your own career. Joe admits it’s not easy, especially when you don’t know if you’re making the right decision for the future. He likens it to raising children. Another is that if you don’t speak, you lose an opportunity for teaching and learning. Joe shares how his office is set up to mirror that belief. Resources LinkedIn

Share
Mark as Played

Chat About Unlearn

Popular Podcasts

The Daily
The Daily
This moment demands an explanation. This show is on a mission to find it.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast
The Ron Burgundy Podcast
Will Ferrell reprises his role as Ron Burgundy in his brand new Ron Burgundy Podcast! Each episode has a different theme in which Ron engages in conversation with another notable person on the topic at hand.
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving you a true crime fix. Every Monday, Ashley Flowers will tell you about whatever crime she’s been obsessing over that week in a way that sounds like you're sitting around talking crime with your best friends. The storytelling is straightforward and free of rabbit holes so the cases stay suspenseful and are easy to follow. If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’re a Crime Junkie! You’ve found your people.