Speaker Insight Series - Joan Kehoe

Joan Kehoe, Global Head of Alternative Investment Services, J.P. Morgan

Here's part one for 2019, of getting to know our speakers ahead of Adminovate in a couple of weeks. We’ve borrowed the format from Tim Ferriss’s book ‘Tribe of Mentors’. You can read about the book here and buy it directly here.

Throughout the book, Tim poses 11 questions to his interviewees with the request to respond to 3 to 5 questions.. or more, if the spirit moves them. See Joan Kehoe's answers below:

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

Failures, big and little are part of life and I have used the many I’ve had to become more resilient. Anything that is done or said even a second ago can’t be undone so move on, fix it , apologise, reset direction, whatever it takes, but do not allow failures or mistakes to paralyse you. Part of being a leader is making decisions and those decisions won’t be right all of the time but it is important to own them and be accountable. Treat every failure as a learning opportunity and they can pave the path to success.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

NEVER EVER GIVE UP. When I left a corporate role to be part of a team setting up a new business someone sent me a framed cartoon of a frog and a crane with this quote (look up the cartoon) and I love it.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

Just be yourself. Do not lose your identity to any job or indeed person. Work hard but not to the exclusion of your real life. I once heard someone say if you can’t do the job you love, learn to love the job you do and sometimes that’s smart advice. Be the best you can be and never shy away from new opportunities.

In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

I wish I could say chocolate…..

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

I stop, have a cup of tea, wander around the office, go for a walk, whatever it takes to change direction even if only for a few mins.

In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

I have learned to be grateful for all the good things in my life. Sounds a bit ‘preachy’ but it really helps to keep everything in perspective.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

I love hoovering (sad I know).

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